Zoning Issues

Commercial zoning laws pertain to commercial properties including office buildings, industrial and warehouses, retail and shopping center and mixed-use properties.  Apartment, townhouse and condominium zoning laws are generally covered under residential zoning laws.

As part of your contract negotiations, you should include a contract contingency that the purchase of the property is contingent upon you obtaining rezoning or a zoning variance for the property.   If you are unable to get the property rezoned or obtain a variance, you will be able to cancel the contract, and find another property that meets your needs.

When you are purchasing and/or developing property, you need to be concerned with the following zoning issues: 

  • Building setbacks
  • Height and density
  • Parking restrictions
  • Use restrictions
  • Deed restrictions
  • Noise and air space restrictions

The local zoning laws are strictly enforced.  Zoning laws change all the time.  Existing dwellings and buildings may be grandfathered in under previous laws.   However, if you are planning on making additions to structures or tearing them down and building new structures, then the new additions and building structures will have to comply with current zoning laws.

It may be necessary to obtain a zoning variance from the local city or county planning and zoning commission or to ask for a rezoning hearing.  A land use and zoning attorney can help you resolve zoning issues with the city or county, and represent you at the zoning hearing and with contract negotiations with the seller.

When to Hire an Attorney

Getting a development project entitled, permitted, financed, and built often requires navigation through the complex layers of federal, state, county, and local regulatory schemes. We provide strategic legal guidance in securing project support. Our attorneys also review project plans and have appeared before various boards and agencies on behalf of clients seeking zoning changes and approvals for subdivisions, special permits, and site plans.

The experience of our attorneys provides our clients with the expertise required to address their individual needs. Our years of experience mean that no matter the type of property issue, we help our clients achieve the best possible outcome.