Local governments use zoning to protect the health and safety of a community and to regulate growth. Zoning laws -- also referred to as zoning ordinances and land use regulations -- control the use of property. Commercial zoning laws control the type of activities a business may conduct in a particular area and the category of business that can occupy the zoned area. Zoning laws often regulate the features of a building as well, such as height and the required setback from the street.
Types of Zoning
The division of land into categorized zones determines how the occupant can use the land in the district. Zoning ordinances can regulate districts into single use zones or into multiple use zones. For instance, a district can be zoned for both commercial and residential use.
What Do Zoning Laws Regulate
Zoning laws also regulate certain activities. For instance, zoning controls activities like noise level, waste management, appearance of a building (eg., height, size, and proximity to each other), parking, and air quality. In a commercial zone, for instance, ordinances often require a specific number of parking spaces and may regulate the number of stories a building can have, the size of signs, and the number of similar businesses in the same district.
Avoid Commercial Zoning Trouble
It is important to check zoning ordinances to determine the type of activity permitted. Do not assume that because the previous occupant used the property for a specific activity that a new occupant can use the property for the same purpose. Consider the following when selecting commercial property:
Eliminate the Guesswork: Get Legal Help With Your Zoning Needs
Make sure to understand the zoning laws in your area before signing a commercial lease. The failure to comply with zoning and other regulations could sink your business enterprise before it ever launches. Contact a local business attorney with commercial zoning experience today who can help you chart a course to success.