Many local governments and municipalities have zoning codes that restrict the type of building that can exist within a certain area, such as keeping residential and commercial areas clearly divided. However, there are times where a variance can be issued to allow a building to be used for something that is not typically approved within a given zone.
Do you need a variance?
If you have found a location that you want to open a business in, or even one where you want to build a home, you will need to find out what type of zone that particular tract of land is in. For instance, if you want to open a pizza shop but the building or property you want to used is zoned as a residential area, you can petition the local government for a variance. This variance, if granted, will allow you to use a property for something other than what it is officially zoned for.
Other needs for a variance
With a recent trend toward professionals working from home, there is a surge in popularity of home-based businesses. While this can sound enticing and certainly has its own list of benefits, it can also present the need for a variance. A business that is to be started and based in a home will likely need a variance since the home is zoned in a residential neighborhood.
A person who is considering pursuing a real estate zoning variance may want to contact an attorney who is well-versed in their local government’s real estate laws. The attorney may refer to previous variance petitions, existing zoning laws and other information to better inform their client.