Commercial zoning laws are an important part of a city’s long-term plans. Elected officials put commercial zoning laws in place that dictate the types of businesses that can open, how the buildings that house those businesses are constructed and more. It is important for entrepreneurs in the Washington, D.C., area to know how to challenge existing commercial zoning laws.
Can commercial zoning laws be changed?
It is possible to file a request with your local zoning board to permit the construction of a business that does not comply with current commercial zoning laws. Generally speaking, simply asking the local zoning board in your area to change the law will not be enough, but there are steps you can take to persuade them to alter the existing commercial zoning laws.
Gathering community support
In many cases, businesses, even those in different industries, can be beneficial to one another. For instance, putting a coffee shop beside a bookstore may create a symbiotic relationship that leads to new customers frequenting both facilities. If you want to open a business that is not presently allowed for by commercial zoning laws, reach out to other local business owners and create a proposal to the local zoning board that shows how a new business could be beneficial to the existing businesses in the area.
Filing for a variance
A variance is issued when local government officials give someone permission to use a piece of land for something that it is not originally zoned for. In order to receive a variance, you will need to prove that granting you a variance will be beneficial to the city. This will require a business plan as well as short-term and long-term financial forecasting.
Since commercial zoning is an integral part of your state’s real estate laws, you should employ the services of an attorney who is familiar with those laws. This attorney may help you put together your written proposal and file the necessary paperwork to receive a variance.