Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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Baton Rouge building seeks re-zoning


A request has been made to re-zone a building in Baton Rouge so it can be utilized as a restaurant. A commercial real estate realtor in the area is seeking to have the building re-zoned to facilitate an easier sale of the building. The realtor intends to make the purchase easier for a potential buyer who will not have to worry about any zoning concerns when purchasing the building which has been vacant for several years. The realtor is pursuing the re-zoning for the 3,150 square foot building which will be decided on later in the spring by a local government planning entity.

It is possible that two lots next to the building could be converted to parking lots to accommodate 30 cars and a patio may be possible up to the sidewalk. The use of a property is an important concern when contemplating a commercial real estate purchase. While the proposed use of the property may impact purchase negotiations and decisions, the way the property is zoned can also impact purchase negotiations and decisions.

Zoning regulations can be quite detailed and specific and can impact the use of the property including frontage, parking and a variety of other important considerations. In some circumstances, it may be possible to navigate a way around zoning regulations through different methods. Variances, which are a waiver rather than a change to the particular zoning requirement, or a conditional use permit, similar to a variance, may be obtained through a legal process. The specific re-zoning process can vary by jurisdiction so it is important that the party seeking a variance or otherwise is familiar with the process where it is being requested.

It is important to be knowledgeable concerning zoning laws, regulations and requirements when considering the purchase of commercial real estate. Similarly, because the process can sometimes be complex, it is important to be familiar with the different options available for zoning changes in some instances.

Source: The Advocate, "Rezoning sought for Government St. property as restaurant," Timothy Boone, Feb. 7, 2015

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