Zoning laws are an important part of the commercial real estate process. Each zoning category corresponds with the intended use of the property. Real estate may be zoned as residential, commercial, industrial or for office use in residential or businesses districts. You may, however, have wondered if zoning regulations can be modified and how the re-zoning process works if you are interested in a property but need it to be zoned for a different use than how it is currently zoned.

What if you are interested in a particular piece of real estate but it is not zoned for the use you intend to put it to? When a land owner or developer wishes to have a particular piece of real estate re-zoned, such as when real estate has been designated for residential use and a land owner or developer wishes to use it for business purposes, the land owner or developer must apply through the re-zoning process to have the land designated for residential use re-zoned for business use. The land owner or developer cannot alter the use of the land unless it has been re-zoned and must conform to its current zoning district.

An application for re-zoning has to be submitted and can include a plan and advertising fee requirements. A public hearing will also be scheduled at which you may be asked to respond to questions. Guidance prior to submitting an application is available through different resources including municipalities such as Baton Rouge. A recommendation for the re-zoning request or a denial of the application for re-zoning will be made following the hearing. If the application is approved, the land is officially re-zoned for the new use.

Zoning laws and regulations can be complex so it can be essential when considering a re-zoning request to have as much knowledge concerning the process as possible. Zoning laws and regulations can all have an important impact on land owners, developers, businesses and those buying and selling real estate so it is useful to understand when re-zoning options might be available in particular circumstances and how to pursue a re-zoning request.

Source: BRgov.com, “Rezoning Process and Application,” Accessed May 28, 2016