Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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Commercial zoning laws can throw a wrench in your plans

When jumping into a commercial real estate transaction, it may be your first time or a somewhat familiar process. Either way, every commercial real estate transaction has nuances that make each deal different from the deal done before it. Whatever the deal, commercial zoning laws will likely impact how the building or deal is done. Whether in how the building is repurposed, or how it is built, commercial zoning can greatly impact that decision.

Commercial zoning laws are put in place to protect the health and safety of a community and to regulate growth. They are used to check and balance how business is conducted and even how structures are built. A failure to meet zoning codes in a particular area can cause a project to go over budget to adapt to code or could even sink the project entirely if not heeded to in time. This is why it is so important to heed commercial real estate zoning codes in the Baton Rouge area.

Commercial real estate often has even stricter codes than does residential real estate. This is because commercial real estate projects are often larger in scope and can have a greater impact on the community. Waste management could become an issue if proper environmental standards are not adhered to. If taking over an existing commercial structure, it's good to double-check that the prior owners were adhering to zoning laws since the new owner is now responsible to ensure the building is up to code.

Anticipating that zoning codes exist is half the battle. Determining if your project or structure meets code is the other half. A project could stall out if the city determines it is not up to code. There are several ways to approach this hurdle in the commercial real estate process.

Source: FindLaw, "Commercial Zoning," accessed on Aug. 7, 2017

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Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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