Homeowners typically don’t deal with zoning that much. However, commercial property owners should be aware of some zoning issues that may affect commercial property. Zoning may vary from city to city and state to state, but there are some common problems owners can watch for.
Zoning by Definition
According to the Virginia Beach Zoning Administration, ‘Zoning’ refers to regulations of the use of land and the placement of structures on the land. Zoning ordinances are sets of laws that, for example, specify whether land can be residential or commercial.
Zoning Does Not Fit Your Purposes
A business owner or builder may find the perfect piece of property for the company’s new warehouse. The problem? It overlooks a nice residential development and part of the property is actually still zoned residential.
When this happens, property owners may request a zoning change, then go through their community’s process. Another option is to request a variance so that the property can be used for a purpose that is at odds with zoning ordinances.
Changes to Existing Districts
Ordinances and zoning districts may be changed to a zoning type that is incompatible. The commercial property might be grandfathered in or granted a variance. For example, the Virginia Beach Cookie Factory had peacefully existed for 35 years. Their recipe for sugar cookies never changed, but the neighborhood around the factory did. A zoning change was requested and approved. The company was allowed to continue operating because it was grandfathered into the new zoning ordinances.
Disputes may arise when a commercial property is located near or overlooking a district of a distinctly different type. For example, residential property owners near a large manufacturing facility may complain about noise, pollution, or views being blocked by the facility.
When in Doubt, Talk to an Attorney!
Check local zoning before buying commercial property or building on any property.
The attorneys at the Dillon Law Group answer legal questions for clients just like you. Please call us at 757-962-4796 to set up an appointment or contact us online by using our convenient Contact Form. We assist clients in Virginia Beach, Newport News, and surrounding communities.