Appealing to Have Commercial Properties Rezoned as Residential

Owners of commercial properties need to be aware that there may come a time when that property will be reviewed by a zoning board. That board may come to the conclusion that the commercial property should be rezoned into a residential property. This assessment can have a huge impact on the business, and depending on the local laws and ordinances, it can even force the owner to sell or move.

Differences in Properties

In an effort to keep cities orderly and structured, officials zone different areas to serve different needs. There are two common property types: commercial and residential. Properties zoned for commercial use are usually located along busy streets and downtown areas. Malls, business complexes and office buildings are included in the category. Residential properties are used for homes, townhouses, apartment complexes and the like. City planners take careful consideration of the location of schools, churches and roads when zoning an area as commercial or residential, but as it happens, there may come a time when the planners decide to rezone property.

Assessment and Appeal

A commercial property does not become zoned for residential use overnight. The problem is that many property owners do not act immediately upon receiving the notice of assessment. If you choose to sit on your hands when it comes to rezoning issues, you may find that your property has been rezoned against your wishes. City planners, for a variety of reasons, will file to rezone properties when the need or request arises, but this does not mean that you are out of options. You are able to appeal the decision as long as it is within a certain period (usually a week but sometimes up to a month) after receiving the notice. You will also need to file the appeal to have your side considered by a board of representatives from the city.

A Lawyer to Make It Easy

Hiring a real estate attorney who understands the complex issues behind zoning laws will be invaluable to the appeals process. The lawyer will be able to locate all necessary information to be presented to the appeals board, including the size of the lot, surrounding areas usage, and figures, such as property value and taxes. While you can certainly make the appeal yourself, a competent and knowledgeable lawyer will be far better at the process. When making a zoning appeal, you will need to navigate both local ordinances and state law, not to mention any opposition that wishes for the rezoning to take place. All of these procedures and mandates are confusing to say the least, but a lawyer will be able to wade through the paperwork and red tape. And she may be able to save your commercial property from being rezoned.