What to know about getting property zoning changes

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2021 | Real Estate

You may have found the perfect spot for your next property development project. Perhaps, an aging strip mall is now for sale and you see it as the ideal place for a new senior living condo building with stores on the first level. Or you find undeveloped piece of land and want to get it rezoned for commercial use.

What steps are involved if you want to get a zoning change so you can redevelop this land?

  1. If you are considering purchasing a property where you want to seek a zoning change, you need to be familiar with the area and evaluate how if the area has changed in recent years. Are other properties nearby undergoing redevelopment? Is there already another senior living complex under construction nearby? These factors can impact how the city views a request to change a property’s zoning.
  2. You need to consult a real estate attorney who is familiar with commercial development in the city you want to develop property in. Every municipality has different rules and standards when it comes to zoning and rezoning properties. You need to work with an attorney who understands those rules and who can help you present your case that a zoning change will be beneficial to the city.
  3. You need to get to know the owners of nearby properties, so they understand your redevelopment plans and you address their concerns. You likely can’t please everyone with your development plans, but if nearby businesses and homeowners really don’t like them and express that to city officials, that can derail your plans.
  4. You need to apply for a zoning change, providing detailed drawings and information about your redevelopment plans. As the city evaluates the zoning change, you likely will have to make presentations about your plans to city officials and development boards. Most likely, city officials will ask you to make some changes to your development plans. You may need to incorporate adding a new drainage pond or change your planned parking lot’s access to the street. You may need to increase your budget to accommodate these requests or evaluate how changes will impact your planned land use.

It may take many months for the city to approve your zoning change request and approve your redevelopment plans. However, the time and effort to get a zoning change approved and your redevelopment plans moving forward can be worth it. You not only may see your project succeed and gain revenue from your redevelopment, but you could help the city make better use of an underutilized property.