Keep these common issues in mind when searching for business space

If you’re looking to purchase or lease space for your business, there are a host of hoops you must jump through to secure land. Proper zoning is one of them; and it’s extremely important for selecting and protecting your business’s location. Despite this importance, some owners blindly purchase or lease property without first doing their homework. In order to avoid potential trouble down the road, it’s essential to review zoning guidelines and restrictions before settling on a space that is right for you.

What is zoning?

Zoning is simply the regulation of private land by public authorities. It allows municipalities to create uniformity in certain neighborhoods by controlling how you can use property and what can (and cannot) be built in a given area.

Common zoning provisions

There are a variety of zoning categories, including:

  • Residential, such as single-family housing units and apartment complexes
  • Commercial is commonly intended for single businesses and multi-business complexes located in or near a residential area
  • Industrial is set aside for larger corporations, manufacturing sites, factories, and companies, among other large-scale commodities
  • Recreational includes parks, athletic facilities, and fields
  • Agricultural covers rural property, fields, forests, farmlands, and similar tracts of land

These categories are often further broken down into subcategories. Each may come with its own set of restrictions, such as:

  • A required distance between buildings in the allocated zone
  • Building size and height
  • Specific areas of the lot that can be built up
  • Types of buildings that are permitted on a certain plot of land

Examples of common zoning disputes

While zoning disputes can occur between two private individuals, more often they occur between a local government and business. Disputes that could affect a business might include:

  • Building height: If not followed properly, height restrictions in both commercial and industrial areas have the potential to create safety issues.
  • Parking lot issues: Disputes may arise surrounding the size or creation of parking lots. For example, parking cars at a business or facility could disrupt the ability of nearby residents to enjoy local areas.
  • Setback issues: ‘Setback’ refers to the minimum distance a building can be located from a property line. Some requirements ensure businesses and homeowners do not build structures that impede property lines or look unsightly.
  • Signs: Another common zoning issue involves the size and placement of signs. A sign that is too large or placed too close to a busy road could cause a cluttered appearance, as well as a safety hazard.

How to determine potential zoning issues prior to purchasing commercial property?

If you’re in the market for commercial or industrial space, it’s imperative that you’re crystal clear on the zoning of the area. Commercial and industrial zoning restrictions are some of the most stringent, and it’s therefore important to work with a reputable commercial real estate broker that has experience navigating local ordinances.

Reach out to Morris Southeast Group for zoning questions in Palm Beach, Miami Dade, and Broward Counties

With several decades of experience representing business owners in South Florida, Morris Southeast Group is expertly positioned to find the perfect space for your company. Our team is well versed in all complex zoning restrictions throughout the area. Give us a call at 954.474.4776, reach Ken Morris on his cell at 954.240.4400, or email today.


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