Zoning regulations can be one of the greatest challengers that real estate owners and developers face when looking for new ways to use their property. When zoning regulations limit the size, scope or value of your real estate endeavors, can you rezone your property?
Why do zoning regulations exist?
Zoning allows cities and other municipal districts to create specific regions for different industries for residential, commercial and industrial use. This can be a great benefit for the city, allowing quieter residential neighborhoods to benefit from nearby industry without homeowner concerns about pollution, noise or changes in the scenery.
However, these regulations also strongly restrict your rights as a property owner. By restricting the size of buildings and the number of rooms that a building can contain, zoning regulations limit the ways that you can use your property and potentially cut you off from building its value
Is it possible to rezone a property?
Challenging zoning regulations can be a difficult undertaking, but it can also open up new opportunities for your property. Some common reasons for zoning include:
- The current zoning prevents you from using the land in the way that you want to
- You want to put more structures on the property than the current zoning allows, also called “density”
- The dimensions of the project you want to pursue would not be allowed under current zoning
- Zoning could benefit your property value
In order to rezone your property through spot zoning — when the government recognizes the zoning of an individual lot as different from the lots around it — you will need to file a rezoning request with the city’s Planning and Zoning department. You must also provide a reason for the reclassification.
By exploring your legal rights as a property owner and seeking legal guidance, you can build your property’s value and move forward with your projects.