What is a zoning variance and how can a business obtain one?

| Jun 2, 2021 | Construction Law |

As the saying goes, part of running a successful business is “location, location, location.” But what happens if a business owner who is developing their new enterprise in Boca Raton runs into zoning issues? In such situations the business owner may need to seek a zoning variance.

What is a zoning variance?

Property in Florida is divided into zoning districts. Some examples of zoning districts include commercial zones, industrial zones and residential zones. The purpose of zoning districts is to ensure that the property value of homes in a residential zone are protected.

If a person wants to operate a business in a residential zone, they will need to obtain a zoning variance. Zoning variances allow a business to operate in a location that it normally would not be allowed to operate in such as a residential zone. Zoning variances are granted on a case-by-case basis by the area zoning board.

What are the requirements for a zoning variance in Boca Raton?

According to the Boca Raton Code of Ordinances certain elements must be met in order for a zoning variance request to be approved. First, unique conditions specific to the applicant’s case that are generally not applicable to property located in the zoning district must exist. These conditions must not be directly attributed to the acts of the business applying for the variance.

In addition, the business applying for the variance must be deprived of rights commonly held by other property owners in the zoning district if not allowed to operate in that zone. Any variance approved must be the minimum variance necessary for the business to reasonably use the property.

Also, if granted the variance cannot be detrimental to the welfare of the public or injurious to the property currently in the zoning district. Finally, if granted the variance cannot be contrary to the overall plan of the city.

Learn more about zoning issues

A business in Boca Raton that wants to operate in a non-commercial district will need to seek a zoning variance. Fortunately, help is available to those who need to apply for a zoning variance in Boca Raton. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on land use development and zoning may be a useful resource to those who want to learn more about this topic.