Call Today 707-387-0955
Law Office of Ethan A. Glaubiger
Real Estate & Business Attorney
The Right Attorney Makes A Difference
Click here to schedule your consultation.

The challenges of rezoning for commercial use in Sonoma County

Business owners and would-be investors often pay a premium for property zoned for commercial, industrial or mixed-use purposes. After all, zoning regulations control what you can and cannot do at any given property. The zoning of a parcel or building, as well as the zoning of other properties nearby, should be given careful consideration if you plan to buy real estate for your business.

However, that doesn't mean you should limit your property search only to locations currently zoned for your intended use. Given that the real estate market in Sonoma County is relatively competitive, business owners who want to invest or expand may find that the easiest way to do so is by purchasing a property that is not currently zoned for their intended use.

It is potentially possible to have a property's zoning changed to include your intended uses. In some cases, the purchase offer for the property can include a contingency based on your ability to re-zone the property. Other times, a company can hold a property as a financial investment for sale if rezoning for development doesn't work.

Prepare yourself to demonstrate your intentions and their impact on others

The point of zoning is to prevent development in areas that would undermine the current use of properties or reduce their value for current owners. If you request a zone change, the Board of Supervisors needs to approve that change. They will want evidence when considering your request.

For example, putting in a poultry rendering plant in an otherwise residential neighborhood could make the houses nearby undesirable and less pleasant to live in, thereby decreasing property value. The smell and traffic generated by the plant could undermine the quiet enjoyment of the property that local owners deserve.

You will want to explore the various ways in which your business and its planned building or expansion will impact the local community. From an analysis of traffic and parking requirements to environmental impact studies, you want to have plenty of information available to convince county officials that your project will be good for the community.

Prepare for a potentially lengthy process

Rezoning and developing a piece of land often requires a major investment of time and money. While it is possible to complete the process in months, large-scale development can often take years to go from an idea to a project in the works.

From attending community feedback sessions to securing the necessary easements for use of the property, there will be many hoops that you will need to jump through to successfully rezone and develop a property.

The work involved should not deter you from considering rezoning, particularly if you find a piece of land that would be perfect for your business's needs. You simply need to make sure that your company is ready to invest the time and money necessary to turn your plan into a reality.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information