Legal Advice During Challenging Times

Does a variance change the zone?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Real Estate Law |

As a business owner, you may discover that the property you own isn’t zoned for the type of business you’d like to run. Additionally, if you don’t own the property yet, you may be considering a purchase, but the incorrect zone may be holding you back.

One option is to seek a variance. This may allow you to use the building in a way that otherwise would not have been permissible. The main zones are for residential, commercial and industrial operations. So does getting a variance change the zone that your property is in?

It provides an exception

No, getting a variance does not change the zone. All other properties are still bound by the same regulations that they were before. If one business is allowed to open in a residential area, for example, that does not mean that it is now a commercial or mixed-use zone. It is still a residential zone.

But the variance just changes the way in which that specific property is allowed to operate. This is why the local government will sometimes take the opinions of other neighborhood residents into account when deciding if they should grant the variance. They are allowing that property owner to break the regulations that still apply to all other property owners within the same zone.

Getting a variance can be an excellent way to help your company move forward if you need to use your commercial real estate in a way that isn’t currently supported. Just be sure you know exactly what legal steps to take to increase your chances of getting the variance that you need.