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Business owners need to understand zoning laws

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2022 | Commercial Real Estate |

Before business owners rent or purchase a commercial property, they should consider the zoning code of their desired area. Zoning categories may restrict the activities people can perform in their buildings.

FindLaw says that cities establish zoning codes to explain how people can use land. Most business owners may look at properties in a region zoned for commercial activities. However, there are complexities within this categorization. Some parts of Boston may allow people to construct and operate hotels, for example. However, other areas may only allow office buildings or shopping centers. Additionally, the zoning code could restrict people from operating certain businesses near schools.

What do business owners need to know about Massachusetts zoning laws?

According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, each community can set its own zoning laws. Business owners have to check local ordinances if they want to open stores or offices in several towns. However, some areas may have an exemption from zoning regulations. Some properties have a grandfathered status. This allows people to follow older zoning practices instead of newer ones that may include more restrictions. Additionally, people can sometimes receive a special-use permit so that they can meet prior regulations.

What if there is conflict about zoning?

People may sometimes wish to operate a certain kind of business in an area zoned for other uses. In this situation, they usually work with the Zoning Board of Appeals. People can explain why a special-use permit is necessary for this situation. Some zoning laws, for example, are in place to help regulate the amount of traffic an area receives. Business owners could explain why their company will not significantly affect traffic. If the board of appeals denies the petition, business owners typically cannot ask for a special-use permit for another two years.

As they consider an area to establish their business, people may want to examine the zoning laws before they look at properties.