Opening a new business is an exciting opportunity for any business owner. However, you can lose some wind in your sail if you learn that the location in which you want to open your business is not zoned for your purposes.
Under these circumstances, you have a choice. You can find a new location, or you can apply for a special use permit. If granted, these permits allow you to use property for a purpose other than those for which it was originally zoned. Should you opt for the special use permit, it can be critical that you consult an attorney.
An attorney can help you prepare your permit and address any complications that may arise. Too many people make the mistake of failing to be proactive with these matters, which can lead to costly, inconvenient disputes.
For instance, one woman in California submitted an application for a special use permit to use residential property to open a group home, which is categorized as a business.
The permit came up against challenges form residents in the area who argued that opening a business of any kind in the area would disrupt the community and negatively affect housing prices.
The woman counters these arguments by maintaining that the group home will only house up to four disabled adults and will be, at most, minimally disruptive to the community and traffic levels. Evidence was also presented in a second meeting of county commissioners that counters the claim that group homes contribute to property value depreciation.
Commissioners have yet to vote on the woman's permit request. They also noted that the woman's permit application was incomplete and needed revision prior to the next hearing to clear up objections.
As this case illustrates, residents in an area can fight back against a business owner's request to open a business in their neighborhood, no matter what type of business it is. It is also a reminder that failure to present a complete application can lead to delays and disputes. To address or avoid these obstacles, it can be critical that you consult an attorney as soon as possible when looking to buy property for your business.