"Possible rezone for business" - Posted by Bob Ridge

Posted by Ray on September 15, 2003 at 18:26:46:

Ahh, but if the middle east is the only connection then one didn’t fully complete the search and I’m disappointed. There were two “illusionary” trails. This is the information I was seeking and why I posted on the board. Now I can move on to the next step.

“Possible rezone for business” - Posted by Bob Ridge

Posted by Bob Ridge on September 12, 2003 at 07:51:46:

There’s a rental property for sale at a decent price located one house away from a main street in the center of a growing small town/suburb of Indianapolis. The cash flow would be good if kept as a residential property, but I am also intrigued by a line in the ad that says “possible rezone for business.” In my own growing small town/suburb, entire neighborhoods along the main street are getting successfully rezoned, and property values are skyrocketing. The town where this property is located is in the early stages of similar growth. In fact, it is almost impossible to find decent houses there listed for lower than the current listing price.

So how would I go about assessing the likelihood that the property can be successfully rezoned for business? How does rezoning typically affect property values on “Main Street USA”? If the prospective tenant is going to run a home business from there anyway, can this have any influence on rezoning? What are the pitfalls of trying to rezone? Thanks in advance for suggestions…


Re: “Possible rezone for business” - Posted by jimi

Posted by jimi on September 15, 2003 at 05:27:18:

In addition to Ray’s counsel, I would add the importance of the tenant for the property. “Commercialish” tenants in a “residentialish” looking property on a street transitioning towards increased commercial activity can be difficult to find and are golden.

Re: “Possible rezone for business” - Posted by ray@lcorn

Posted by ray@lcorn on September 14, 2003 at 15:07:16:


To assess the probability of a successful zoning change you’ll have to do some legwork. First stop is the planning department of the town where the property is located. You need a copy of the zoning ordinance; information about the current zoning of your property; and the development standards of the zoning district you want to change the property to.

It also helps to have a copy of the town’s comprehensive plan. This document may have plans regarding the possible future land use of the area you’re concerned with. I say “may” because the quality and depth of comp plams across the country varies widely from one jurisdiction to another. Whatever the case, a zoning change must be in accordance with the comp plan in order to be granted. For instance, if your neighborhood is slated as an historical residential preservation zone in the comp plan, it is unlikely that a zoning change would be granted.

While you’re getting this information there is a moment when you can use the fine art of conversation to engage the planner or assistant as to what you’re thinking about and whether they think such a change would be probable. They will likely be careful to not give you a firm opinion, but often you can read between the lines to gauge the response as positive or negative.

As to the question about home occupations, these will again be treated under the zoning ordinance. Some communities regulate home occupations by special use permit, aka conditional use permit. In that case a home occupation permit actually solidifies the property’s status as residential. If however there is a critical mass of such uses in the neighborhood it could serve to bolster an argument for the change.

Pitfalls? Can be an inordinate time sucker; high levels of frustration with bureaucratic procedure; neighborhood resistance and resentment, especially for LULUs (Locally Undesireable Land Use).

For those who practice this strategy regularly, they should be monitored for early signs of stress-induced dementia, ulcers, and sudden desires to fly to Tahiti. For those who succeed with zoning changes, please help dissuade them from the belief that their negotiating skills are now so finely honed that they feel called to board the next flight to the Middle East. (smile)


See email - Posted by Ray

Posted by Ray on September 18, 2003 at 18:00:48: