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)