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Importance of understanding zoning and land use before land purchases

On Behalf of | May 4, 2023 | REAL ESTATE LAW - Real Estate Law

There are many reasons why companies in Georgia decide to purchase commercial real estate. They could be starting their business or outgrew their current space. Owning commercial real estate can be a way to have the perfect space for their operations but can also be used as an investment for the company.

Prior to purchasing the property, companies usually go through an extensive search process to find the perfect space and location for their needs. There are the basic parts of the search, such as the size of the property, the existing buildings, the location and other factors that companies analyze. However, one that can be overlooked is the local zoning and land-use regulations.

How local governments use zoning and land use regulations

Local governments use zoning and land use regulations as a city planning tool to keep certain areas for a specific purpose. There can be areas designated as residential for people to live in; there are industrial areas, agricultural, commercial and other areas. If companies purchase property in an area not zoned for that type of activity of the business, they may find out the hard way that they cannot use the property in the manner they would like to.

The zoning and land use regulations are subject to change so it is important to keep up to date prior to purchasing. However, companies may be able to obtain variances to the current regulations so they can still use the property for their business purposes in the wrong zone. There is a process for obtaining variances and the requests need to be approved by the local authorities prior to moving forward with the plan.

The regulations surrounding zoning and land use in Georgia can be complicated. It also varies from city to city. There also can be areas with a zone for a combination of different uses. It is important to understand all of the regulations before purchasing. While companies can request variances, those are not guaranteed and involve extra effort on the part of the company.