rezoning property

How to Rezone a Property: Step by Step Guide

Zoning is a set of regulations that dictate how land should be used and modulate what can be done with a piece of property. Zoning is regulated by the Local County or municipality. The land is often zoned for residential, commercial, industrial, or Agricultural use.

Real estate investing is full of creativity. As a landowner, you might find the urge to change the use of your land to suit a potentially valuable opportunity.  Maybe you want to establish a business near your residential home or conduct a residential subdivision. This is called rezoning.

The procedure of rezoning is tedious and costly but can make your land more valuable or give you a chance to subdivide your land and develop it. Before rezoning, here are a few factors to consider:

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Factors to consider before rezoning

#1: Fees

To get the process started you must do an application and pay a specific fee. The fee amount varies depending on your municipality.

#2: Reasons for rezoning

You are required to tell the respective planning officials your exact intention for rezoning. The reason provided will either build your case or break it.

#3: The effect on surrounding properties

The impact your plan will have on the surrounding is taken into consideration. If harmful or hazardous in any way your request to rezone is denied.

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Steps to follow when rezoning a property

#1:  Establishing the zoning category of the locality you are interested in

Find out from your local planning municipality the zoning category of your area. If it is:

  1. Residential zoning- This means the land in that area can only be used to build single-family homes, duplexes, trailer parks, and condominiums. The type of business that can be established in this area is restricted.
  2. Commercial zoning-any other real estate property apart from single-family homes and lots can be developed in this neighborhood. They include apartments, shopping centers, offices, and even nightclubs.
  3. Industrial zoning- In such zoning, you are likely to get factories and storage facilities.
  4. Agricultural zoning- Most land use in this area is for agricultural use. Nonfarm land use is limited.
  5. Mixed-use zoning- It allows a combination of any of the above zoning categories.

#2:  Find out if your plans with your property concur with the zoning in your area.

Determine how you want to use your property and compare whether it rhymes with the zoning in your locality. You can also check whether any major changes have happened around your property. This can be population growth, a newly constructed road, or a sewer line to back up the rezoning plan.

You might need the assistance of an attorney or real estate agent in this step.

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#3:  Gain an understanding of your local zoning rules

The diversity of zoning rules from one area to another has made the process of rezoning a difficult one. Check on your local planning website or visit their offices to check on the existing zoning map and see how your property is zoned.

The officer in charge will answer all your concerns and advise you whether your property can be rezoned.

#4:  Convince your neighbors

It is good to inform your neighbors of the plans underway on your property in order to get their opinions and address any concerns if they arise.  This will mitigate any conflicts that may arise in the future. They have the power to stop you from your rezoning plans. Therefore, it is advisable to have them on your side.

#5:  Tender your application

Visit your local planning department and request an application to petition for rezoning. When filling your application you need to indicate the existing zoning classification and the want you want to convert it to.

You will also indicate the current land use and an elaborate explanation of your new different plans for the property. Find out the supporting documentation you will need to accompany your application. This can include maps, surveys, and the property title deed.

Lastly, pay your application fee and submit your application within the agreed time frame.

#6:  Prepare and wait for a review of your application

In this stage, the planning officers in charge will carry out an onsite inspection of the property. This is your opportunity to convince them about your plan. Meet them at your property and extensively explain your proposal. Give them any requirements they might ask for.

They will also evaluate the impact of your plans on the neighboring properties.  Inform them that you have already held a discussion with your neighbors and factored in their concerns.

After checking on your plan’s effect on public services and the existing municipal rules and long-term plans, they will suggest their modifications on the plan if any. Take them positively and change as per their recommendations.

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#7:  Planning commission meeting

The moment the planning team is done with its analysis it forwards it to the planning commission whose responsibility is making recommendations to the legislative body.

This being a public meeting it is advisable to attend and answer any questions that may come up. The commission will then vote to recommend or decline your application.

#8:  Attend a legislative body meeting

Lastly, your case is presented to the local legislative body for a public hearing and a vote to be conducted. At this meeting you still have a window to speak, therefore use it to your advantage and make your case. If you are convincing enough and the vote goes well then you can successfully rezone your property. If not you can still file an appeal with your city council.

Final thoughts

Clearly, the rezoning process is long, but to others, it becomes beneficial by creating investment opportunities other investors can’t see. For the process to end victoriously, familiarize yourself with your local laws on rezoning and follow the steps diligently.

Be great today,

Nick Foy, Founder |

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