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Businesses and zoning in California

Los Angeles businesses may be uncertain of what zoning is or why it is important to them. It is highly important for businesses to make certain that the zone for their intended property allows them to conduct their operations as they intended.

The Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning indicates that zoning is intended to accomplish a variety of purposes, such as to make certain the public stays safe and to regulate the manner in which different properties may be used. If a business wishes to develop a specific piece of property or use a location for a specific purpose, it is important that it first researches the applicable zones for the area.

If the property is not zoned in a manner that is desired, the business may apply for a zone change on its property. The proposed change must be consistent with the general plan for the area and compatible with land uses around it. Businesses that need to apply for a zone change may do so by submitting a zoning permit application along with a zone change burden of proof and a fee. Proposed changes will then be scheduled for a hearing at which the applied-for change will either be granted or denied.

It is vitally important for businesses to fully investigate any zoning issues for an intended location prior to signing a lease. By doing so, they may avoid costly lease disputes and real estate litigation. If a business signs a lease or purchases a property, only later to find out that it is not zoned forits intended use, it can potentially lose significant sums of money. People may benefit by seeking the help of an attorney when they are preparing to enter into a commercial real estate transaction.

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