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What are some things that can affect land use and zoning?

The state of Georgia has specific laws regarding how certain areas of land are to be used. This can be said for every state, really. While land use and zoning regulations may vary in every state, there are some things that affect how property is allowed to be used, and these are issues that are common everywhere.

If a property is zoned for commercial use, it means that the governing body has decided that the location is where it wants shopping centers, hotels, restaurants and other businesses to set up shop. That is easy enough to understand. Sometimes, though, there will be questions about why certain areas are designated for commercial use and others are not. In order for a piece of property to obtain commercial zoning status, the zoning board has to look at things like parking availability, geographical location, proximity to other businesses and distances of nearby schools -- among other things.

Industrial zoning is much like commercial zoning. Here, though, the zoning board will look at the amount of land available and the types of businesses it wants on the land. Set-back and building height requirements may be required for this type of property, which can severely limit what companies can use industrial zone lots.

Then, of course, there are properties to which accessory and permitted uses apply. For example, a property may have commercial zoning status but it is not zoned to have a bar. If the owner of a hotel wants to build on the property and wants a bar attached to the hotel, that may be possible under accessory and permitted uses laws as it will serve as a part of the hotel, not as a standalone establishment.

There are many things that can affect land use and zoning in Georgia. Business owners can petition the zoning board in order to address any issues that arise. This, of course, can be done with the assistance of an attorney experienced in this complicated area of the law.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Zoning", Accessed on Aug. 30, 2017

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