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The specialized topic of variances in the zoning universe

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2019 | Land Use & Zoning

Entrepreneurs and established business owners are always on the lookout for attractive business opportunities across the Atlanta metro area. Understandably, they sometimes envision a property use in a given location that is not tightly aligned with the types of businesses being run in the surrounding area.

That could be a problem. Alternatively, and with help from established land use attorneys, a so-called zoning “variance” might be obtained from municipal authorities that enables the creation of a non-conforming business.

That will rest upon the details.

Traditional zoning laws in urban locales are typically comprehensive and complex schemes that seek to group similar properties together in a manner that best promotes community cohesion and development. That often results in a blueprint that segregates residential, business and industrial sectors.

Sometimes a would-be developer has a bona-fide business idea that arguably promotes the public good despite not being in lock step with the precise zoning requirements of a select area. That can in some instances defeat a plan, but not always. Zoning boards have processes in place for considering business variances that a property owner/manager can invoke to gain approval for a requested change.

Those processes can be — in fact, typically are – anything but casual affairs. A variance request customarily requires a written application, payment of fees, a public hearing, a requirement for a petitioner to present evidence and additional exactions.

Proven real estate attorneys with a demonstrated record of advocacy on behalf of claimants in land use matters can help a client secure a variance that allows for deviation from existing zoning mandates.

Dealing with government regulators can be a material challenge. Being successful in that endeavor, though, can open up a world of business possibilities. Seasoned attorneys from an experienced real estate law can provide further information.


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