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Challenging zoning laws could help you open your business

You've had your small business for a while, and one of the things you wanted with your new location was to be able to use it as both your home and commercial location.

You moved in while believing that the zoning was what you needed since the previous owner had done the same. What you didn't know at the time was that you would not be able to use the property in the same way as the past owner. Zones had changed in the city, but that owner had been "grandfathered" in place. So, are you out of luck?

You might not be. There are ways to challenge zoning laws and to request that you be allowed to use the property the way you want. For instance, you may request a variance, which is an exception to zoning regulations. You may also want to seek a conditional use permit so that you can perform your work so long as you abide certain conditions set by the city or other boards.

You can also ask for help from the community. Before you go to any kind of hearing, you should ask the neighbors if they'd be bothered by you having a business. Talk to them about your work and how it might impact them. They may not have any objections, which would help you, especially if you could get an oral or written petition to give to the judge or board you need to speak with.

Zoning laws and regulations can be tough, but with the right actions, you may be able to have your commercial business exactly where you want it.

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