4 Ways That Zoning Ordinances Can Benefit Your Business


Zoning ordinances are not generally on most people's minds. And when it is, those thoughts usually have to do with things a land owner is not allowed to do or build. But zoning actually does a lot to preserve and promote a good neighborhood for your business. How is zoning a useful tool, despite its challenging reputation? Read on to learn four of the important jobs it does.


1. Plans for the Future


Many business owners feel like zoning practices are all about denying their business plans. But, in fact, zoning is involved in trying to encourage growth of the right kind in a community. This is done by attempting to approve the highest and best use of land.


City planning offices might encourage one type of business use — such as retail and services — in a downtown area to promote regrowth and economic development in ways that will attract customers. They may encourage manufacturing, though, to parts of the city or county where development is lacking and it may boost jobs. Or an area may be reserved for agricultural use to promote a healthy balance. 


The good news about this focus on wise future planning is often good news for innovative business owners. That's because if you can build a good case for how your planned structure or land use will benefit those goals, you can often get waivers and approvals needed. You might even get grants or aid to help you complete the work. 


2. Protects Property Values


Your business and home is protected by good city or county zoning rules. How? Primarily, this is done by preventing other land owners and users from placing inappropriate structures or businesses in the area. If you purchased a scenic farm that you want to offer for agri-tourism, for instance, your property value would diminish greatly — even to the point of bankruptcy — if someone built a factory right next door. 


Zoning rules that attempt to protect existing and future property values can be the most challenging for anyone planning construction. These rules affect what type of signage you can add, how your building must appear, how tall structures can be, where the building is placed, and what its facade will look like. But keep in mind that once constructed, your new building will also be one of those whose value these rules try to protect. 

3. Ensures Access


Did you know that zoning requirements promote access for all? ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations stipulate how business must provide access for anyone with mobility issues. Your property might need to accommodate this with external ramps and accessible entrances or exits as well as walkway sizes and an appropriate number of handicapped parking spaces. 


Adequate access to your business helps you be more welcoming to customers. If city planning offices or local rules stipulate that you must have more parking spots, for instance, your customers may find it easier to patronize the business due to more comfortable transportation options. 


4. Provides Safety Measures


How is safety addressed by zoning ordinances? There are many ways. For example, local regulations establish how large or small buildings must be, improving good traffic flow without pedestrian conflict and space for people to safely exit in case of emergencies. It ensures that there are enough exits in all buildings and that evacuation routes are sufficient.


Good lighting, adequate walking space, and proper signage all contribute to safe use by customers of business properties. And setback rules along with parking limitations mean that emergency vehicles can move around unimpeded if there is a need for them. Many of these considerations may not seem particularly important, but they all add up to safe and secure business properties.


As you navigate the often complex process of getting zoning approval for new business construction or renovations, keep in mind that zoning rules can be a benefit to you and your future customers.


At Community Sciences Corporation, we understand the zoning process from beginning to end. We can be your partner in getting the approvals you want and moving forward with your business plans. Call today to make an appointment with a land use professional.  

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