Could Zoning Issues Stop Your New York or New Jersey Business Cold?

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When selecting a business operation location for your New York or New Jersey business, there are a number of important factors to consider.

While issues like cost, visibility, and convenience often make it to the top of the list, many business owners often neglect one area that could make or break the business—zoning.

Since securing zoning changes and/or variances are often costly and time-consuming, it is important to fully understand the zoning uses and any restrictions affecting a property before you sign any binding document, whether it is a commercial lease or a purchase and sale agreement. You do not want to discover after the fact that your proposed use of the property is restricted or prohibited altogether.

It is important to do your own zoning investigation and due diligence and not to rely on what the landlord or seller tells you. The previous business may have been unknowingly violating local zoning laws, may have obtained a variance, or may have received a “grandfather” exception when a new zoning law was passed which makes the continuing use non-conforming. These issues are important because certain activities on the property, including but not limited to the intensity of a non-conforming use may result in a loss of a previously permitted use.

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