When making your first foray into commercial real estate in California, you may elect to construct a new property in order to be one of the first to enter into a lightly developed area. This requires, however, that you have a strong understanding of local zoning regulations.
Many come to us here at Goodkin APC expecting to gain easy approval for their proposed property, only to later learn that their plans often come into conflict with the intended use of the land. To avoid this, you should familiarize yourself with the commercial opportunities local laws allow for.
Different types of commercial zones
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning, there are several different types of commercial zones. Restricted commercial zones allow for most commercial services, while neighborhood commercial and general commercial zones extend those uses to include rental, tailor shops and outdoor advertising, and secondhand stores, respectively. Commercial highway zones permit professional office space, financial services and parks and playgrounds, while commercial manufacturing areas allow for just that. Commercial planned development allows for most other non-residential restricted commercial services, while commercial recreation zones alott land for various types of recreational services. Each respective type of zone specifies certain allowable features, such as:
- Exterior displays
- Outdoor storage
- Building height
Zoning variances and conditional use permits
What happens if the area you wish to build a commercial property on is not zoned for your desired use? You can seek a zoning variance, which allows for a waiver of development standards. However, officials often do not grant variances for properties not otherwise allowed in a particular zone. An easier option may be to seek a conditional use permit, which allows for certain uses which may not precisely fit into a certain zone.
You can find more information on commercial property regulations throughout our site.