Now that you are starting a business here in New Jersey, you may be looking for the perfect piece of property for your venture. You may think that finding the right spot to give your business the best chance of success will be the most difficult part of the process.
Sadly, that may be yet to come. Once you find that piece of property, you will need to make sure that you can use it for your purposes. If you are new to commercial real estate transactions, you may not be familiar with the different types of zoning. In order to use the property you find for your business, you need to make sure that it's properly zoned.
Some property falls under commercial zoning
Depending on the number of customers and the type of business on the property, local officials may designate it as commercial. If you have one of the following types of businesses, you may need commercially zoned property:
- Office building
- Some warehouses
- Shopping center
- Some apartment complexes
Another factor that affects whether to consider a property commercial is the availability of parking. Local officials may also try to limit how close together similar businesses can be. Some establishments may be subject to further limitations. For instance, you wouldn't want an adult entertainment center or a bar near a school or church.
Some property falls under industrial zoning
Storage and manufacturing facilities fall under industrial zoning. Environmental factors such as noise play a role in zoning these businesses. Other factors such as building height and lot coverage also help determine whether officials designate a property as industrial. Airports often receive their own designation for obvious reasons.
Some property falls under residential zoning
The following structures are typically in areas zoned as residential:
- Apartment complexes
- Single family homes
- Suburban homesteads
- Trailer parks
Pretty much anywhere individuals live would fall under residential zoning. People living in these areas may have limitations as to what types of animals they may keep on their property. Officials don't ordinarily regulate birds, cats and dogs, but farm animals are. Some residential lots may allow farm animals, depending on the size of the property. In addition, there are ordinarily limitations regarding home-based businesses as well.
Some property falls under agricultural zoning
If you own an agricultural business, you may want to look for property falling under this zoning category. This type of zoning protects farmland from residential, commercial and industrial development overtaking it. Residences may exist on these lands, but only on larger lots in order to preserve the agricultural base. Some residential properties may fall under this zoning to allow horses and other farm animals.
Some property falls under historic zoning
Historic zoning aims to preserve buildings and homes that are at least 50 years old. The structures in these zones may require restoration and repair, but owners may not alter them. Owners of these sites may qualify for governmental tax incentives.
Some property falls under other zoning
It may be possible to zone a property for mixed uses such as a condominium mixed in with commercial businesses like restaurants, shops and a movie theatre. Some communities are now requiring that the entire zone adhere to certain aesthetic requirements. Hotels may have a bar on the premises even if the area's zoning does not support one.
Even though a particular property may have fallen into a certain zoning category up to this point, it does not necessarily mean it should continue to remain in that category. Zoning changes frequently, and if you want to see if local officials will allow you to change the zoning, such as from residential to commercial or mixed-use, a procedure for that exists in most places.