What California businesses should know about zoning

Taking the necessary steps to start a new business or move a business into California can be difficult, especially if an individual does not understand all the laws and regulations that may govern their operations. In Oakland, business entities must conform to state and local rules regarding how the properties they select for their businesses are used and what types of operations they are zoned for. Therefore, land use and zoning are important matters for all business owners to understand.

This review of land use and zoning provides a good starting point for individuals with general questions about how these issues may impact their businesses. Deeper knowledge about land use and zoning can be sought from California attorneys who can provide their clients with case-specific help.

Zoning, generally

When a city plan is developed, it often embraces an organization that groups similar businesses and entities together. For example, restaurants and shops may be located together in a central part of the city. Heavy industrial or agricultural enterprises may be in more remote locations. Houses and housing units may be separated from businesses or may exist in work-live areas.

At its heart, this intention is zoning. It helps keep loud manufacturing businesses out of single family home neighborhoods and smelly farms and processing plants away from places where people live and eat. By keeping similar entities together, a more balanced approach to a community can form.

Picking a site, understanding its zoning

When a business owner begins the process of selecting a site for their enterprise, they must consider the zoning rules for their prospective locations. That is because zoning tells a property buyer what they can and cannot do on their land. A farmer may be out of luck if they buy land zoned for residential use with the purposes of running a farm on it, and a person looking to buy land to build their home on may be unable to construct their residence in a zone for commercial use.

In some cases, property owners can ask their communities to grant exceptions to zoning to allow them to exercise nonconforming uses on their land. The process of seeking an exception can be extensive, and not all individuals who seek to work around existing zoning rules are successful.

In the end, zoning has a purpose but can cause landowners to run into challenges when their intended uses conflict with regulations in place. To learn more about zoning, exceptions, and land use, interested readers are encouraged to discuss their questions and needs with their trusted real property attorneys.