What do I need to do to turn a residential property into a commercial property in a mixed zoning district?

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What do I need to do to turn a residential property into a commercial property in a mixed zoning district?

What do I need to do to turn a residential property into a commercial property in a mixed zoning district? I’m considering purchasing a home on a fully commercial street (businesses are to my immediate left and right, and throughout the entire street). I’d like to know what steps I need to take to make this happen. What permits do I need, etc.?

Asked on June 22, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a Tennessee lawyer, and this is one area where law and procedure can differ quite a bit from one state to another. The exact wording of the local zoning ordinance is probably important, as are the other detailed facts of the situation.  One place to find an attorney who can help sort all this out for you is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Typically, zoning restrictions deal with both permitted and prohibited uses, and with physical characteristics like lot size and width, how far from the road the building has to be, and how many parking spaces are required or permitted for a particular business use.  If the commercial use is one of those permitted for the district, that's one major obstacle you won't face, probably, unless there are issues with the physical characteristics.  You might be able to get a quick read on this from the town's zoning officer or other official, but that's not always reliable. I would recommend very strongly that you work this through with a lawyer before you sign.


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