Understanding property zoning laws is crucial for property owners. After all, zoning regulations can affect you in different ways, so it’s important to know what you can and cannot do with your property. In addition, some property owners see opportunities for property rezoning, which reclassifies the land to fall into a new zone with new restrictions and land-use rights. If you want to learn more about property rezoning and how it works, just keep reading.
Contents of This Article:
- What Is Zoning and Property Rezoning?
- How Do You Change Property Zoning?
- Can Property Rezoning Increase the Value of Your Investment?
- Protect Your Properties With Professional Management
Although zoning laws are probably not the first thing on your mind when buying a rental property, they’re incredibly important. After all, land use laws can majorly affect what types of properties you buy and rent out. So read along as we go over everything property owners and property management companies in Philadelphia need to know about property zoning and rezoning.
What Is Zoning and Property Rezoning?
Zoning laws are specific regulations that determine how properties can or cannot be used. Each property, no matter where you are, has particular usage rights. For instance, you can’t build an apartment building just anywhere. You have to make sure it’s permitted under the current zoning law.
The local government regulates and develops land, breaking it down into multiple “zones” to help balance a city and ensure proper land use. In other words, zoning laws provide value to citizens and protect local environments. Generally, zoning districts include residential, commercial, and industrial categories, each with different rules and land-use regulations.
Generally, zoning laws affect land use, building heights, density, and other aspects of land use. That said, if an investor sees an opportunity requiring property rezoning, they must petition to change the law. Next, let’s go over why you might petition to have the land rezoned for new or renovated properties.
Why Change the Zoning of a Property?
Property owners generally change zoning because an opportunity arises. For instance, you may want to purchase several rentals and develop a residential subdivision. However, if you wish to build a new rental property or convert an office building to an apartment, you have to check your local zoning laws.
That said, each area is different when it comes to zoning. For instance, every city, town, or county with zoning has various permits, laws, and restrictions–even cities right next to each other.
As such, if you come across an opportunity that isn’t permitted by your local zoning laws, you have to petition to have the law changed. And unfortunately–property rezoning is a long and complicated process. So next, we’ll go over how to change the zoning.
How Do You Change Property Zoning?
Since zoning is done with the community and environment in mind, it can be challenging to make changes to certain areas. For instance, these laws help ensure industrial zones are safe distances from residential areas and ensure proper land use throughout each community.
Some cities or counties decide to rezone some portions of land to develop new communities and residential areas. However, if you want to change zoning laws or local regulations, you must submit an application to petition for rezoning. Here are the main steps you’ll go through to change zoning laws:
- Learn local zoning laws and regulations
- Find out if your investment plan will work within the zoning category
- If it doesn’t, submit an application to petition for rezoning
- Wait for the zoning board to review your application
- Attend a public hearing
- Wait for legislative action to take place
As you can see, the first step is determining the existing zoning classification and how you want to change it. That said, you have to consider the cost of applying for rezoning, as there are generally fees for applying for rezoning. Then, once you submit an application, it can take several months for the zoning board to review it. After all, you must provide detailed plans on why and how you’ll rezone a property.
Once you submit your reasoning, officials will evaluate and determine how your rezoning plans may impact the community. For instance, if your plans may have a negative effect on the community or nearby properties, they’ll likely get denied.
To get accepted, applicants must attend public hearings, meet with the zoning board, and wait for full public approval. Unfortunately, this process takes a significant amount of time and effort.
How Long Does It Take to Change the Zoning?
Property rezoning can take a long time, depending on where you are. First, you must spend time researching your current laws and your vision for property rezoning. Then comes the application process, which can take several months for the zoning board to review and approve or deny.
Overall, with all of the research, planning, meetings, and approvals, the entire process can take anywhere from six to 48 months. However, it depends on your location, community, and zoning laws. Ultimately, it’s best to research your local area and current zoning regulations before proceeding with an application.
Although the process is long and complicated, property rezoning can be beneficial for some investors. Read along as we discuss how rezoning can increase the value of an investment property.
Can Property Rezoning Increase the Value of Your Investment?
Yes, rezoning a property can potentially increase the value of an investment property. For instance, perhaps you find an old office building to convert into apartments. This could be a great investment opportunity but could be impossible due to zoning laws.
After all, there are several laws and regulations regarding land and property used for residential, commercial, and industrial areas. For example, commercial zoning laws affect units like office buildings, shopping centers, and hotels. At the same time, residential zones include single-family homes, apartments, condos, and more.
So, if you find a residential property opportunity within a different land zone, you may consider property rezoning. Then, if your application and proposal are approved, you can proceed with your plan and capitalize on your investment. However, know that the process is long and rezoning is not guaranteed.
Protect Your Properties With Professional Management
Property rezoning may be a complicated process, but it’s worth it for some investors. After all, you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to expand your rental business. However, when you own any real estate or rental properties, you must consider how to manage them.
Need More Advice? contact us today!
That said, hiring professional property management can help ensure your rental business succeeds. Bay Property Management Group offers comprehensive management services for property owners, whether you own one rental or several.
Our dedicated property managers can help with tenant screening, rental maintenance, rent collection, and more. So, contact BMG today to learn more about our rental services in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC.