Business Zoning Requirements on Renovations
UPDATED: June 19, 2018
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Zoning laws and building codes are designed to encourage good business practice and to ensure safety during renovations. When a change is made in standard building practice, or when technology evolves, the zoning laws may change and evolve with it. Likewise, if a practice that was thought to be safe later appears to create problems, the zoning law can also change to reflect what has been learned about building.
Stricter Zoning Standards Apply to Business
The most likely reason a business owner must meet stricter zoning requirements when renovating his building from a grocery store to an auto shop like the shop down the stree, is because the zoning laws changed. A variety of requirements imposed by state and local zoning regulations can be altered over time, and the new business must comply with the changes. On the other hand, if the regulations changed when someone was already operating at a certain location and the existing business did not change the way it was functioning, it would be "grandfathered in", and allowed to continue operation without making any changes to comply with the new zoning restrictions. It would be unfair to change the zoning requirements after the business was operating as is. It can seem difficult or burdensome to comply with all these zoning standards, but it can often be to the owner's benefit in the long run. By complying with all of the new building codes and requirements, the business is creating a safer place for its workers and customers. This can protect the owner from workers' compensation claims or lawsuits.
If you are concerned about the zoning requirements imposed on you or your business, consult a lawyer about your legal options.