Many people may ask – does Florida have zoning? Indeed, the Sunshine State has several legal parameters for construction and real estate development. 

Accordingly, any seasoned real estate developer knows that building a property in Florida requires much attention to zoning rules and regulations. 

This article will discover the essential rules and regulations concerning zoning when building a property in Florida

Zoning Assessment in Florida

Several zoning ordinances in Florida define how someone can use properties in specific geographic zones. When building a property, a developer/contractor must check the zoning ordinances to see the allowable uses for distinct zoning districts.

Commonly, properties’ allowable uses can appear listed as “Conditional use” or “Permitted use.” The term “Conditional use” refers to a zoning area subject to local government review. In contrast, “Permitted use” areas are allowed for construction and real estate development. 

Zoning and land regulations vary according to each industry, which means entrepreneurs must understand the specific zoning law in the area where they are planning to open a business.

Typically, zoning limitations include square footage, size, and height allowed for a building/construction. 

Florida Zoning Regulations – Land-Use Restrictions

Land use is an essential aspect of zoning in Florida. According to state zoning law, land classifications into particular districts include industrial, agricultural, commercial, residential, and recreations.

Additionally, it is possible to break down each classification into different prongs. For example, mixed-use zonings that include work-live areas with residential properties co-existing among manufacturing and small-scale commerce. 

Each type of business has an applicable zoning map. Commonly, anyone could find such maps online. Still, if you cannot find them, it is possible to request a copy from the local planning government. 

Florida Zoning Regulations – Potential Issues

Although the purpose of zoning is to regulate and control land to ensure complementary uses, zoning regulations and restrictions can become a burden for property owners on some occasions. 

It is not uncanny to find a property owner that cannot use his/her land for a particular purpose. For example, sometimes, an entrepreneur cannot open a business in a zoning area due to zoning limitations for a specific business niche (e.g., chemical industry). 

In this context, it is still possible for entrepreneurs to try and find an exception to zoning rules, either by qualifying for a zoning variance or non-conforming use of land. Also, it is possible to apply for a zone change, although it may be a complex process. 

Zoning Variance in Florida

A zoning variance is an exception to certain zoning ordinance requirements when it is unusually difficult for a property owner to remain compliant. 

Hence, zoning variances permit property owners to waive specific zoning rules if they can prove that it is virtually impossible to comply with them due to uncommon reasons. For example, something unusual is when there is not enough land available to buy at a reasonable cost to create a parking lot for a business.

Also, the non-conforming use of the land happens when the purpose assigned for a piece of land precedes the current land-use regulations. 

For instance, land-use is non-conforming when a specific zoning area changes from industrial to residential. As a result, the activity in a building no longer conforms with the current zoning classification.

In many cases, it is not fair when a company possesses a property compliant with zoning regulations and had to relocate after changes in zoning laws. 

What is the Best Way to Deal with Zoning Regulations in Florida? 

As it is plain to see, there is a wide array of issues that may arise when you decide to establish a business in industrial or residential zoning.  

Getting the approval of the local government for a variance or a zone change requires a professional approach. Hence, it is crucial to work with an experienced lawyer to acquire a comprehensive assessment of the situation, ensuring full compliance with state law while protecting your rights. 

Waste no Time – Work with an Expert Real Estate Attorney from Jurado and Farshchian, P.L. 

Indeed, zoning law is crucial to ensure the regulation and control of land use. Still, many restrictions can also lead to stressful situations for those who do not know how to deal with it. 

Do not waste time and money when dealing with zoning regulations in Florida. Instead, call Attorney Romy B. Jurado Esq. today at (305) 921-0976 or schedule a consultation with one of our skilled real estate attorneys via email: [email protected].