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When you’re working on a property, an important thing to keep in mind is that you need to be in accordance with the proper zoning laws in the area. There aren’t that many pieces of advice floating around out there on the internet, so this is a guide for how you can conduct your own zoning research. Here are some of the important things to do when looking into how to properly zone a property:

You’ll first need to look into the particulars of the city where your property is. Zoning codes change from city to city, so the identification of your property’s location is the first step. After you’ve done this, find a zoning map. You can usually do this either by locating it online or physically visiting the county clerk’s office to see their copy of the zoning map and get some assistance on how to properly interpret the zoning regulations (zoning maps can often be difficult to read or interpret). Depending on the size of the city where your property is located, there could be more resources to scrounge up. You could also give the county planning department a call to determine what zone your property is in, but this is generally ineffective in larger cities. If more resources are needed, plan for a physical visit.

Keep in mind that zoning restrictions also often contain restrictions on what you can and cannot construct on a certain site, so make sure to obtain information on that as well.

Now, some things to keep in mind:

If your property you are purchasing is already in violation of zoning regulations, you should ask for a Zoning Code Violation letter to ensure that this is still a part of the code. Cross-reference this violation letter with the current zoning regulations either on your own or with a county clerk. Then, once everything is said and done, make sure that you have a Zoning Verification Letter that is up to date with the current zoning regulations. Remember that no part of a property can be built upon, altered, or destroyed until a verified zoning document is obtained. After all, this is secured, provided there are no boundary disputes, your real estate development zoning research is done.