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Author: FoolinSC Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 126964  
Subject: land zoning question Date: 9/29/2012 8:47 PM
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I've been presented with information and a possible opportunity to purchase a property for sale (3 acres with a 2400 sq ft modular home)that has supposed commercial potential in approx 5-10 years even though it is currently residential. The property is basically half of a street. It's located in an area of town that's growth has been exponential over the years. The seller is an ex gf of a friend of mine and I'm told she's desperate to sell it for personal reasons. The friend is telling me this with no expectation other than she believes this would be a great investment opportunity because it is sure to be worth a lot in 10 years because it's likely to be a commercial area at that time. It might be but who knows? I don't. Do planning commissions forcast these areas based on commercial growth? My question is, if I were to purchase this property, how does land like this go from residential zoning to commercial zoning? Would it be a scenario where someone could potentially want to purchase it years from now and then apply for a commercial rezoning for it or does the purchase of land in the area for commercial purposes change the zoning of the property due to there being other businesses around it and thereby the zoning commission rezones the property? I had a conversation about this with a friend of mine who's a realtor but he tells me that the planning commission is difficult to get answers from. Any information on this would be helpful.
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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124319 of 126964
Subject: Re: land zoning question Date: 9/29/2012 9:57 PM
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FoolinSC: "I've been presented with information and a possible opportunity to purchase a property for sale (3 acres with a 2400 sq ft modular home)that has supposed commercial potential in approx 5-10 years even though it is currently residential. The property is basically half of a street."

Literally one-half of a street, or is it all the property abutting one side of the street between two cross streets?

"It's located in an area of town that's growth has been exponential over the years. The seller is an ex gf of a friend of mine and I'm told she's desperate to sell it for personal reasons. The friend is telling me this with no expectation other than she believes this would be a great investment opportunity because it is sure to be worth a lot in 10 years because it's likely to be a commercial area at that time. It might be but who knows? I don't. Do planning commissions forcast these areas based on commercial growth?"

Do not know, and each is different, and may also vary because of state law differences.

"My question is, if I were to purchase this property, how does land like this go from residential zoning to commercial zoning?"

Someone applies to re-zone the land, there aer submissions, probably at least one hearing, and then eventually you get an answer. It is rare for re-zoning to occur on the order of the zoning board/planning comission, etc.

"Would it be a scenario where someone could potentially want to purchase it years from now and then apply for a commercial rezoning for it or does the purchase of land in the area for commercial purposes change the zoning of the property due to there being other businesses around it and thereby the zoning commission rezones the property?"

Yes. No. Someone buying the land for commercial purposes does not change the zoning.

"I had a conversation about this with a friend of mine who's a realtor but he tells me that the planning commission is difficult to get answers from. Any information on this would be helpful."

Zoning is niche. You need to speak to a lawyer or land planner who regularly appears before the applicable local entity and is successful.

Regards, JAFO

Disclaimer

Yes, I am a lawyer, BUT THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE; it is only general information. NO CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS INTENDED TO BE CREATED, NOR IS ANY SUCH RELATIONSHIP SO CREATED. FOR SPECIFIC LEGAL ADVICE YOU SHOULD TALK TO A LAWYER IN YOUR AREA.

PS - If you are lucky albaby might respond; I understand that he actually does zoning work.

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Author: Dwdonhoff Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124320 of 126964
Subject: Re: land zoning question Date: 9/30/2012 1:13 AM
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Hi FoolinSC,

I had a conversation about this with a friend of mine who's a realtor but he tells me that the planning commission is difficult to get answers from. Any information on this would be helpful.
I wouldn't simply take that statement whole cloth... local planning & zoning departments are generally quite friendly & forthcoming to the local citizens when being approached about potential development (and it makes sense for them to do so... hiding or obfuscating their regulatory guidelines would only eventually make their jobs harder.)

Give them a call, or drop in. I suppose there's always exceptions to the rule, *HOWEVER* I've always had a friendly reception by the planning & zoning people I've ever called. Even with really rookie, dumb, unsophisticated questions!!!

Luck!
Dave

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124321 of 126964
Subject: Re: land zoning question Date: 9/30/2012 9:29 AM
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Sure, it COULD get re-zoned to commercial, but it also might not, Change of use (especially from residential to commercial) is not assured, nor easy. I've done change of use from one commercial type to another for individual structures and it is time-consuming and expensive.

or does the purchase of land in the area for commercial purposes change the zoning of the property due to there being other businesses around it and thereby the zoning commission rezones the property?
No. the fact that you purchase a residential property, means you get the right to build residential structure(s) on it of a kind that meets zoning laws. You might WANT to build commercial, industrial or anything else on this lot, but what you want doesn't enter into it. You would want to be sure application for change of use was completed BEFORE you purchase it - as it might be refused and/or might never happen.

I'm told she's desperate to sell it for personal reasons.

You are being sold a bill of goods by someone who wants to unload this property.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124322 of 126964
Subject: Re: land zoning question Date: 9/30/2012 9:32 AM
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*HOWEVER* I've always had a friendly reception by the planning & zoning people I've ever called. Even with really rookie, dumb, unsophisticated questions!!!
I second this. An in-person meeting with the Planning/Zoning Board is the best place to start - not a realtor.

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Author: FoolinSC Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124323 of 126964
Subject: Re: land zoning question Date: 9/30/2012 11:50 AM
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Thanks for the info! I will give the planning commission a call this week.

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Author: Watty56 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124324 of 126964
Subject: Re: land zoning question Date: 9/30/2012 7:32 PM
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One thing to be sure to check into is if the right types of utilities will be in place for commercial development. That could be a reason for them not allowing it to be re-zoned, or it could make the land too expensive to convert to commercial use.

One concern that I would have is that it sounds like the property is along a busy road. If so then it makes me wonder that if it turns out to not be usable for commercial development then it might not be all that desirable location to for residential development.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124325 of 126964
Subject: Re: land zoning question Date: 9/30/2012 9:07 PM
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One thing to be sure to check into is if the right types of utilities will be in place for commercial development.
Yes. I often have to upgrade service when developing commercial property. Again, not cheap or fast.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124328 of 126964
Subject: Re: land zoning question Date: 10/2/2012 1:26 PM
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Do planning commissions forcast these areas based on commercial growth? My question is, if I were to purchase this property, how does land like this go from residential zoning to commercial zoning? Would it be a scenario where someone could potentially want to purchase it years from now and then apply for a commercial rezoning for it or does the purchase of land in the area for commercial purposes change the zoning of the property due to there being other businesses around it and thereby the zoning commission rezones the property? I had a conversation about this with a friend of mine who's a realtor but he tells me that the planning commission is difficult to get answers from. Any information on this would be helpful.

In addition to what everyone else said...most cities have a master development plan, which is probably available on the city website. That won't tell you specifically what is going to happen of course. But it will tell you what planners are thinking long term for that area.

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124329 of 126964
Subject: Re: land zoning question Date: 10/4/2012 11:30 AM
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I often have to upgrade service when developing commercial property. Again, not cheap or fast.

Not stress relieving either. I find it to be a pain the posterior.

xtn

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