6 Reasons Buyers and Lenders need a Commercial Zoning Report
A current or prior change in the zoning designation of property raises complex issues. A zoning change could result in a loss of property value and lending value. Prospective buyers, lenders, bankers, real estate attorneys and title insurance companies must complete Zoning Due Diligence to analyze the risk associated with the commercial property in order to avoid costly problems in the future.
A zoning compliance permit will find out if the property is properly zoned for the nature of business that is planned. Zoning laws regulate nature of business, parking, waste disposal, signs, etc.. A zoning report lets property owners know what and how they can build on their property. The Planning and Zoning Resource Corporation will issue zoning endorsements related to property conformance of Property Use, Property Setbacks, Height, Density, Open Space and/or Lot Coverage, Landscape Buffers and Parking.
A Certificate of Zoning Compliance and a Building Permit must be obtained before beginning any construction, alteration or enhancement of the planned business site. Pre-existing property uses and structures may require legislative remedy. A building in existence at the time a new zoning law is adopted is said to be "grand-fathered" or "legally nonconforming" and cannot be declared "nonconforming" or in violation. If the legally nonconforming structure is destroyed beyond the threshold set forth in the Code, the owner may be allowed to rebuild only in accordance with present zoning laws.
Certain states require buyers to conduct a thorough due diligence. For example, New Jersey legally requires the buyer to conduct a thorough zoning due diligence investigation before purchasing or building a commercial property.
Lenders want to be sure that their loans are protected. Title insurers are in need of this information which enables them to write their Zoning Endorsements (where available). Zoning compliance has become an important factor on the closing checklist. Law and Ordinance Coverage consists of three separate coverage areas. Building Ordinance Coverage will cover the value of the undamaged portion of the building that must be demolished should the casualty exceed the percentage threshold set by the Rebuild Clause of the Code. Demolition Cost covers the cost to actually demolish the undamaged portion of the structure once it is declared a total loss. Finally, Increased Cost of Coverage provides the additional cost sustained in building to new code requirements such as windstorms, earthquakes, fire.
Local jurisdictions often change their zoning rules and ordinances. This might trigger a property to become noncompliant to current code and subject to future changes. Before purchasing any commercial property, consult the professionals at the Planning and Zoning Resource Corporation in order to conduct Zoning Due Diligence and prepare the commercial zoning endorsement, property conformance, zoning letter, zoning report, law and ordinance coverage, discover nonconforming property and analyze the risk associate with purchasing the commercial property.