Entrepreneurs and business owners in Minnesota are well known for their ingenuity. Many have found creative and lucrative uses for their real estate. Unfortunately, zoning regulations can sometimes interfere with how business owners choose to use their own property. Just because a certain usage falls outside of a zoning designation does not mean all is lost, though. Property owners can sometimes move forward with their plans through:
- Lawful nonconforming use
- Challenging zoning ordinances
It is possible to seek a zoning variance for a piece of property, either for the land usage or for structures built on the land. This usually requires demonstrating that conforming to the current zoning regulations would create an undue hardship on the owner. Lawful nonconforming use — sometimes known as continuing existing use — is appropriate when new zoning regulations do not line up with a property’s prior usage. A business owner who secures a lawful nonconforming use exception can continue business without interruption.
Challenging zoning ordinances
Exceptions are not always the smartest approach. In some situations, it is better to challenge the validity of a current or new zoning ordinance that limits land use in some capacity. This would affect not only the property owner’s zoning, but the zoning of the surrounding area as well.
A zoning designation can complicate a business owner’s plan for his or her property. Most Minnesota business owners are up for a challenge though, such as securing an exemption or challenging a zoning designation. These processes can be convoluted though, which is why those who choose this path often do so under the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney.