Have you ever checked your local county or city clerk’s office to review your area’s zoning laws? Most people haven’t ever done so, but if you run a business out of your home it’s important that you know the local zoning laws. If your business is not in compliance, you could be put out of business.
Most communities establish zones or boundaries for commercial businesses, such as stores, and they also have set areas for residences. Local zoning ordinances may prohibit businesses from operating in certain residential areas. However, other ordinances may permit certain home-based businesses as long as the house is primarily used for residential purposes and the commercial activities don’t affect neighbors or the neighborhood.
If you are considering starting a home-based business or are already operating one, here are some tips to make sure you are compliant with local zoning laws:
- Obtain a copy of the local zoning ordinances from your city or county clerk’s office
- Obtain a copy of the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) for your subdivision or condominium. Your community may have rules regarding property use for home-based businesses. Often, these rules are more strictly enforced than the county or city zoning ordinances.
- Consult with an experienced real estate attorney to help you understand the ordinances, rules and their restrictions
- Don’t call the clerk’s office or the community association yourself requesting clarification or giving lots of details about your business, or you may find your business suddenly under investigation
If you have received a negative decision from your local planning board that your home business is not in compliance and must be shut down, an experienced Kansas City real estate attorney can help you appeal that decision. Our law firm can also help you interpret your local zoning ordinances and CC&Rs to ensure your compliance and help protect your business. Contact us.