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Dealing with zoning disputes for your new business

You and your business partners have explored many corners of Florida, and you have finally found the ideal place to build and run your business. You have plans for a modern building with all the amenities to maximize the success of your company and draw clients and talented employees from near and far.

While you believe you have followed the rules related to commercial property in the area, you are surprised to learn that someone has filed a complaint against you with the zoning board. Do you know how to handle such complaints and what your best options are to avoid jeopardizing the plans for your new venture?

Heading off a fight

Perhaps neighboring businesses believe your new building will be too tall, residential property owners fear your signage will interfere with the aesthetic of the area, or environmental groups worry that your plans include inadequate methods of dealing with waste or toxic matter. On the other hand, the zoning board in your Florida jurisdiction may have rejected your plans because the land you chose is not zoned for the use you propose.

Ideally, you would be proactive about any potential zoning issues by gathering as much support as possible from the community and other businesses. For example, perhaps your business will benefit the community by creating jobs or providing a much-needed service for the area. With community support, you may have more luck persuading the zoning board to rule in your favor, grant a variance or conditionally approve a permit.

Dealing with a dispute

Even with public support, you may have a difficult time obtaining the permit or zoning variance you need to continue with your commercial project. While taking your dispute to court may not be the ideal course of action, it may be the most effective way to obtain the rights to build or operate your business in the location you have chosen.

You can expect an appeal of the zoning board's decision to be time-consuming and complex. Because of this, it is wise to have skilled legal help every step of the way. An attorney who knows Florida zoning laws and has experience defending the rights of business owners in disputes with zoning boards can be of great assistance in helping you reach your goals and keep your project on track.

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Barker Cook

501 East Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 1040
Tampa, FL 33602

Phone: 813-489-1001
Fax: 813-489-1008
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