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Zoning considerations in Maryland

When a business is considering the purchase of commercial real estate, it is important to research the applicable zoning in the area in which the property is located prior to making any offers. If the property is located in a zone that forbids the type of desired business use, the purchase will end up being useless no matter how good the price for the property may be.

Zoning laws are in place to limit the types of uses and the types of buildings for properties located in given areas. There are different zones in urban and rural areas. In urban areas, some zones forbid the use of a property for any business purpose, designating it instead for residential uses only. Different commercial zones may limit the types of businesses allowed in specific areas of the city. Other commercial zones may have buildings that are zoned as historic ones, limiting the owner's ability to make certain types of improvements.

In rural areas, agricultural businesses may be limited to purchasing land in specified areas zoned for agricultural uses. Businesses that are raising and selling cattle may likewise need to locate property zoned for that type of specific allowable use.

Zoning should never be overlooked when a business is considering purchasing a piece of property for commercial use. Even if a property appears to be in a desirable location, if it is not zoned for the intended use then the acquisition will not be a good idea. Prior to a purchase of commercial real estate, businesses may benefit by seeking the assistance of a real estate law attorney who can research various areas and assist businesses with selecting a commercial property in an appropriate zone.

Source: Findlaw, "Types of Zoning", December 04, 2014

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