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Understanding zoning laws for commercial property is essential

If you’re a commercial real estate investor in Washington, knowing how you can use your property is vital. Following zoning regulations and ordinances must be done to ensure you are staying within legal guidelines. When purchasing property, it’s essential to perform due diligence on the area. This action helps ensure your intentions for the property comply with local laws. Unfortunately, legal problems can occur if you fail to perform this investigation. Here are some examples of challenges you may find yourself in if you buy a property before knowing how it can be used:

Building height

Buying commercial property with the intention of changing the height of any buildings should be carefully scrutinized before committing financially. Doing so can help you avoid a zoning dispute associated with the size of the building. These concerns are often due to safety hazards or obstruction of a view by another property owner.


If you intend to create an area for parking on a commercial property after purchasing it, you may run into a zoning dispute regarding your legal use of the property. Typically, there will be concerns regarding the parking area’s proximity to residential property.


Putting up signs on your commercial property can also be scrutinized legally. Concerns regarding safety and appearance are often involved in disputes. When a sign is large, neighboring residents may feel like it doesn’t look good.


Another factor requiring you to perform due diligence on commercial property you’re intending to purchase is associated with setback. When a building gets too close to residential property, it may negatively affect the area aesthetically or physically. An example of a negative physical setback will occur if ventilation from a building causes problems in a residential area close to the building.


Several pollution-based problems can occur with a commercial property. If it’s being used for agricultural or industrial applications, it may produce an odor, noise or other adverse elements that causes concerns for a residential neighborhood in the area.

Identifying these commercial real estate risks and others before purchasing property can be vital. Failing to do so may require you to combat the situation legally.