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What is residential zoning, and does it affect my home business?

When you want to build a home or run a home business, you need to make sure you have the right to build on the particular property. Most land falls within a certain zoning category. Here are a few you should know.

Residential zoning means that you can build residential structures on the land. That includes a number of different residential facilities ranging from apartment complexes to single-family homes. Even mobile homes being on the property require residential zoning. Very interestingly, you need to understand the animals allowed on your property based on the zoning laws, or you could be in violation of the zoning regulations. For example, if you want to have an exotic animal, you'll need to make sure it isn't subject to a number of requirements or regulations. Farm animals, for example, are subject to special requirements, so you may need a permit.

Can you run a business out of a residentially zoned property?

It usually depends on the kind of business you're going to run. For instance, if you are a freelancer working from home, there is likely no problem with that. However, if you have employees or will invite customers into your home, then that could pose a problem. Every zoning ordinance is different; some restrict the kinds of businesses you can run, while others state you can have no businesses in your home at all.

Your attorney can help you look into your specific zoning laws to determine if your home business is legal. If not, you may be able to request a change to zoning laws or a permit to do what you'd like on your property.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Zoning," accessed Feb. 24, 2017

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