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How do commercial, industrial and residential zoning differ?

If you've looked into purchasing or renting a piece of land or real estate, then you've likely seen where it's been listed as being zoned "R," "C," or "I". These stand for residential, commercial or industrial. There are other designations such as agricultural, rural and historic zoning as well. An owner may be restricted on how they can use their property based on how it's zoned.

Commercial zoning

Hotels, shopping centers, bars, apartment buildings and warehouses are just some types of properties that may be zoned as commercial ones. Whether they receive a "C" designation is contingent upon what type of business that is being done there and how many customers frequent the property.

Any land that has the potential of having one of these types of establishments built on it may also qualify to zoned as commercial. A property's zoning may be impacted by whether it's located near other businesses and how much parking it has as well.

Industrial zoning

Airports, storage facilities and manufacturing plants all generally fall under the industrial zoning category. Whether a property receives an "I" designation is largely contingent upon what type of operation is ongoing there. One of the factors that distinguishes "C" from "I" designated properties is that industrial ones tend to have environmental factors, such as noise, at play.

Residential zoning

Trailer parks, condominiums, houses and some apartments fall within areas that may be zoned as residential. Zoning can impact how many properties can be placed on a certain piece of land, what types and how many animals can be housed there or whether a mobile home can be set up on it.

Residential zoning regulations may also restrict a homeowner from setting up certain home-based businesses on their premises, how they can advertise themselves or how many employees that they can have.

If you own a property and fail to use it in accordance with local regulations, then you not only may be forced to close up shop but face fines for doing so. An Augusta residential real estate closings attorney can verify that your property's zoning matches your intended use of it before you finalize your purchase of it.

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