Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

Seeking a zoning exception or variance in Cleveland, part 1

As any developer can tell you, bringing a successful commercial real estate project to fruition is all about problem-solving. Your first problem is finding a property that you want to build on. And then you have a whole host of other problems that involve financing, construction, sales and so on. And one of the major hurdles you will have to clear is getting permission from local governmental agencies to perform construction that adheres to the needs of your project.

As such, if you are building in Cleveland, it is critical that you fully educate yourself about all of the city's zoning ordinances that could be relevant to your project. Compare those ordinances to the specifications of your project and ask yourself if there is anything that prevents you from completing the project as planned. If it appears the answer is "yes," there are a couple of things you can do.

First, you want to consult with an attorney who is well-versed with the area's zoning regulations. The attorney can advise you on whether your plans fall within the city's guidelines. But if ordinances exist that prohibit you from doing something important, you are not necessarily out of luck.

It is possible to seek an exception or variation on the ordinance that is causing the problem. To do this, you file for an appeal with the Board of Zoning Appeals. The board is comprised of five members who will review your appeal.

As would be the case with any sort of hearing, it is vital that you are prepared to make your case. The board looks at a variety of factors prior to rendering a decision. And having an experienced attorney on your side can be extremely beneficial. The attorney can help you demonstrate that the exceptions you are requesting are reasonable, safe and even beneficial for the area in which you are building.

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Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC
5910 Landerbrook Drive, Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44124

Toll Free: 800-233-4079
Phone: 440-446-1100
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