Zoning Compliance Code: Do I Have the Right to Rebuild?

October 02, 2018

One of the most requested sections of the municipal zoning code is the right to rebuild in the event of casualty to a nonconforming structure. In this blog post, we will discuss what this is and why it is so important.

Municipal Zoning Code: Right to Rebuild?

The right to rebuild section of the zoning code notifies the informed parties if and how a building can be reconstructed if it is damaged or destroyed.

In a scenario in which a purchased property does not conform to the current zoning ordinance because, for example, it is grandfathered in, it may not be permitted to rebuild to the state it was before the casualty because it must now follow current zoning laws.

Cited examples include the following:

  • The existence of what was once a 50-foot building may now only be allowed to be 35 feet.
  • A structure that previously covered 70 percent of the lot is now only permitted to cover 50 percent of the lot.

To analyze the code further, it may state that it is acceptable to rebuild to the pre-existing state if the building is only damaged by 50 percent or less. More than 50 percent damage would require reconstruction to adhere to the current code. For the buyer and seller, it is important to have clear and accurate information in hand as relates to the right to rebuild when a property is transacting in the event of deconstruction, damage or future reconstruction.

What is a Commercial Real Estate Zoning Report?

A commercial zoning report is used to document the current zoning district, highlight what uses are permitted and outline the current requirements for that particular zone. The report then associates the requirements to what property conditions are shown on the land survey representing the property.

A standard Bock & Clark zoning report relays the right to rebuild provision as well as information on the following:

  • permitted uses
  • variances
  • special conditions
  • violations
  • occupancy
  • conformance

Bock & Clark provides this additional information to make you aware of both your property’s current condition and its potential improvement or reconstruction.

Bock & Clark is committed to making sure all of your zoning due diligence questions are answered. Interested in learning more about our standard zoning reports? Contact us for more information.