When representing Buyers and Sellers, it is extremely important for Real Estate Brokers not only to know the zoning designation of a particular property, but to understand the community’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code.
Comp Plan – A community Comprehensive Plan (or Comp Plan), is a document that determines the community goals and aspiration in terms of community development. The Comp Plan usually dictates public policy in terms of transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing. A proper understanding of a community Comp Plan can give an indication of how the community is set to accept re-development and growth, and the direction that each community is aspiring to evolve into. This has an tremendous effect in the value of real estate.
Zoning Codes – Zoning is the municipality’s regulation of buildings and land uses in specifically designated areas. The zoning ordinances divide a municipality into districts (such as commercial, residential, historic, etc), and within each district, the municipality sets limits in size and height, density, permitted uses, minimum size of parcels, etc. Yet, within the regulatory documents lay hundred of exceptions and opportunities. Buyers and Sellers of Real Estate property must be made aware of these potential limitations, but also of the multiple opportunities embedded within the codes.