Before I ever approach an owner about buying an option on a property that would increase in value if it could be rezoned to a more profitable use, I first research the property to determine if it can be rezoned. The quickest way that I know to determine if a potential option property can be rezoned to a more profitable use is to contact both your local planning and zoning agencies. For example, where I live, both the city of Tampa and the county of Hillsborough have zoning counselors whose job is to guide residents through the rezoning process. I use the services of these public servants to help me research the property under consideration for purchase and advise me on the probability of my rezoning request being approved. The county also holds pre-submission conferences, where rezoning applicants can meet with staff representatives to go over their proposed zoning change. I then decide whether to pursue the property based on my research and the amount of resistance that a rezoning request would likely draw. I suggest that you do as I do and follow these nine steps to determine if a property can be rezoned to a more profitable use:
Step 1: Verify the zoning designation of the property.
Step 2: Review previous rezoning applications for the property.
Step 3: Review government moratoriums affecting the property.
Step 4: Review comprehensive land use studies that include the property.
Step 5: Verify the zoning designations of the surrounding properties.
Step 6: Review the rezoning application files for the surrounding properties.
Step 7: Review special zoning exceptions and variances for the surrounding properties.
Step 8: Review the rezoning application files of similar rezoning requests.
Step 9: Solicit comments about rezoning the property from the planning and zoning agency staffs.
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