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What is the difference between commercial and industrial zoning?

Whether you are buying, selling or participating in some other transaction involving a piece of real estate, the zoning is important. This is especially true for commercial real estate properties, where the land can only be used for certain purposes. While the average person may think that industrial and commercial zoning would be one and the same, given that they both involve nonresidential land, this isn't actually the case.

Commercially zoned areas are generally reserved for businesses that have some kind of interaction with the public. These may be offices, retail stores, restaurants or bars. Commercial zoning can also include hotels and apartment complexes. The latter can get confusing for some because people are residing in the apartments, but it is the fact that the apartment complex itself is a business that makes it commercial. Important factors in commercial zoning include how much parking is available and how close the establishment is to religious buildings or schools.

Industrial zoning is also commonly used for areas involving businesses, but this land is more for the manufacturing or packaging side. Some common buildings in industrially zoned areas include storage facilities, plants and even airports. Industrial zoning is concerned with how much noise the establishment is going to produce, any environmental concerns for the surrounding area and how much land the buildings will take up.

Problems with zoning can turn a simple real estate transaction into a complicated issues quickly. Having a business and commercial law attorney to help you make sense of any paperwork or needed documentation and to represent your best interests can help you during this time.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Zoning," accessed May. 12, 2015

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