It is often advantageous for real estate developers to have properties they purchase rezoned to fit the vision they have for a property. Unfortunately, local governments and citizens do not always share the same vision as the developer. The discrepancies that arise as a result have led the rezoning process to become quite cumbersome, and in some cases, downright painful. There is, however, hope for developers who are willing to reach out to the community and patiently follow the steps required to have their property rezoned.
In Bryan, TX, for example, a developer (or individual) wanting to have their property rezoned must first fill out a “Rezoning Application” and submit it to the Bryan Department of Development Services. The minimum requirements for submission to the department include:
- $300.00 application fee,
- Metes and Bounds description of property, and
- a completed and signed application form.
In the application, the developer is given the opportunity to describe the reasons for their rezoning request, the changing conditions in the area which make the zoning change necessary, whether or not the change is in accordance with the Future Land Use Plan, and any other reasons the developer wishes to include.
Once they have applied for rezoning, it often helps for a developer to reach out to the public. Placing informational ads in local newspapers and/or magazines is a good way to do this. If the rezoning proposal is drastic, one that would affect a large portion of the community, holding an open forum to allow anyone with questions or concerns an opportunity to voice them is often advisable. This demonstrates the developer’s willingness to consider the wishes of the community while providing a venue to clearly present the benefits of the proposed zoning change.
Different local governments have varied requirements regarding public involvement. Some insist that a public forum be held, while others only require that public notice be made. In other areas, no public notice may be required at all. The developer should research the local governing body’s requirements before attempting to have property rezoned.