If You Sell Property that is Granfathered in a Zoning Ordinance Does it Remain Grandfathered?

Full Question:

if you have property that has a grandfather status and is presently a business if you sell does it still remain grandfathered to the next owner?
06/30/2010   |   Category: Zoning   |   State: Michigan   |   #22523

Answer:

A grandfather clause typically applies to a business that has been in business since a specified date. The change or suspension of business operations may make the grandfather clause inapplicable. The answer will depend in part on the wording of the zoning regulation and whether any applicable permits or licenses lapsed.

It may be possible to petition for a special use permit or variance. The most common way of providing relief from the provisions of a zoning ordinance is through the granting of a variance. This is an authorization to use land or to operate a business in a way that would otherwise be prohibited by the zoning ordinance. It is also used to give relief from, or permit reduction of, one or more requirements of the ordinance as applied to a particular site.

An appeal is usually made by the completion and filing of an appeal form as required by local procedures, and should include the specific reason for the appeal. The appeal may be brought by a person (the property owner, lessee or option holder) aggrieved by the refusal of the building inspector or designated administrative officer to approve an action, or by a person aggrieved because another person’s proposal was approved, or by a person who has been cited for a violation of the zoning regulations.

I suggest contacting the local zoning board or land use commission, or having a local attorney review all the facts and documents involved.

For further discussion, please see:

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/californiastatecases/d032327.doc