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Zoning laws and businesses

Zoning is an important thing to consider when starting a business in Michigan. In many places, there are restrictions about what kind of business can be run from home, for example. It’s usually not possible to have heavy industry and residential tenants in the same building or even area of a city. Zoning is the term for how communities organize themselves and determine what goes where.

Why consider zoning?

Zoning is a way to keep communities organized and safe. Often, there are different fire code standards for different types of buildings. For example, densely populated apartment buildings may require fire escapes on upper floors. Zoning is also a way to encourage or discourage development within communities.

While communities want to attract businesses, they may not want factories that produce waste and fumes near homes and schools. In some de-industrialized areas, though, old warehouses and factories have become loft apartments. Communities can adapt zoning regulations as their needs change.

Zoning is controlled at several levels, including federal, state and even municipal law. Large cities like New York, Los Angeles and Detroit often have setback laws in place for big buildings, for example. This ensures that there’s room for utilities, that noise is not overpowering and that sunlight can reach the sidewalks.

Better understand the legalities

If you’re starting a business in Detroit, you need to know what to expect in terms of zoning restrictions for your new company. It’s a good idea to speak to a lawyer experienced in business law before launching. They may help you understand zoning in your area and work to find a location that meets your needs.