What is Zoning in Real Estate?

A successful real estate venture is dependent on many variables, but the importance of zoning should not be overlooked. Zoning refers to the process of municipalities segmenting their land into “zones,” permitting and prohibiting how these zones may be used by real estate developers. By designating land for certain uses (for example, residential or commercial), zoning enables cities and municipalities to promote economic development, avoid traffic congestion, and protect residential areas from noise pollution, among other things. 

Understanding how zoning works in commercial real estate is essential to lenders, developers, and investors. Failing to conform to existing zoning ordinances can have disastrous consequences, including expensive and time-consuming  delays, the need to renovate properties endlessly to bring them up to code, and, in the worst case scenario, having to abandon a commercial real estate investment entirely.

Customized Solutions from Armada Zoning Reports

Zoning report companies exist in commercial real estate so that lenders, developers, and investors can develop a plan of action when it comes to their properties. At Armada Analytics, we offer our clients bespoke zoning reports that address their specific needs based on our deep understanding of the zoning ordinances governing more than 3,500 municipalities across the United States. 

What is a bespoke zoning report example?

Like a tailored suit that perfectly fits the contours of your body, Armada’s Zoning Division directly addresses your property’s unique fit, breaking down the complexities of a municipality’s specific zoning requirements into a digestible summary. A feature of our standard zoning report, the Right to Rebuild Summary cuts through the bureaucratic red tape and gives you the customized solution you need. As the sample zoning report here shows, we let you know what renovation needs to be done and how long you have to make a particular renovation to any nonconforming aspect of your property. 

Your Right to Rebuild summary is part of your property zoning report’s Executive Summary, which is unique to Armada’s Zoning Division’s when compared to other zoning report companies. As you can see from the zoning analysis example above, we provide a thorough analysis of nonconforming aspects of your property, but also offer an executive summary that enables you to move forward as quickly as possible with your deal. Our “At A Glance” report highlights all the key information about the property and your deal so you don’t have to dig through to find answers to important questions.

Another standout feature of our standard zoning reports for clients is our “Structural Reconstruction Stress Analysis,” which identifies the threshold of the most restrictive nonconforming aspects of your property, and determines the maximum number of units that can be rebuilt to achieve conformity.

Additional Commercial Real Estate Zoning Services from Armada

As a client you may require zoning services in addition to those covered in our standard report. Armada’s Zoning Division offers the following:

Streamline Zoning Report – A leaner version of our standard report without municipal documentation that can be expedited for faster delivery.

Permits & Approvals (P & A) Report – An analysis of the local, state, and federal permits and approvals required to construct and operate a property.

Zoning Renewal Report – Armada Zoning will work with municipalities across the country to confirm any changes to a property’s zoning requirements since your last report.

Document Retrieval – We will retrieve the documentation necessary for due diligence on your property, including Certificates of Occupancy.

Code Violation Resolution –  We will actively work with the municipality in which your property is located to resolve and close any outstanding zoning violations. 

Upcoming Commercial Property Zoning Solutions from Armada

At Armada, we are always looking for ways to better serve our clients. Beginning on March 22nd, 2022, we will add Closer-compatible XML Zoning Reports to any order placed after this date. Delivered as a single digital file, our zoning reports can be seamlessly uploaded as an XML file into Closer at the click of a keystroke. This will serve to increase the accuracy of Closer reports and save our clients valuable time in importing data. You don’t have to do anything to receive a XML zoning report—on March 22nd, they will simply be included with any zoning reports you order from Armada.

Additionally, we recently introduced VendorFlow, a software solution that coordinates all the vendors involved in the process of underwriting your commercial property from site inspectors to appraisers. Armada’s zoning services can be added on to your VendorFlow purchase ticket as an additional service to further expedite and enhance the underwriting process. 

For more information about our zoning services, get in touch with us. We’d be delighted to discuss how our zoning solutions can meet your specific needs.

Share this post


Head over to our contact page, fill in your information, and we'll be in touch soon.