We have a farm property (primary residence) that is just outside of a quickly growing town. We are wanting to subdivide our property. We have opened zoned property right now and want to leave a section of it open zoned for our house. The other part we want to rezone to industrial/light industrial. I’ve been looking at the towns land use and comprehensive plan for the future and they have our property in industrial/light industrial. My goal would be to do storage and build shops for commercial rentals. I’m looking for any insight on the sub diving and rezoning process. We are located in the Colorado Front Range. I’m wondering if I should go through a land Lawyer or directly through the county office. Any input or recommendations on land lawyers is greatly appreciated.
Thank you Kindly, Steven
I would recommend contacting the County about your plan in order to speak with someone about the process. Even though you seem to be in alignment with their future use plan, this sounds like it would still be classified as "rezoning". Ask about the forms needed, public hearings, cost, etc that is required for zoning & platting. Then I would recommend having a surveyor provide the platting documents to delineate the boundaries of the lots you are creating.
Read my post "Self storage- Zoning I3 right?
Hey Henry thanks for the input. Where can I find your post on storage zoning. I’m fairly new to BiggerPockets so I’m still figuring out how to navigate the site/app.
Thank you, Steven
ZONING, I-3 RIGHT?
When ever I take a look at a new town to do storage, I take two
approaches at the same time. Do I build? Do I buy? Do both of
these at once and go with the one with the best return or impact.
Preferably, I like to buy because this takes out competition, greater
control over pricing, and hopefully they have some land to expand on.
The expansion of an existing facility is always more profitable than
the initial purchase or build.
A. Look at zoning either online or at the City or County courthouse
look up both the Zoning Map and get a copy, if one exists of a Zoning
template, which explains what each zone permits and may allow under a
Special use or Condition permit.
B. Read each Zone in detail, unless they have a cross reference
table showing “allowed” and “special use”.
C. Ask for the Future planned zoning map. This will tell you
where you probably can ask for a change in Zone or for a Special Use
permit; and have a greater chance of getting it approved.
D. Talk with the local realtors and they may know what is not on the
above Maps and tables. Most cities don’t allow “Spot” zoning.
So they don’t get sued. One city I know designated an entire area
“Agriculture”, the lowest zoning possible, so they could control
allowing what industries come.
E. Most of the time Storage is designated to an Industrial zone.
But not always. I have seen it under Agricultural, Planned
Residential, Commercial and some Industrial zones.
F. Look at a GIS map of the city. See if Railroads cross through.
The Federal government gave both city sites and land along the tracks
to the railroad. The Railroad then sold this land to help finance
their construction. Look for any land that is still owned by the
railroad and ask them to buy it. It won’t have a “For Sale”
sign on it, but it will most likely be available for sale if it is
not used as a work yard or siding. The good thing about this
property since it is so old, it will be in the middle of the town, in
a great location. It will probably be zoned “Residential”, but
the Railroad will not sale it without putting covenants on it, that
no human habitation (home, daycare, school, retirement home, etc) can
be built there. Another good thing, is the Railroad does not pay
property tax, anywhere. Put in an offer subject to zoning approval.
Ask the Zoning committee to allow you to do a “Special Use”
permit since the Railroad will never allow “Human Habitation” in
this Residential zone. Also ask them to let you pay property
taxes. Your units will be well landscaped and they will provide a
noise buffer with the railroad.
G. Look at Non-Allowed zoned properties, next to
Allowed zoned areas. Still look at these properties since Zoning
committees may allow you to switch the zoning or do a special use
permit. They do not regard this as “Spot” zoning, since it is
next to an allowed area.
What do you do with this information?:
1. Now, that you know the zoning, look for any spots greater than 2
acres (“drive up” storage). Start checking on the prices, even
if a location is not for sale. So you don’t waste your time
looking at all locations, prioritize and pick locations that put you
in a more favorable location between your future competition
and your residential customers. Most storage facilities are Mom/Pop
and were built with the owner in mind and not the customer.
Examples: Gas station owner had two acres and built on one. Hotel
operator had additional space. Etc. They did not necessarily build
closer to their customers or for ease of access or street
advertising. Buy them later when you have a footprint in the town.
You don’t want to buy them first and have to go check on 30 units,
30 miles away. We built in one town, and before construction was
done bought two other locations that were offered.
2. Line up your potential purchases in priority and start making
short and time sensitive offers. You are now in power since you are
not tied to one location or even one town. You have a 40 mile radius
or whatever you consider a comfortable distance to manage.
3. The harder it is for you to find a location, the better. Less
chance for “Stupid” money to build next to you, or out position
Zoning Adjustment Meetings:
“Just the Facts.” You will get to speak first, remember your an “Outsider” and don’t vote in that community. Take your time describing your facilities. The property and sales tax it will bring. Explain the current taxes and current look of the property. Show them a “Look” of the new facilities. No one may show up, or you might get 30 people to show up. You “personally” may have to notify everyone within a 200 foot radius or the City might do it. When the public speaks, don’t argue with them. They get their say. Hopefully your added property/sales tax dollars outweighs the public view point. When the vote (good or bad) is over thank each of the members, they’re not paid and most have businesses.
If the Zoning Adjustment committee approves or disapproves it, you
then can go to the City/County board for another public hearing and a
vote. Don’t waste your time, if the Adjustment committee voted
against you. If the City/County Board approves, ask them to waive
the need for future “Reading” meetings. The above two public
hearings, possible two more “reading” meetings and the final
“vote” meeting may take you 4 months, 4 weeks or maybe just two
meetings. Depends on how often the boards meet and how much
opposition/benefit there is.
Happy hunting. This is the most stressful and fun part
of the process. You have very little control, but your
decision on property will be the most important of the whole
build/buy process. Add Control, by adding more location/city
options. ClarkStorageLLC is done growing, but you never stop
looking. The best spot yet, is a cornfield where there isn’t a
house for a mile. Would love to have built a 1,000 unit location
Remember, start small and make your big mistakes early.
Thank you so much for this Information!
Its a great help to me and my wife