Zoning Attorneys Secure Variances for Georgia Businesses

Landlord lawyers cut through the red tape when you need a variance

How does my company go about obtaining a variance?

Our attorneys guide you through the process of obtaining a variance in Marietta and other cities and counties throughout Georgia. Since zoning is a local matter, the process of obtaining a zoning variance depends on the municipality in which your project will be situated.  For instance, in Marietta the process requires a:

  • $250 application fee
  • Completed notarized application
  • Legal description of property
  • Site plan
    • The plan must be prepared by a state-registered architect, engineer or land surveyor whose seal is affixed to the plan.
    • Site plans must clearly show all relevant existing conditions as well as the proposed additions to the property.
  • Copy of current tax bill with proof of payment
  • Document authorizing you to submit the application by the property owners if you are not the owner

Why would I need a variance?

Variances are needed in a wide range of situations. A common purpose for a variance is to open a retail store or other small business in a residential neighborhood. Other variances our attorneys have secured include:

  • A set-back exception to allow ingress or egress on a particularly narrow lot
  • Permitting the placement of a sign to advertise the business
  • Increasing the height or size of a sign

When you are seeking a variance, you need to know the nature of the municipality's zoning scheme. The most common zoning plans are those that are:

  • Use-based — A use-based scheme either permits only certain uses for a real estate parcel or, conversely, restricts only certain uses. A use variance would allow a parcel to be used for a purpose other than that for which it is zoned.  A coffee shop would, for example, need a use variance to open in a neighborhood that's zoned residential.
  • Characteristic-based — A characteristic-based zoning scheme focuses on restricting certain aspects of projects, such as building height, parking availability and sign height.  A characteristic variance would allow a project to have a characteristic that the zoning plan would otherwise prohibit.  You would need a characteristic variance, for example, to build a four-story building in an area that is zoned for two-story buildings.

Contact us for experienced assistance with zoning variances

For 25 years, the attorneys at Wiles & Wiles, LLP have helped commercial property owners secure variances to meet their goals. If you have zoning or variance concerns, contact us at 770.426.4619 or online.