Zoning laws are land-use designations determining which areas landowners can use for housing, commercial use, industry and other needs. Usually, there are limits and zoning requirements for self storage facilities, too, which vary by city.
If you want to invest in self storage property or build a facility, you need to understand local zoning laws to determine where you can do so without rezoning. Specifically, you must know the difference between conditional use and permitted use zoning.
What Is Conditional Use Zoning?
Conditional use zoning for self storage development is basically an exception to zoning laws. If you can secure a conditional use permit (CUP), you can operate a self storage facility on land in areas not zoned for commercial or industrial use. To receive approval for conditional use zoning, you will need to meet the municipality’s requirements.
Each area has its own CUP application process, and your local governing bodies can provide more information. However, most municipalities require you to show that your self storage plan fulfills a need and is a suitable fit for the neighboring area.
What Is Permitted Use Zoning?
Permitted use zoning, also known as “primary use” or “use by right,” means that you as the landowner are using a plot of land in accordance with current zoning laws. For example, permitted use zoning for self storage means building or operating a self storage facility on a parcel of land zoned for self storage.
If you have permitted use for a plot of land that already has the proper building on it, you don’t need to undergo the rezoning process or seek additional permissions, so long as you use your property for its zoned purpose.
If you have an empty parcel of land that is zoned to allow self storage and you want to build a facility for that purpose on that land, you will still need a zoning permit for construction. However, receiving this permission is a more straightforward process than rezoning.