And that desk area will be a squat rack?
October 11, 2013 1:18 AM   Subscribe

Am I allowed to rent an office and turn it into a small personal training studio? I have zero understanding of how commercial zoning works and don't know where to start. I am in Melbourne, Australia

I've got a small personal training business and am currently using a scout hall and the park - my dream is to have my own private little studio - small and simple is fine.
I have NO idea how this works. Who decides what you can use a room/building for? The landlord or the council? How do I even find out?
posted by lifethatihavenotlivedyet to Law & Government (7 answers total)
Best answer: It is both. The landlord has to agree with whatever you are going to use the space for. This will usually be detailed in the lease document. The Council also has a say. All properties are zoned for certain types of use. So you would have to check what it is currently zoned for. You should be able to apply to change the zoning, but this is a long process.
posted by MT at 1:26 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ah ok, but the real estate agent would know what it's currently zoned for, right? And do zones include a range of activities or just one?
posted by lifethatihavenotlivedyet at 1:34 AM on October 11, 2013

Best answer: Zones include a wide range of activities. The real estate agent may or may not know the zoning, and definitely should not be giving advice about permissible use. He has no authority whatsoever and is essentially useless. Call Council. I don't know about VIC, but many Councils in the Sydney area have a planner on duty who will answer basic questions and point you in the right direction. if you do this without contacting council and the neighbors complain, it can be a real hassle. I have come across folks in not insignificant trouble because they relied on their real estate agent. Even if it's permissible in the zoning, you may need to file a DA for change of use.

Quals: I work for a Sydney metro area Council and read planning documents and development applications all day. Feel free to memail me.
posted by jrobin276 at 2:07 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Squat rack in normal office space?

If the weights drop they are noisy and damaging. Ground floor or basement, and pick your neighbors wisely...
posted by slateyness at 6:37 AM on October 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

Agree with slateyness. When crossfit was getting off the ground, one of the things I used to see everyone mentioning as a problem was noise complaints from neighboring businesses. That's why they recommended light industrial space instead of commercial/office.

If it's just you, though, not dozens of people at all hours of the day, you might be ok.
posted by ctmf at 8:17 AM on October 11, 2013

The message boards would probably have some useful information for you, even if it's not crossfit you intend to do. If there's a crossfit affiliate near you, the owner might share tips. Couldn't hurt to ask.
posted by ctmf at 8:21 AM on October 11, 2013

Please be careful and considerate. (As I'm sure you will be). In my, metal framed, building dropped weights generate a ringing effect as the building vibrates. It can be quite distressing.
posted by fingerbang at 1:35 PM on October 11, 2013

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