What does "residential-light commercial" zoning allow?
April 8, 2019 6:11 PM   Subscribe

I've googled the category, and learned only that it seems to be unique, or at least particular, to the state of Georgia. Apparently it is designed to allow short-term rentals, but what else could it include? What am I missing?
posted by mmiddle to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is usually a set of rules defined by the local body of government (town, city) that defines exactly what this means for that particular jurisdiction. I would go to the town website of wherever the property is and look up specific zoning rules. Sometimes that sort if thing means you can run a small in home business such as a doctors office in the property but it's going to be specific to the municipality.
posted by sockymcpuppeterson at 6:16 PM on April 8, 2019

Not sure where you are, but typically the uses allowed in that category are enumerated in the actual zoning code of the municipality that it is in.
posted by rudd135 at 6:17 PM on April 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

...which sometimes you can find online. My city's zoning rules are in the municipal code in a chapter called Land Use Regulations and they're pretty detailed. But looking for analogies to "residential-light commercial" I have so many choices and they're all slightly different. Transitional, Neighborhood-Commercial Mixed Use, Community-Commercial Mixed Use, Residential-Commercial Mixed Use...

But if I know my zoning category, it's pretty easy to read - there's a big table of So You Want To... and whether it's permitted or not for each zone.
posted by ctmf at 6:37 PM on April 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Zoning is different in every locality. Google "zoning code [town]," then look for the definition of what that zone allows. It could allow a range of uses and may also have height or bulk restrictions that you'd want to be aware of.
posted by salvia at 9:53 PM on April 8, 2019

Zoning is a local thing, but if you're not familiar with reading zoning ordinances, they can be confusing. City planners usually have someone on duty to answer questions, by phone, email, or in person, and they should be able to help out with explanations or questions about how the code would be applied. They're usually also very friendly! Source: have talked to lots and lots of city and county planning staff, with questions that are probably more irritating than yours.
posted by asperity at 10:29 PM on April 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

In my neck of the woods, "residential-light commercial" refers to people who run businesses out of their homes. Good examples would be an independent contractor or a carpenter who have a small shop set-up in their garage or a small outbuilding where they do things like build cabinet frames, refinish doors, and do other custom woodwork for customers. It would not allow for the construction of a full-fledged, operating wood shop, though.

As the others have indicated, YMMV, so you need to consult your local zoning ordinances for information specific to your area.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:48 AM on April 9, 2019

Yeah, asperity is right. Skip the ordinances for now and swing by your local P&Z (Planning & Zoning) department and tell them you have questions about zoning. They will be happy to speak with you, and will probably give you some insight into your situation that you would never have considered otherwise.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:19 AM on April 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

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