From HOA’s to State Governments, there are many governing jurisdictions that you need to investigate as part of due diligence to ensure that the intended use of the property is legally allowed. The regulation for the use of land is a zoning ordinance, and the improvement of land is a development ordinance. These ordinances often are combined into a Land Development Ordinance. Once the governing jurisdiction has been determined and the ordinances reviewed, a preliminary assessment should be confirmed with the planning director or code enforcement officer.
Habitat for Canaries land use is unique and not likely to fall within common zoning classifications. The provision of short term accommodations is consistent with a multi family residential classification. The proposed physical bunkies with a common building, though, is more in line with a recreational camp. However, as the purpose of the accommodation is for restorative health, medical or institutional zoning classifications may also be appropriate. In all likelihood, a new zoning classification will need to be negotiated with the governing jurisdiction.
Once a zoning classification is determined, it will need to be applied to the property. A rezoning petition will then be filed. It will be reviewed, go to public hearing and comment and then final decision by council of the governing jurisdiction.
Determining the classification may take upward of two months. The petition to apply the classification to the property may take another four months. Upon completion, the property will be entitled and Habitat for Canaries can complete its purchase confident in the right that it will be able to use the property for its charitable purposes.