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Home > Blog > Real Estate (Commercial And Residential) > West Palm Beach Zoning and Land Use Regulations

West Palm Beach Zoning and Land Use Regulations

As anyone in commercial real estate knows, you cannot use a parcel of land for any purpose you choose. How you utilize your property must be in accordance with how that land is zoned. The zone and land use rules regarding your property can affect the type of structures you may erect, the business that can be conducted in those structures, and much more. If you are interested in purchasing land or already own a parcel, but you need to know more about West Palm Beach zoning and land use regulations, contact a commercial real estate attorney today for help.

Zoning and Land Development Regulations

Some of the basic land zones in West Palm Beach include:

  • Residential;
  • Historic residential;
  • Commercial;
  • Industrial;
  • Recreational and open space;
  • Utility;
  • Transit; and
  • Conservation.

Each of these districts includes within them more specific options. For instance, residential zones can differ greatly from single-family low density areas to multi-family high density regions. If you are interested in developing single-family homes, townhomes, condos, or apartment buildings, you must ensure that you purchase land already zoned for your intended purpose, seek to rezone the land or obtain a special use permit for your needs.


You can seek to rezone a parcel of land before the city commission and planning and zoning board, which will review eight factors regarding whether a change to the city’s overall zoning map is appropriate and beneficial. This can be a difficult task to achieve. You should work with an experienced real estate attorney to ensure you correctly fill out the proper application forms. Once the planning and zoning administrator provides a written recommendation regarding your application, there will be a public hearing. The planning board will make a recommendation afterward as to how the city commission should proceed. There will be a second public hearing for the city commission and then the final decision. It can be a lengthy process.

Seeking a Special Use Permit

Each zone has permitted uses under the law. However, there are times when you can seek to utilize the land in a way not normally allowed. You will either need a zoning certificate for “uses permitted with extra requirements” or a “special uses” permit, which allows a special use without all of the additional requirements.

If you seek a Class A or B permit, there will be additional standards you must meet, including that your use of the land will:

  • Be consistent with the comprehensive plan of the city;
  • Be in harmony with the character of the neighborhood;
  • Not have a detrimental effect on traffic or pedestrians; and
  • Not adversely affect the healthy, safely, and general welfare of residents, workers, and visitors.

If you wish to obtain approval for special land use, you should work with a commercial real estate attorney. You will need to apply to and go before the West Palm Beach city commission or the planning and zoning board with the proper documentation supporting your plan.

Contact a West Palm Beach Real Estate Attorney for Help

Whether you work in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton or Orlando, you must follow the local zoning and land use regulations when developing property. Unfortunately, these rules are complex and getting an area rezoned or a special use permit can be an uphill battle. To ensure your ventures are within the law or to increase your chances of rezoning or permit approvals, work with a commercial real estate attorney at the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray P.A.



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