Imagine you are a retail business owner here in Ohio. You have been operating your business for several years and you are ready to expand. You decide that you are going to add a small cafe to your retail space, allowing customers to spend more time on site and try out some of the products you sell.
This can all seem like a great idea in theory, but you could run into some serious problems and financial headaches if you do not get the proper permits and zoning approval to add on the small cafe. This is a very similar situation to one that a business owner is facing in another state, and the zoning and permitting disputes has cost him over $15,000.
According to reports, the business owner decided to expand his brewing company so that people could come onsite and taste test his products and buy them without having to go to a particular bar or restaurant. He had a small deck and distillery built and was ready for the grand opening.
However, just days before the opening, the man was told that his business was not properly zoned and permitted. The opening never happened and now the man is stuck trying to clear up the confusion.
He states that he received confirmation from two different zoning officers assuring him that he had all the proper paperwork and permissions in place to open his business. However, one of those officers died and the other retired; the officers that filled in were from another township and disagreed, preventing the man from opening up his business.
This case should serve as a reminder that states including Ohio have strict rules regarding zoning, particularly when it comes to the operation of retail stores and permissions to serve alcohol.
If you are thinking of starting or expanding a business, there could be many hoops you have to jump through in order to ensure you have the proper permissions to operate lawfully. Rather than try to figure this all out yourself or rely on verbal assurances, it can be wise to consult an attorney familiar with state real estate laws and can help ensure your project complies with local permit and zoning requirements.