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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38895
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired (mostly)
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I have a business which is my own and combination commercial

Customer Question

I have a business which is my own and combination commercial property that I am renting out. This building and the business were family owned. My grandfather was first established on the property in 1890. I was told by a lawyer that our property was historically zoned in this town of Dracut, Ma and I was also shown on the map.
Now the problem is that our tenant that was renting from us for 25 years decided to move. The new tenant went to the town hall to register or talk to the bulding inspector about renting. The building inspector said that all the businesses in the family now and in the past were and are illegal. They were not supposed to be there. He also said he would have to go in front of the zoning board because there was not enough parking spaces there for his business.( the new tenant) So, I am assuming he doesnt want it rented out even though it was first a milk dairy and after that it was continually rented out for years since 1985 and was before that a milk dairy.
I was told by my father that when my grandfather settled there it was just a dirt path area.
my question are:
Does he have a right to say that we dont have enough spaces for the retail business which is attached to our business and was first rented out by us in 1985?Because we are zoned historically Do we have to conform to the modern zoning and parking laws. Also what about the business not having a business liscense? Does that affect anything with this problem. The front of the building measures 90 feet. 12 feet away is a three family rental building and on the other side is a three family and home which is about 20 feet away from our property. This whole property was owned by our family.
Now I am pretty sure that there were no business liscenses taken out on any businesses , ever. Up until 1985 my fathers family all had business in the area and ran different business over the years .
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I think you may be misinterpreting the building inspector's comments. The inspector doesn't have the authority to waive the zoning ordinances. The board has that authority. The property is in a historical district, and it would be absurd to require building owners to adhere to new laws that would require the renovation of the buildings so that they no longer retained their original character. That's your argument for the board. There may be ordinances that you cannot avoid: fire codes, etc. But, I seriously doubt that the board will put obstacles in your path so that you cannot rent the property. That would completely undermine the enitire purpose of the historical district. I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.Thanks again for using!