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March 2017 Archives

What are variances and non-conforming uses?

One of the most frustrating and constricting aspects of searching for a commercial property to buy or rent for your business is the possibility of finding the "perfect place," only to lose it again due to some zoning issue. Not all businesses can operate in just any location, especially in California, which is generally more heavily regulated across all sectors than other states. Of course, many regulations and restrictions can be gotten around using a variance or falling under a non-conforming use allowance.

Complex development requires special guidance

In California, especially in metropolitan areas where space for real estate development is at a premium, finding a location available for development is often a Herculean task. In many cases, it involves some degree of creativity to work around existing structures to create a desirable space, taking into account the needs of probably tenants.

J.C. Penney closures endanger other businesses

As big box stores and the great American shopping mall continue to struggle in the new economy, some of the industry's biggest players are choosing to throw in the towel. J. C. Penney, which has long been one of several brands that anchored many malls across the country has moved forward with plans to close stores in many locations, including three in California. While this is certainly tough news for loyal customers, these kinds of closings for anchor stores can affect others as well -- especially smaller vendors in malls losing an anchor store.

When landlords won't do their part

As a tenant, one of the primary advantages you have over those who own their own property is your landlord's responsibilities to timely and appropriate maintenance and repair of your space. However, as many tenants can attest, the principle of a landlord-tenant relationship and the reality of the situation are often far different. Each lease has its own terms which must be consulted, but in general, there are number of steps you can take if your landlord is not abiding by his or her obligations to repair or maintain your space appropriately.

Reviewing your commercial lease: 2 important things to think about

Nothing better represents the American dream than turning a great idea into a business and being your own boss. However, starting a business is not without its risks. A crucial component of starting a business is leasing a commercial property that provides you the right space for your new venture. For many, a commercial lease will be a significant expense. It is no exaggeration to say that the terms of the lease can go a long way toward making or breaking the financial viability of their business.

California Assembly Bill 1732: Single-User Restrooms Must be Identified as All Gender

As of March 1, 2017, AB 1732 added Section 118600 to Chapter 5 of Part 15 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, requiring all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or government agency must be identified as all-gender toilet facilities. In other words, any restroom designed for use by one person at a time, or for family or assisted use, must have signage identifying it as all-gender. Where a business has more than one restroom designed for use by only one person to at a time, no longer can one be designated for men and another for women; they both must be identified as all-gender. The signage must comply with Title 24 of 24 of the California Code of Regulations. The bill authorizes inspectors, building officials, or other local officials responsible for code enforcement to inspect for compliance with these provisions during any inspection.

Should I buy or lease a business property?

If you're launching or expanding your brick-and-mortar business, you may be wondering if buying or leasing a space is right for you. Both offer distinct advantages and liabilities, which will determine which path is best for your circumstances. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so it is wise to consider all sides of the issue before you make a move.