YOUR CLUB'S ZONING
THINKING ABOUT IT?
Most communities have a zoning ordinance. This is basically the guidelines and restrictions for how properties in various locations and of various shapes and sizes can be developed and used. It’s not often a part of the club that anyone spends much time or attention on, but in some cases, it should be.
Just this week, a club client called wanting to talk about a potential future rezoning the municipality was considering as part of a new comprehensive plan for the community. This particular club site was zoned Residential. That may not seem like much of a problem, but if the club’s property, used as a club is not the highest and best use, and residential development yields a higher value, the club could be in for a stiff real estate tax burden. Many clubs are situated on sites that are zoned for recreation or open space, or have provisions restricting a variety of alternative developments. Those clubs are pretty much “stuck” and alternative uses are quite limited. Unless you’re in a jurisdiction where tax assessment is based on continued current use (like New York State), the club has a possible decision to make about the value of pursuing real estate tax relief or maintaining the flexibility less restrictive zoning affords.