Check the Zoning
All property within the City of Los Angeles has a zoning designation that says what types of business uses are allowed on that property, as well as other requirements such as the number of parking spaces that need to be provided for customers. These regulations help to protect both business owners and local residents – you may not want a liquor store to open next to your day care center.
It's important to make sure you understand what's allowed on your property and whether your property conforms to local zoning requirements before signing a lease. While it's possible to get exceptions or waivers from zoning requirements through the Department of City Planning it is often a costly and time-consuming process. Finding a property that's already zoned for what you need is the easiest and fastest way to get started!
ZIMAS is an interactive, easy-to-use online system. You can enter the address of your potential business location to find out its zoning designation, as well as other useful information such as potential hazard zones, County Assessor data, economic development incentives and other planning or zoning ordinances that may affect your business.
You can also check the zoning of neighboring properties so you know what other types of businesses might open up near you.
Once you've identified the zoning category for your property check with the City's Development Services Centers to find out if your business use is allowed in the zoning category, and what the requirements are for providing parking spaces for your customers if any. You can also start by reviewing the Department of City Planning's Summary of Zoning Regulations, although it's always a good idea to verify with the city.
The City of Los Angeles Development Services Centers are here to help and can provide zoning information for your property. Call or visit in-person for more information.