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Vacant Land

A vacant site, or nearly vacant site, requires a signficant investment in research to understand its potential. For starters, is the infrastructure there or not? New developments need utilities and roads. In exchange for getting permits, the development may tie to paying for new community services like a new school, roads and sidewalks. 

There are the neighbors who have a say about change. 

Some neighbors, or nearby residents, may think the land (or lot) was actually “open space” and may be upset with the news of its potential development.

Deed restrictions may further define what might be allowed to be built. Be aware such documents can further define what may or may not be built. While a Neighborhood Plan isn't a "deed restriction," the limitations may impact the property's potential.

Trees and endangered species may become an issue.


  • The land may not be developable. This could be due to environmental issues or financial;
  • The cost to make it a “buildable” lot or lots may not make for a financially viable project;
  • If zoned something tagged by Zonability as Planned / Special, then it will require submittals to better gage the needs/wants of the powers who give approvals;
  • The concept of a proposed project "fitting in" with the existing buildings in the area will be a hurdle;
  • The holding time to get approvals might take months, even years; and
  • Proposed development will also need to meet the municipality's "future vision" for that location. Zonability tracks such data in some markets.
  • An existing structure may present a hurdle in so far as its potential to being deemed historic. Cities may require a review prior to issuing a demolition permit. If a structure is deemed valuable for its history, a potential work around may be to have the structure moved to another location.