LAND USE & ZONING
WHAT IS LAND USE & ZONING?
Land use is the use of land located within the jurisdiction of a government entity. The use is administered and regulated by a division of the government usually known as city planning, land use planning, and urban planning. Zoning on the other hand is a division of the government that administrates and regulates land located within its jurisdiction by allocating parts of land (zones) to certain uses that may benefit its residents. Land use and zoning goes hand in hand when land use planning is involved because any use of land must abide by the zoning regulations.
Types of land use includes commercial (business, factories, restaurants, bar, karaoke), recreational (fund, non-essentials e.g. parks), transportation services (roads, railways, and airports), agricultural (farmland), and residential (housing). Bo Lee Law Group concentrates its land use practice in the commercial sector relating to food and beverage, entertainment, and hospitality industries. Our focus is on representing business owners with Conditional Use Permit applications for the sale and dispensing of alcoholic beverages and live entertainment.
WHAT IS A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT (CUP)?
A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is a conditional permit granted by your local government agency in order to allow a particular use on land. For the sale of alcoholic beverages, you need a Conditional Use Permit from your county or city prior to selling any type of alcohol for consumption. For example: A Los Angeles based sushi restaurant plans to sell alcoholic beverages, mainly beer and wine. The owner must obtain a Conditional Use Permit from the City of Los Angeles, Land Use and City Planning Unit, prior to dispensing any alcoholic beverages at the restaurant. This permit is not an ABC license to sell alcoholic beverages. The ABC license must be obtained separately from the State of California prior to selling alcohol at the restaurant. See Alcohol Beverage Licensing. Yes, this gets very confusing and that's why an experienced Land Use and ABC lawyer will save you lots of time when applying for licenses and permits; and time is money when it comes to starting and running a business.
IS IT ILLEGAL TO SELL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES WITHOUT A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT?
Yes, it is also illegal to sell alcoholic beverages without a Conditional Use Permit in your local city or county. If you are arrested or ordered to court for illegally selling alcoholic beverages without a local land use permit allowing you to do so, the prosecutor's office can and often times will start criminal proceedings against you in criminal court, just as if you were arrested for any other criminal violation. Meaning, your criminal case will be treated as any other criminal case. A misdemeanor in California may carry a 6 month or up to 1 year of jail time and/or up to $1,000 in criminal fines. In addition, you may be ordered to serve probation as well as other criminal penalties. See Sale of Alcohol Crimes. For example: The sushi restaurant above opened without a Conditional Use Permit, but began selling sake wine to its customers. The police were notified that the restaurant sold alcoholic beverages without the proper licenses and permits.The police cites or arrests the restaurant owner for illegal land use, which is a criminal offense. See Sale of Alcohol Crimes.
TYPES OF LAND USE & ZONING SERVICES OFFERED BY BO LEE LAW GROUP:
Conditional Use Permit for the sale and dispensing of alcohol beverages and entertainment - Bo Lee Law Group has extensive experience applying for Conditional Use Permits for the sale and dispensing of alcohol beverages and entertainment businesses. Because of the complexities of land use and permit applications, it is highly recommended that you consult an experienced land use and zoning lawyer for any Conditional Use Permits.
Zoning Variance - Time to time, an application for a Conditional Use Permit requires a zoning variance. A zoning variance is an administrative process to allow a non-conforming use on a zone that prohibits such use. For example: A restaurant owner wants to add a pool room to his business, but the zone whereby his business is location prohibits pool halls. The owner may apply for a zoning variance to allow the non-conforming use (the pool hall) within that zone. Bo Lee Law Group represents clients with zoning variances for their business needs.
Land Use Enforcement Defense - Bo Lee Law Group has extensive experience defending criminal cases involving land use and zoning violation. As a criminal case, they carry the same criminal penalties and consequences as more serious crimes. A conviction may lead to a lengthy probation term, criminal fines, and/or jail time. Moreover, your conviction stays on your record. Meaning any Live Scan background check will reveal your conviction. This may negatively impact your chances of receiving approval for your ABC license and/or police permit application.
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE A LAWYER TO EXPEDITE A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT:
The complexity of local government land use, city planning procedures, and penalties
The complexity of California's Business & Professional Code (BPC) and penalties
An experienced land use lawyer will often save you time and money in expediting a Conditional Use Permit
An experienced land use lawyer can negotiate difficult legal issues when applying for a Conditional Use Permit
An experienced land use and criminal defense lawyer can help you successfully maneuver through the criminal court system in expediting a Conditional Use Permit
An experienced land use lawyer can offer legal advice associated with your Conditional Use Permit
An experienced land use lawyer may appear for you on most cases related to your Conditional Use Permit