Change of Use Certificate
Taking over a building as the owner and aiming to change the way it is used? Then you'll be needing a change of use certificate. That can be relatively simple, depending on how different the new use is or it can prove complicated since it brings into play any groups with complaints about the change of use or about the proposed usage given the nature of the neighborhood.
Why Do You Need One
A change of use certificate is mostly pretty much what is says on the box – if you're planning on converting a residential apartment block into a night club then you're changing its use and this sends up a flag alerting residents, neighbors, and bodies that may require you to obtain permits for the new usage. Just how long a change of use certificate takes to get will depend on how contentious your new usage is. The certificate is your proof of compliance with any relevant codes and can also act to demonstrate that you don't need planning permission because the change of use does not involves any structural changes to the property.
A successful application for a change of use certificate requires more than simply filling out a form and handing it back over the desk with a fee. For a start the city will usually require floor plans, and site plans of the building, and frequently back up copies of these. Then there is the owner permit affidavit, and if any other departments of the city have made comments on the property in question then they will probably have to be referenced as well in case of issues of designated historic districts or special neighborhood interests. That alone can prove time consuming and is a good reason to have us put onto the owner permit affidavit so that we can be authorized to take care of that on your behalf.
Why So Long?
The catch with change of use certificates is that the number of departments involved can be a lot more than you think. If there are any issues with public safety, hygiene, or noise there will be another department to consult with and get approval from – which may require complying with further permits or codes. A lot of people feel that this quickly becomes Kafkaesque with one department claiming they can't authorize your usage until it is first given the green light by another. Only for the other department to say they can't authorize until they see a permit from the first. Smoothing that out takes a bit of inside knowledge and sometimes a lot of patience.
Can We do this for You?
Simply put, yes we can. Because we are an authorized agent acting on your behalf. However it is not enough for us to simply say that is the case; there will need to be an affidavit declaring that we are acting on your behalf and we will take care of ensuring that affidavit is valid.