Boston, MA asked in Animal / Dog Law and Land Use & Zoning for Florida

Q: Opening a dog park/bar/cafe in Oakland Park Fl and wondering about zoning and permitting needed. It is b-2 zoning now.

We want to create a fun and safe space for dogs to socialize but also for humans to be able to have a drink, coffee, or sandwich while utilizing the wifi and getting some work done. We have a location in mind and it is b-2 zoning. We just are not sure if this is allowed or what we need to do to get it approved.

2 Lawyer Answers
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Start by having a chat with your county planning department.

Charles M. Baron agrees with this answer

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Good idea; I would drop by with my dog if it flies. First speak to Oakland Park Planning & Zoning staff, and I recommend you go in person in order to review and discuss the list of uses permitted in that zoning category, and to discuss if your intended uses can fit with their interpretation of the listed uses. Staff is at 5399 N. Dixie Hwy., Suite #3, Oakland Park, FL 33334, and their phone no. is 954-630-4423.

If some, but not all, of your intended uses are permitted, discuss the extent to which you can match up permitted uses to what you wish to achieve. Also, in some circumstances, where a particular use is not permitted, you may apply for a variance, so you can discuss that alternative if applicable. If not all of your intended uses are allowed, but there is a possibility of applying for a variance, it's best to retain an attorney for variance proceedings. However, in some municipalities, you can qualify for a variance only by showing a financial hardship - that is, that it would be hard to use the property for uses that are automatically allowed. If your city has that particular variance standard, applying for a variance would of course likely be a waste of time.

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