re-zoning for commercial property

a guy I know has a property that he was swindled into by some savvy(er) investors. he is unable to sell the property because he owes on the mortgage way more than most people are willing to pay for it. This property sits on a busy street filled with local ma and pa shops. He currently cannot rent this property for as much as the mortgage payment, although the property rents well at the going neighborhood rate. My question is this ; could he have the property zoned for commercial space and possibly sell/rent it for a better price as such. How would I find out if this is possible in this area. Also what are the pro’s and cons of doing this. Thanks for any help you can provide

The short answer to your question is it depends.I would recommend that your friend verify the current zoning of the property, talk with the zoning officer (to see if there’s anything in the history of this property that might support a non-residential use being permitted), and review the town’s comprehensive or master plan to see what land uses the town would like to see for that area. Here in PA, a change of zoning is strictly discretionary on the part of the municipality – they don’t have to do it. In some states, local governments must rezone property consistent with their comp plans.


Thanks for the info, Wow seems like it may be very difficult to this I don’t if he has many other options seeing how he has not been able to sell the property and is lossing close to $700 a month on the thing.
Can anyone think of any other options? let me know if more info is needed.