Small towns have a habit of being filled with people less than eager for change. The residents in a small village or township may realize the need for new businesses and people, but they could still be resistant to the idea of rezoning. They may fail to realize the abandoned houses they are trying to keep away from being turned into businesses have become hangouts for local kids, or they could be a draw for other lawless activities. An upgrade in neighbours is what they could get when the rezoning is passed, but it might still take time for them to make the adjustment.
Older homes that are not longer in residential use may have their own quirks, and that could make them attractive to small business owners. If they are not looking for commercial space, then their businesses often have little traffic. This is one of the boons that can come with rezoning at least part of a neighbourhood.
Residents in these areas where the zoning is being changed are often concerned with too much traffic going past their homes. It should be a concern, but the types of businesses likely to buy or lease space in their area will often travel to see their customers. Those who do have clients in their place of business generally see only one or two at a time. This makes them good traffic neighbours, and it could settle the issue once their business is up and running.
One good way for a small business owner in this situation to help local residents is to have an open house. Inviting people in, explaining the nature of their business, and getting to know them as people is always a good idea. It can help bridge the divide between commercial concerns and residential needs before any issues even arise.