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Thread: Lot Combos

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Lot Combos

    How does your town handle lot combos? By that I mean the most basic combination of lots where grandma owns 2 lots side by side and wants to strictly combine them with no new or moved property lines. Can grandma do it by deed alone or does she need to hire a surveyor and submit a plan just to show the line being erased?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DecaturHawk's avatar
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    Grandma needs to submit a plat drawn by a licensed surveyor. Luckily for Grandma, however, is that a minor plat of four lots or less, if it has the elements required by the Subdivision regs, canbe approved administratively, no Plan Commission or City Council involved.
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    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    By deed where I have worked, but can lead to problems.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Section 17.12.030 Platting and replatting.

    D. In all districts, adjoining platted lots, those lots having a common lot line in common zoning, may adjust their common lot lines without replatting, provided that the newly-created sites meet all requirements of the zoning code for the district and create no additional lot(s).
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    We can do it multiple ways. 2 and 3 are confusing to describe here and not the preferred methods. I won't approve items done under 2, I let another Development Officer with years of experience deal with reading and sketching out the crazy old descriptions (from the oak tree by the stone fence northerly to the creek.....)

    1) New / Amending Plan of subdivision with consolidating deeds. ie Survey plan that shows the boundaries of Lot 1(Parcel A) and Lot 2(Parcel B) and a written description that states that Parcel A and Parcel B are going to be combined to Form a new lot.

    2) By consolidating deed. This is typically done for larger properties and properties associated with old/original crown grants. These properties have typically never been surveyed due to size and location. They'll just refer to the original deeds that describe the parcels and say that they are being joined to form a single property.(ie All that land as described in a deed with registration number 1234 and containing land located.... to be forever combined with land described in a deed numbered 1235....)

    3) Administrative Consolidation. We argue that this is not legal, but the registry office claims they can do it. This is when 2 abutting properties have identical registry records, they can be assigned a new Property Identification Number (PID) by the registry office and for all intents and purposes become a single lot. Note that the identical registration details means everything, including mortgages, where the tax bill is sent and the exact spelling of the owner's names.(ie Fill in a form, amend registration tables, done. There is more to it than this, but it is so new that it still confuses us, plus we don't think it is legal)

    Now to forget all of this stuff and learn a new jurisdiction's laws.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  6. #6
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    NH Statutes cover this one:

    674:39-a Voluntary Merger. Any owner of 2 or more contiguous preexisting approved or subdivided lots or parcels who wishes to merge them for municipal regulation and taxation purposes may do so by applying to the planning board or its designee. Except where such merger would create a violation of then-current ordinances or regulations, all such requests shall be approved, and no public hearing or notice shall be required. No new survey plat need be recorded, but a notice of the merger, sufficient to identify the relevant parcels and endorsed in writing by the planning board or its designee, shall be filed for recording in the registry of deeds, and a copy mailed to the municipality's assessing officials. No such merged parcel shall thereafter be separately transferred without subdivision approval.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Thanks. Its an issue that's so basic its a little below the radar screen. Our regs (local and state) are a little vague on the issue. I think its a waste of people's time and money to make them spend a thousand bucks on a surveyor just to draw up a plan showing a line being erased - especially since we have a clause in our Zoning Ordinance in which we can combine people's adjacent undersized lots by just recording a letter from the Zoning Officer. On the other hand if people just show up at the City Clerks Office and record a deed combining lots, they may be in violation of Zoning if 2 buildings are now on the same lot.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    On the other hand if people just show up at the City Clerks Office and record a deed combining lots, they may be in violation of Zoning if 2 buildings are now on the same lot.
    This is the problem we have with the "administrative consolidations". They do not look at the use of the property, only the ownership.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    In NC if the 2 existing lots were platted and legaly OK then it can be done by deed alone with no review by Planning. If not it must be by plat and is reviewed.

    In Va who the hell knows, it changes with the wind round here.
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  10. #10
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    3) Administrative Consolidation. We argue that this is not legal, but the registry office claims they can do it. This is when 2 abutting properties have identical registry records, they can be assigned a new Property Identification Number (PID) by the registry office and for all intents and purposes become a single lot. Note that the identical registration details means everything, including mortgages, where the tax bill is sent and the exact spelling of the owner's names.(ie Fill in a form, amend registration tables, done. There is more to it than this, but it is so new that it still confuses us, plus we don't think it is legal)

    Now to forget all of this stuff and learn a new jurisdiction's laws.
    This is our unwritten policy. Common ownership combining two lots.. no prob and most of the time no official staff review.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Most of the time it can be done without even coming to the City via a deed consolidation with the Land Titles office (a provincial office here). However, we have been having problems with people creating megalots outside of the City review system, making us go under our density provisions in some neighbourhoods. So we will be going to a maximum lot size in the R1 district, and any consolidations that result in lots larger than that maximum will require City (via the Planning Commission) approval.

    Previous jurisdictions I have worked for:

    Davis, CA: Lot line adjustment (surveyed, goes through City review)
    Oak Harbor, WA: Subdivision (short plat, goes through City review)
    Vancouver, WA: Some deed only via County Assessor's Office, some needed City approval.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    The last place I worked it could be done by simple application to the city assessor and payment of an $11 fee for the register of deeds paperwork.

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