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Thread: Guest cottages - looking for zoning definitions

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    Guest cottages - looking for zoning definitions

    I have been searching for a defination of GUEST COTTAGE. I have found there is a common description with varied content. None list the amount of bedrooms. They can be detached or not. Some list kitchen facilities or not. All say family members or guest. Some give a square footage allowed vs primary dwelling. Some mention non renting. If one is required to attach it to the primery how is this accomplished? I found open walkway, Bridge, covered and not. I am interested in all coments.

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    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    You are not referring to lane homes are you? Sometimes the definitions blend a bit in that the "guest" part doesn't actually in practice mean anything. Depends on the jurisdiction. Granny flats might mix into the idea of guest cottages, too, given that a guest cottage is probably not reasonable to build unless its going to be occupied more often than not.

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    avast ye mates!

    Quote Originally posted by brown2340
    I have been searching for a defination of GUEST COTTAGE. I have found there is a common description with varied content. None list the amount of bedrooms. They can be detached or not. Some list kitchen facilities or not. All say family members or guest. Some give a square footage allowed vs primary dwelling. Some mention non renting. If one is required to attach it to the primery how is this accomplished? I found open walkway, Bridge, covered and not. I am interested in all coments.
    ack!

    I literally just wrote a proposal for vacation rental controls and we just dealt with it as a use - the renting of a dwelling for less than 30 days - basically, you can do it if it's your own home (you have to qualify as a homestead, state statute) plus one accessory apartment (30% in size from the principal dwelling) on the lot (attached or deached, it doesn't matter) - but if you are not here year round or if it's a unit in amulti-family or multiple units on a lot (condo), then you can only rent this way if you are in corridor or business zones

    don't forget timeshares! those sweet little guest cottage often find their way into the world of timeshares with 52 tax bills to send every quarter

    pm me if you want the full text - it's not perfect, it's regulation-happy but it was a consensus of the chief elected officials and the Planning Board who typically can't agree on what to have on their pizza, let alone land use policy - we went through 2 paid facilitators and then they just made me do it - lol

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    Cyburbian mallen's avatar
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    Ours is kinda strange, but if you follow the logic behind it, it actually works out ok.

    We separate a "guest house" from a "relative residence". A guest house can be detached from the house (ie a second structure on the property), but cannot contain a kitchen and is limited to no more than 800 square feet in gross floor area. A relative residence can contain a kitchen, however, it must be part of the residence. To keep this situation from simply being a duplex, it too is limited to 800 square feet and must have internal access inside of the house. Below is a general summary of our requirements.

    Definitions:
    Guest House. A lodging unit for temporary guests in an accessory building. No such lodging unit shall contain independent kitchen facilities.

    Relative Residence. A lodging unit contained within a Single Family Dwelling which may contain independent kitchen facilities, for the exclusive use of relatives of the real property owner.

    Accessory Uses.
    Allowed, provided:
    a. An accessory building, to include a guest house, a relative residence, a garage, a storage building, etc., shall not exceed 800 square feet of gross floor area.
    b. A relative residence contained within a Single Family Dwelling shall not exceed 800 square feet of gross floor area; the real property owner must live in the Single Family Dwelling; relatives must be by blood, marriage or law; access to the relatives living area shall be required from the interior of the dwelling although secondary access to the exterior of the dwelling is permissible; and, paved off-street parking shall be provided for additional vehicles as needed.

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mallen
    Relative Residence. A lodging unit contained within a Single Family Dwelling which may contain independent kitchen facilities, for the exclusive use of relatives of the real property owner.
    is this a pain to enforce or track?

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    Cyburbian mallen's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian
    is this a pain to enforce or track?
    We don't really try to manage the "relative" component very closely. We don't ask for birth certifications and such. When someone is making modifications to a house with a building permit, we notify them of the requirements and do not approve it unless they stipulate that they plan to comply.

    It is really almost an honor system. People are told the rules and seem to comply. To date, we have not had a problem with it.

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    Quote Originally posted by brown2340
    I have been searching for a defination of GUEST COTTAGE. I have found there is a common description with varied content. None list the amount of bedrooms. They can be detached or not. Some list kitchen facilities or not. All say family members or guest. Some give a square footage allowed vs primary dwelling. Some mention non renting. If one is required to attach it to the primery how is this accomplished? I found open walkway, Bridge, covered and not. I am interested in all coments.
    Thank you all for your replies. They still do not address the question. We all know a guest cottage is a building to house guests. And I have found several definations in sites from building codes. All mention it can be done. They can be either detached or attached in one case. Non limited it to only one bedroom and one even went so far as to say if it had only one bedroom another single bedroom structure could be built. All mention guests some address non paying (about half). Some mention kitchen (about 25%) but do not explain what a kitchen is. Example it may not be a kitchen unless a stove is installed (I have had this used). Square footage was only in a few cases and in the one I am researching are well under them all.

    So let me put this out:

    Guest Cottage: Living quarters within a detached accessory building located on the same lot or parcel of land as the primary structure, used exclusively for housing members of the family occupying the main building and their guests. Such quarters shall otherwise used as a separate dwelling. By no means shall such a use be considered a separate primary structure and eligible for a minor subdivision if either resulting lot created will be substandard in size.

    Accessory building: A building subordinate to the main building on the same lot and used for purposes customarily incidental to the use of the main building.

    I feel this is a correct defination and would like any coments from those who have or may face the same situation.


    RESTRICTIONS: Please your comment on them

    No more than two bedrooms ?
    No greater than 30% of main building ?
    No seperate metered utilities ?

    Please add any others that you may feel are needed.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 10 Feb 2006 at 1:55 PM.

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Okay, sorry I didn't get to where you were trying to go, so let me step back and ask:

    what are you trying to accomplish with the regulations?

    is there a situation that has become a problem or is there an anticpated problem that needs to be addressed now (wow, that would be, like, planning! I never get to do that)

    that might help review what you've posted as definitions

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    Rejected plan

    Let me add that a plan was submitted with a detached Guest House. No stove is shown. It shows two bedrooms, kitchen/dining area, living room/study area. Now in the same development there exist fourteen guest houses and the electric is independently metered. Now my plan is rejected and we will have a meeting to discuss it. So I am looking for any and all options that may of caused the reject. He did mention attached and also one dewlling on a lot. So why did my Guest House get rejected? I assume several reasons. Not attached but none of the others are. Next kitchen but the others have them less the stove. I come down to one item that I see may be a reason and thats a second bedroom. I am not sure but think all the others have one. So if this is the case what is a way around it. Some thoughts change the name on the plan from bedroom two to Study or another name. Another though attach it via a walkway, bridge, trellis etc? I hope this helps?

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