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Thread: Postage stamp lots

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Postage stamp lots

    Hey to all. Long time reader, first time poster.

    I am currently working on writing a town home ordinance and would like to include information on townhomes located on postage stamp lots.

    I was wondering if anyone could share information on regulations regarding postage stamp lot development from their communities or could direct me somewhere else.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by cyke; 05 Jul 2007 at 1:36 PM. Reason: misworded

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    what exactly are you looking for?

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Welcome to Cyburbia!

    What Jeff said. Could you define "postage stamp lots?" In some of the communities that I work with, anything under an acre is considered postage stamp-sized.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Postage stamp

    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Welcome to Cyburbia!

    What Jeff said. Could you define "postage stamp lots?" In some of the communities that I work with, anything under an acre is considered postage stamp-sized.
    Hi, based on my understanding of the subject of postage stamp lots, I would define them as below (They might be known differently in other places):

    Postage stamp lots are lots within lots where the owners of a property own the land as well as the land below it. For example, a store in a mall could be situated on a postage stamp lot. It owns the land below it, but it does not own the parking area and other common space.

    I am looking for more information on postage stamp lots, specifically related to townhomes. How would being on a postage stamp lot affect the design, layout and size of townhomes.
    I am trying to reword our townhome ordinance to reflect postage stamp lot development information on townhomes.
    Hope that's more clear. Any help would be appreciated.

  5. #5
    maudit anglais
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    That sounds like a freehold condominium to me.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner View post
    That sounds like a freehold condominium to me.
    I've heard that description used before. Some cities have defacto prevented these type of lots from exisiting by requiring a frontage on a public street. I'm still interested in knowing how development on these lots would be affected (setbacks etc.) by this rule.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plan 9's avatar
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    From what I have seen, that type of lot would normally only exist in a planned unit development or similar process where the site plan, or at least the building envelope, is approved. The setbacks for would typically be measured from the entire site boundaries (and between structures), instead of from the individual 'stamp' lots.

    Try googling PUD ordinances.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    A few observations and suggestions based on your example

    1) Include this type of development as a permitted form in the enabling land division by-law (subdivision/severance/plat etc). May require changes to your Comp/Official Plan to permit

    2) Establish setbacks from public roads, not based on "yards"

    3) Specifically permit buildings with a common wall to have zero setbacks. But be very clear that it is a common above grade wall and not just a wall formed by the foundation.

    4) If the buildings are to be clustered, require reasonable setbacks between exterior walls. Check your building and fire codes and work from there.

    5) Require cross access agreements or what we call common element condominiums for driveways and parking. Be very cautious to make sure that driveways are either built to city standards or built in a manner that will be very easy for the city to not accept. If there is any grey someone will try to get you to service the property.
    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
    Member
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    May I add to what Dunk just said........

    Building shall contain 4 or more units.....be less than 150' in length (fire reg) with a side yard of 7' min. No unit shall be more than ?00 freet from a fire hydrant.

    Building must face public street (private streets require PUD or CD). Building must be built to 25' to street R/W. Entrance doors to each unit shall face the street. Entry stoops and covers may intrude into 25' front a max of 6' with a seperate entry walk for each unit required. Ea. entry shall have one light at door . Only one shielded walk light allowed (shines in neighbor's windows). Check your lighting ord. for glare/spillage etc. Check into Darksky standards and IES standards.....there is a new "Model Outdoor Lighting Ordinance" coming out of their combined efforts this year. You may want to addopt seperately.

    Each unit shall have a seperate street address and mailbox. Address numbers shall be clearly visable from street and shall be uniform for the entire building.

    Each unit shall have individual gas, water & sewer connections with individual meters. Meters for all units must be located on one end or the other with a service walkway.

    All A/C outside ground units shall be located in rear of each unit. No window units allowed. Thru wall units (are) (are not) allowed.

    Street shall have sidewalks, street trees, street lights etc. per town standards. If built on an existing street, sidewalks, trees, lights etc. shall be installed to latest City standards.

    Each building shall be 2 or 3 stories above entry level (45' max). Only end units may be partial 1 story. Basements are allowed. Roof slopes shall be 4:12 or greater includeing shed roofs. Flat roofs by planning board approval only.

    Parking gets to be a lot of fun.....try this:
    No unit parking allowed on public street. Parking on one side of street only....for visitors....no trucks/workman vans, boat/campers etc. allowed. Cars parked overnight get tickets.

    Each unit sall have minimum one car garage or carport with garage door. Ea garage shall have ample space for roll-out garbage containers. No driveway shall exceed 8% slope fromsidewalk to garage door. all water shall drain away from door. Light over door. Mail slots in garage door allowed. 2nd car may park in driveway. No more than three gagage doors may be grouped together with a common drive of 27' or less (check your curb cut requirements. All garage doors must set back a min of 2' from front build line.

    Units with no street faceing garage doors must have garage buildings in rear serviced by 20' paved alleyway. You might want to allow comon dumpsters in the config.

    No rear garages shall attach to building....seperated by 25' privacy space. No granny apts allowed......one story only......storage in attic allowed........block walls (fire walls) required between owners. Utilities allowed in alleys. No rental garage units allowed.

    Now as to postage stamp lots:

    Front and side lot requirements shall be held in common. No rear common lot required. Rear of building shall have Privacy Areas seperated by fences/masonry walls. Each PA shall have one tree (?) or shrub equivalent per code.

    Privacy Area in rear of ea unit shall be no less than 25' deep and the width of the unit. The area of the unit footprint (including front garage) shall not exceed 65% of the unit lot. FAR

    The above are for single buildings and cluster/campus etc. must by PUD or CD with other standards for group parking lots, no garages,etc. There are unlimited combinations , designs and styles.......CHECK MUNICODE.com

    Hope this helps!
    gb333

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks a lot GB, that was really helpful, especially for the townhome regs I was looking for.
    Out of curiousity, did you come up with those regulations yourself or were they derived from a city code?
    Thanks.

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