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Thread: Zoning ordinance before buying property

  1. #1
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    Zoning ordinance before buying property

    Well, my question for today involves the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Can they hear a request and grant a variance to someone that does not currently own the property?? I have a couple who want to find out if they will be granted a variance BEFORE they actually buy the property. Is that permissible or do all hearings have to be from the current property owner? We seem to have a couple of opinions here!!
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    We allow this, but only with the current property owners consent in the form of a notarized affidavit. If you want our example just PM me and I'll send it to you.
    @GigCityPlanner

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    We allow this, but only with the current property owners consent in the form of a notarized affidavit.
    Dittos, except we just require proof of ownership - ie a document showing who the owner actually is.

    But we rarely get this type of situation, because we require detailed architectural plans for the request and people are usually hesitant to layout the couple thousand to get the plans put together, when they don't own the property.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  4. #4
    It's common here. I've argued the Affidavit or higher proof of ownership to no avail: all we require is the owner's signature.

    If approved, we typically limit it to the applicant only, just so they didn't send in Mother Theresa as a front for Joe Slumlord.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Yeah, at my old job especially, we would constantly have cases where the contract to buy the property would be contingent on the zoning being approved, cause the zoning was usually required for the new owners to build a house or do something else with the property.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Dittos, except we just require proof of ownership - ie a document showing who the owner actually is.
    I'm actually looking for some arguments as to why providing proof of ownership (i.e. warranty deed) is really necessary. My current (and new- more on this later) employer doesn't require anything.

    So why can't we just assume that the only person with an interest in improving property is the owner?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    I'm actually looking for some arguments as to why providing proof of ownership (i.e. warranty deed) is really necessary. My current (and new- more on this later) employer doesn't require anything.

    So why can't we just assume that the only person with an interest in improving property is the owner?
    I'll tell you exactly where the argument originated and the need was first realized about 4 years ago. The cell tower industry and second and third party leases. The tower is approved for the property owner originally but does the property owner who doesn't own the tower always know when a 2nd or 3rd carrier is added? I had an angry property owner asking me one day why AT&T was out on his land when the tower was Sprint. This can happen for any tenant sub tenant relationship.
    @GigCityPlanner

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Captain Worley's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    So why can't we just assume that the only person with an interest in improving property is the owner?
    Because it could be me writing the letter, even though I have no interest in the property.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    In our state, any aggrieved party can file. Administratively, I'd want to see the terms of sale or consent of owner.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    My old company would/does do this all the time. As they dont actually buy the property until construction begins.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    I'll tell you exactly where the argument originated and the need was first realized about 4 years ago. The cell tower industry and second and third party leases. The tower is approved for the property owner originally but does the property owner who doesn't own the tower always know when a 2nd or 3rd carrier is added? I had an angry property owner asking me one day why AT&T was out on his land when the tower was Sprint. This can happen for any tenant sub tenant relationship.
    How is this our problem? Take it up with Sprint (who is now AT&T, incidentally, aren't they?). People want someone to blame and we try to cover our butts, but really ... the land owner has a problem with Sprint. And WHY?? If they seriously didn't want to allow co-location, then the original approval should have been denied. [Common sense -- not so common!]
    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    In our state, any aggrieved party can file...
    Yep, our state too. In fact, a Town Next Door recently denied an application based on the fact that it wasn't the owner, then changed the zoning super-quick to prohibit the use. Now, it's on its way to court and I would be SHOCKED if the municipality wins. (I'll try to keep you posted.) We told them, but no one listens to me...
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RandomPlanner... View post
    How is this our problem? Take it up with Sprint (who is now AT&T, incidentally, aren't they?). People want someone to blame and we try to cover our butts, but really ... the land owner has a problem with Sprint. And WHY?? If they seriously didn't want to allow co-location, then the original approval should have been denied. [Common sense -- not so common!]
    I think you completely misunderstood this. The tower owner paid the land owner a sum of money to be on the property, that doesn't let the tower owner then negotiate anything they want to do with that property co location or not, without having the original property owner's consent. The property owner has a right to compensation and even though they may not own the tower they own the land the tower is on (via an easement usually) and all the electrical and telecommunication cabinets that then get placed on the ground are on their property. This was all done since, at the time, the tower owner applied for the permit not the property owner who was unaware of any approvals on their land.
    @GigCityPlanner

  13. #13
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    many times we have people pursuing permits during a due diligence phase - we require either a signed purchase and sale agreement that is subject to permitting or a letter of authorization from the property owner.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    many times we have people pursuing permits during a due diligence phase - we require either a signed purchase and sale agreement that is subject to permitting or a letter of authorization from the property owner.
    Most developers contract a project and get a diligence period. As long as the current owner signs the forms or consents, its go time!

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