Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: How to fix an illegal split

  1. #1
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    in the midwest
    Posts
    744

    How to fix an illegal split

    OK, what to do.... In my county, if someone splits his land illegally, we flag it with "no building permit" status and they can never get a building permit for anything until the situation is rectified.
    We have a fellow who split his lot illegally like 8 times, giving each of his kids a parcel. He operates a salvage yard on one of the illegal parcels. The salvage yard is a legal non-conforming use, but has the "no building permit" flag. Now, the place is a sh%$ hole, and his son-in-law supposedly wants to fix it up, make it presentable, etc. In short, they want a building permit to build a new office on the property and get rid of the trailer that's caving in.
    I don't have the slightest idea how to fix this situation. We can't give him a permit without fixing all these illegal splits. My boss seems to think an Auditor's plat may fix them, but I have no idea why that would be and my search of Iowa code has not been helpful. Does anyone have any ideas?
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Machesney Park, IL
    Posts
    1,437
    sounds like he is SOL, unless he puts all the lots back together. Those lots being split like that are worthless anyway, it sounds like.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    in the midwest
    Posts
    744
    He could put them back together, but then he'd be forced to tear down all his kids' houses, as you can only have one per lot. I kind of feel like maybe this salvage yard needs to die....
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Machesney Park, IL
    Posts
    1,437
    Oh, I didn't realize the kids already built houses. Were they allowed to do that? Sounds like by allowing his kids to build their houses he's given up the right to improve his junk yard. If he had gone through the proper channels he would have known that. I have no pity for people like this.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    in the midwest
    Posts
    744
    You should have been at the appeal hearing...I think the cancer card was played at least 5 times.
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,881
    I second CCH call. Also, the kid's can't even upgrade their own houses. Meez thinks it's time to call in code enforcement for a "surprise" visit to make sure these houses are even up to code.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  7. #7
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 1998
    Location
    On the Mother River
    Posts
    4,555
    Sometimes you have to look at how the results help your jurisdiction. If granting a permit gets rid of a junkyard, that is a plus for the folks you work for. Perhaps a written contract for cleaning up in exchange for a building permit is in order?
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  8. #8
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    in the midwest
    Posts
    744
    But if you do that, you are sort of breaking the law.
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    6,419
    My first question is how were his kid's houses built? Didn't a red flag go up when they applied for building permits? Weren't those new lots flagged as "no building permits"?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    in the midwest
    Posts
    744
    This was in the 60's, but I believe they didn't get permits Isn't it nice?
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3,160
    Quote Originally posted by KSharpe View post
    OK, what to do.... In my county, if someone splits his land illegally, we flag it with "no building permit" status and they can never get a building permit for anything until the situation is rectified.
    We have a fellow who split his lot illegally like 8 times, giving each of his kids a parcel. He operates a salvage yard on one of the illegal parcels. The salvage yard is a legal non-conforming use, but has the "no building permit" flag. Now, the place is a sh%$ hole, and his son-in-law supposedly wants to fix it up, make it presentable, etc. In short, they want a building permit to build a new office on the property and get rid of the trailer that's caving in.
    I don't have the slightest idea how to fix this situation. We can't give him a permit without fixing all these illegal splits. My boss seems to think an Auditor's plat may fix them, but I have no idea why that would be and my search of Iowa code has not been helpful. Does anyone have any ideas?
    If you deny the building permit for the office, can you code enforcement go after the trailer and the junk yard?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally posted by giff57 View post
    Sometimes you have to look at how the results help your jurisdiction. If granting a permit gets rid of a junkyard, that is a plus for the folks you work for. Perhaps a written contract for cleaning up in exchange for a building permit is in order?
    I agree with giff57 and add that a condition of the contract is to record a subdivision for the illegal lots.

    Why do recorders record every freakin' thing that comes through their door? Don't they realize there are regulations for splitting property???

  13. #13
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    in the midwest
    Posts
    744
    Actually, the junk yard is legal non-conforming, so they get to stay. My boss is kind of soft on enforcement, so while those trailers technically shouldn't get to stay, I know he won't do anything about them. After all your comments, i guess I still think these people are SOL unless they tear down all the houses and recombine the lots.
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

  14. #14
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 1998
    Location
    On the Mother River
    Posts
    4,555
    Quote Originally posted by KSharpe View post
    But if you do that, you are sort of breaking the law.

    Sometimes the law isn't black or white. Run it by your attorney. Remember that your job is to make your jurisdiction a better place. Sometimes you can negotiate voluntary good outcomes from these kind of situations.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  15. #15
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,062

    Need a complete history

    You said these were done in the 1960's?

    1. Were the lots divided by deed or a map? What year?
    2. If your state subdivision laws were passed after the creation of the lots....maybe they aren't "illegal."
    3. Is the old man still alive? Were the lots created after his death? If so, lot's created through the action of a will or court decree from probate can be considered legal in many states.
    4. Do the lots meet current zoning standards? If so, they should be able to record a plat or family exemption....(My family had to do this on the family farm near Waterloo a few years back)
    5. We would do an inspection of the homes and double fee for a permit if they were considered "safe" by an architect/structural engineer. If they are a mess, TEAR THEM DOWN!!!
    6. An additional fine could be assessed through the code enforcement process.
    Skilled Adoxographer

  16. #16
    Cyburbian vagaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Yo momma's house!
    Posts
    296
    Sounds like code enforcement could help a great deal. In a county where I used to work in Florida, we had an "immediate family exemption" that would allow up to four lots to be given to immediate family members of the owner without the requirement to plat or formally subdivide. Maybe this is their ultimate intent.
    ...my lifestyle determines my death style!
    - Metallica

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Illegal beneficial activity
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 9
    Last post: 24 Mar 2011, 3:14 PM
  2. Replies: 6
    Last post: 15 Feb 2006, 7:36 PM
  3. Is neighbor's new home illegal?
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 9
    Last post: 05 Jan 2006, 5:15 PM
  4. AIB - Illegal Signs
    Cities and Places
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 12 Sep 2005, 8:30 PM
  5. Illegal Art
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 11
    Last post: 26 Nov 2002, 7:24 PM