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Thread: Permitting a second dwelling on a lot (was: Zoning)

  1. #1

    Permitting a second dwelling on a lot (was: Zoning)

    I was wondering if you can build a second house on a 1/2 acre lot that a home is already on and lived in? Im owner of land.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I'm sure you CAN do that, but MAY you? It really depends on your County or City zoning and their classification of the land. You need to let us know what zone and where to look at the code to answer that question. In my County we have one zone that can have multiple dwellings but you have to have an acre to have two.
    @GigCityPlanner

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    A common request many planners get is "Can I build a second house on my property?" or "Can I roll in a mobile home on my lot for my sick/elderly mother?" The answer is usually "no".

    I can't really answer your question without being completely familiar with the zoning regulations in the area where you live (city or unincorporated county), and any interpretations from its planners or zoning administrators. Throughout most of the United States and Canada, though, if your property is located in a single family or agricultural zoning district, you may only have one dwelling unit on the property; just one single family house. (There may be exceptions; some communities allow small "granny flats" attached to the main house, some permit seasonal housing for migrant farm workers in agricultural districts in conjunction with a working farm. This may not be, and likely is not the case in your community.)

    Among the main reasons why you can't put more than one house on a lot: so you can't curcumvent subdivision regulations. Did you try a legal subdivision? Do you know the zoning district you're in, and its minimum lot size? If it's 1/4 acre (0.1 ha for those reading from metric countries) or more, you probably can't subdivide. Even if it's over an acre, there may be barriers preventing you from splitting the lot - restrictions on flag lots, inability for the new lot to meet minimum frontage (the length of the lot along the street) or other dimensional (lot width or depth) requirements, inability of development on that lot to meet setback requirements (how far a building on the lot must be from property lines and other nearby buildings), restriction on further subdivision of a parcel without a more formal review, access management restrictions (location and spacing of driveways and curb cuts along a street), whether you've got septic instead of sanitary sewers, and so on.

    Disclaimer: this is all the professional opinion of a planner working in Ohio. Consult your local planning or zoning official for a definitive answer.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    On 1/2 acre I assume there is no farming going on there. And the home wouldn't be for somebody working on the farm. In our ordinance there are exceptions to allow a 2nd home only in these cases. But of course, you'll have to inquire with your jurisdiction, see what their rules are for your zoning district. Chances are you will need to rezoning and subdivide to get a second house. But even then you may run into issues with well and septic (if you are in a rural area) and soil limitations. May be that you can't get a second septic system on that 1/2 acre.

  5. #5

    Permitting a second dwelling on a lot

    The property location is Augusta county virginia. Zoned Ag <SF10> the map has lot 3 resub div lots. This is also in a neighborhood.

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Finch View post
    The property location is Augusta county virginia. Zoned Ag <SF10> the map has lot 3 resub div lots. This is also in a neighborhood.
    From http://www.co.augusta.va.us/doc/CCHAPTER25ArtXIII.pdf

    Article XIII. Single Family Residential (SF) Districts.
    [snip]

    &#167; 25-132. Permitted uses.
    The following uses shall be permitted within all Single Family Residential Districts without administrative or special use permit:

    A. One single family dwelling and certain group homes required to be permitted by state law.
    [snip]


    Emphasis mine. The special use process does not permit additional dwelling units.

  7. #7
    Does this mean that a house or double wide is not allow to be put on the lot?

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Finch View post
    Does this mean that a house or double wide is not allow to be put on the lot?
    Probably.

    But you need to talk to August County to get the actual answer.

    We are just professionals in other jurisdictions and cannot be legally relied upon for answers.

    I don't want to hear you saying, "Well, Cyburbia said I could."
    Last edited by mendelman; 28 Nov 2007 at 4:48 PM.
    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!

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