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Thread: Two homes on one lot?

  1. #1
    Jan 2008
    freehold, nj

    Two homes on one lot?

    Historically there were two single family homes on one tax lot. One home was abandoned over the years and converted into a commercial use-art studio for kids classes. ZB will review owners request to build a new home on the same lot, re-establishing the two homes on one lot situation. WHile the ZB has stated that the older home may be used for elderly parents or young married family members, the owner wants the freedom to maintain and rent the old home to whoever he chooses.

    Are there any positive reasons that exist for lifting the restriction on "family only" rentals?

    Property is quite large (5 acres) but lies in a 6 acre zone.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Aug 2005
    in a meeting
    I would think enforcement of family only rentals would boggle the department - will they check the lease agreements? it may also not be constitutional to regulate this, so check with your attorney

    a second home on a lot should always be assumed to be as it is, a second dwelling unit - so if a district should not be built out at this density, then it shouldn't be done

    an option is to allow "accessory dwellings" which are regulated as anywhere between 30-50% of the principal dwelling - this gets to a density issue

  3. #3
    Let's back up a step or two, shall we? You say one home was abandoned and converted to commercial ... now the owner wants to build a second home. I'm taking it that one home burned down/was torn down at some point. If approved, there would be one dwelling and one daycare on the property? If that is the case, at least here in my Indiana community, the legal, non-conforming status (popularly called 'grandfathering') would have expired for the second (torn down) dwelling and to rebuild it, the owner would need land use and development standards variances.

    Generally, we regulate the use, not the user -- in other words a dwelling is a dwelling, whether owner or tenant occupied. There have been times when an applicant sought a second dwelling specifically for a dependent and we approved it for that type of use (including requiring utilities be subservient to the principal dwelling). I'm not sure how sturdy was the legal ground we were standing on, but no one complained.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
    Nov 2006
    Rockwood, MI

    Fat Cat

    I would agree with most of what Gedunker and Luckess Pedestrian have said
    One of the problems that you might run into is if two dwelling units are allowed on one lot or two principal buildings are allowed on one lot, and a subsequent owner wants to split the lot to sell the two principal buildings, Now there is a possiblity of two non conforming lots or even one non conforming lot. This could create all sorts of problems
    It may be better to split the lot and have two lots with a principal building on each lot or has been suggested that a percentage of the accesssory structure to the principal structure on one lot with the appropriate setbacks and uses allowed
    I am assume that your zoning allows for the uses that you describe.

    I dont normally believe in flag lots but have written ordinances to accomodate existing problems like this

    Sometimes trying to be accomadating can lead to serious problems later on. The question could arise in court

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