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Thread: Greenfield/infill platting of two-familty+ lots

  1. #1
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Greenfield/infill platting of two-familty+ lots

    Whenever someone wishes to construct an owner-occupied Duplex, Tri-Plex, or Four-Plex in our city, they must go through a cumbersome platting process in order to separately convey each unit.
    Our process currently dictates that one must plat a "buildable lot (singular)" which varies in size depending upon the type of attached housing. This one lot then contains the duplex/triplex/fourplex structure which can only be further subdivided (to convey and sell individual units) once the footing and foundation are in. This is so that we can know that attached residential units (of any sort) are for sure being constructed, but also, so that people do not plat a lot smaller than our minimum lot size only to put detached housing on it. (Because density seems to be a dirty word in Northern Colorado)
    My last duplex project has run into a snag with our current platting methodology. I had the developer plat out 32 lots of 6,000 sf or greater for 64 duplex units. Upon building the foundation for each structure he was to submit a minor subdivision application to subdivide the units into two. (This was to occur for all lots) Like I said, this is a CUMBERSOME process
    The Snag: Said developer is looking to construct his duplexes after they are sold. He cannot sell an individual unit unless it is split.
    The Other Snag: The Building division will not grant them a building permit for what they wish to do. Building code calls for firewalls between the units. They have planned for that. BUT in order to pay the correct fees and obtain at least an F&F permit, each unit needs its own individual lot. In other words, Building needs each unit on its own lot in order to grant a permit. Planning, bound by its antiquated and suburban-leaning subdivision code, cannot split the structure until something (at least a foundation) is built. You see the dilemma?

    My question is, do any of you have a solution that you employ from your Codes? We are looking to remedy this, both to save public/private sector time and money, but also to make soe neat developments a little easier to implement and more attractive for developers.
    Anything to help streamline? Anything to help me suggest to the Powers here?
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    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Not at the same scale, but this would fall under a condo conversion process under NH law, and subject to a condo conversion process under our local subdivision regulations.

    If the structure exists, and it is the form of ownership changing without site changes, we have an expedited process.

    If it's from scratch, it goes through our regular subdivision process (condominium = subdivision under NH land use law).

    I can send over the forms for both processes if you're interested...PM me, and I can e-mail you a couple pdf's.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  3. #3
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    In Colorado, you can condo the units as well, but that only means that the building footprint is owned. This is mainly so that a small yard could be sold with the unit. This makes it good for selling the duplex units, but also makes it so that an HOA does not have to be created for maintenance.

    Does that make sense?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Hmm...interesting situation you have there. Here in Cook County, IL it is a bit different. For the two munis. I've worked for so far (including present) the ownership status of the units isn't required to be tied to timing of plat submission/revision.

    Where I work currently, we would treat such a subdivision for duplexes to be tied to the actual lots platted because in order to do attached units it would need to be one lot (because we require side setbacks in the districts that allow such units).

    As for ownership, if you wanted to have fee simple ownership you just create a tax parcel through the County (which assigns the unique tax numbers) A tax parcel has no zoning implication and any future redevelopment of the lot containing the duplex would require meeting the zoning requirements for the entire lot not just the tax parcel.

    zman - sounds like you do have a seriously onerous process. Good luck
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Our process currently dictates that one must plat a "buildable lot (singular)" which varies in size depending upon the type of attached housing. This one lot then contains the duplex/triplex/fourplex structure which can only be further subdivided (to convey and sell individual units) once the footing and foundation are in. This is so that we can know that attached residential units (of any sort) are for sure being constructed, but also, so that people do not plat a lot smaller than our minimum lot size only to put detached housing on it.
    ____
    A Planned Unit Development (PUD) land use review process could be adopted to allow for greater flexibility in land use review & development staging for these types of 'outside-the-box' development proposals. The PUD development agreement would address your community's concerns. But I'm wondering, in the meanwhile since this guy's hanging, under your regulations could the developer request a concurrent variance with his minor subdivision application, and then if he meets the variance criteria, make sure the decision includes recorded conditions to address proper development of the lots in conformance with your regs?

  6. #6
         
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    We have a very similar process for duplexes where the seller/buy wants the land attached to each home but separated from the other attached unit. The other option is that you plat the final lot (include setback lines on the plat to create a building envelop that would prohibit a detached home) and then require the builder to provide a survey demonstraiting that the middle of the center foundation wall is located on the common lot line. Don't pass the foundation inspection until its done and then if its off require them to either change the foundation location or replat the lot before they can start with framing. I know, it's no better than you current process but it's an option.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Foundation inspection? What is that? Perhaps my development currently will bring those back. Actually an inspection of the foundation FORMS (pre-pouring) would be better.

    Anyways, Jefe I actually did look up the codes in Funky Town regarding this. Thanks for the ideas and clarification on the platting of building envelopes. Maybe the process here needs to change a little more than I initially think.

    Keep 'em coming, Folks.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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