So, I'm still somewhat new to local-level land use/subdivision/building laws, but today after work, while talking to my boss about the details of some upcoming variance requests, he mentioned something that struck me as odd. Apparently, our fair resident (literally) builder in our fairy small city was able to build on what are two separately platted lots adjacent to each other as if they were one large parcel of land. At least, in terms of building and calculating for impervious cover and such. The builder is still following all the proper setbacks, keeping the middle property line shared between the two lots in mind. The home and garage will be built on one lot, with appropriate setbacks, while the driveway will be built on part of the other lot, crossing the shared property line between the two lots to reach the garage. The future owners could build something like a garden shed or whatever on the non-house lot if they wanted, assuming they meet setbacks and don't add too much to the existing impervious cover percentage.
I found this really interesting/confusing because I'd always been under the impression that you couldn't do this kind of thing. I had always thought you couldn't build on two adjacent platted lots as if they were one parcel of land. As in, you would need to replat the two smaller lots as one larger lot. My boss was under the same impression too and conferred with our city attorney, who gave the okay on this issue. Apparently, the builder has set up a restrictive covenant on the two lots (he owns them both) such that any future seller of the home/lots/property will only be able to sell them together.
Is anyone aware of a technical term for this kind of building/parcel arrangement? Have any of you had experience with it? Are there any potential pitfalls or advantages? Is it a common practice, because I had no idea this could be done without replatting into a larger parcel of land. Then again, I'm still a new guy in a lot of ways, and our small town doesn't see more than a few new homes built a year.
Thanks in advance for any responses!