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Thread: If a parcel has two zoning districts,

  1. #1
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    If a parcel has two zoning districts,

    West portion of the parcel is zoned commercial. East portion is zoned office district. Developer wants to build (1 building) across zones. He is proposing to use the west portion for a use that is allowed in commercial zone and east portion for a use allowed in office district. Would you let him do that?

    When it come to intensity of uses - Do you think commercial district is more intense than office district?

    Thanks for your advice on this.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Ideally you shouldn't have two different districts on one parcel. Where is the legal zoning boundary? You can A) rezone the parcel to match, B) allow the same uses in both districts so it won't matter, or C) let him build it as is and change the zoning at the next regular code update time.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I would require a rezoning first, before you go through the site plan review process. The applicant may not like this, but just tell them that your planning body may not approve the site because of the zoning issue, regardless of where the uses are occurring.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I would require a rezoning first, before you go through the site plan review process. The applicant may not like this, but just tell them that your planning body may not approve the site because of the zoning issue, regardless of where the uses are occurring.
    I'd require this as well. if at all possible, zoning district should follow property lines. Split zoned properties are a headache.
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  5. #5
    I agree that it is not ideal to have split zoning on a parcel. Our code anticipated it and rules that, whichever is the larger governs if the split is perpendicular to the r-o-w. If parallel, that closest the r-o-w governs.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    I'd require this as well. if at all possible, zoning district should follow property lines. Split zoned properties are a headache.
    Mee three. And a procedure should be in place for the future that zoning/form-based code/overlays follows property lines.
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Absent of any specific guidance in the code, I'd allow their proposal. Unless your code says "zones must follow property lines" then I don't think you have any solid grounds to deny them their request on the basis that you want to rezone the property. Of course, you can always ask them if they don't mind you doing so.

    And yes, split zoned properties can be a headache but I think there are some very legitimate reasons for having them. For example, where I work we have many large, deep lots. There are a bunch of uses that we're comfortable allowing at the front of the lots on major roads, but we wouldn't want to allow them 300m back from that major road.

    I'd also be very careful if you do decide to write a "zones follow baundaries" clause. What happens after a subdivision or consolidation once the zones are in place? If I am a wily developer can I buy up the residential lots next to my commercial lot, consolidate the two, and claim that those former residential lots must now be interpreted as commercial land?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    We have an unhelpful provision that syas this: "If a zone boundary as shown on the map divides a lot between two zones, the entire lot shall be deemed to be in the zone in which the greater area of the lot lies; provided, that this adjustment involves a distance not to exceed 20 feet from the mapped zone boundary." 20 feet. Big deal. A lot of my response would depend on the details. What does your code say about the allowed uses in the two zones, what are the specifics of what the developer wants to do, how can the uses be controlled? Assuming there is no good, ordinance-based reason to say no, I'd say OK. But it's all in the details.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    My fair city has a lot of split zoned parcels as the Commission and Council like to draw rather arbitrary lines for zoning districts, i.e. first 300 feet on either side of a highway is zoned Light Industrial, even though for some parcels less than 10 or 15 feet of the parcel are actually zoned for LI. The other issue we have is many of our parcels, especially in newly developed areas still are very large parcels. Thanks to Texas law if the property is over 5 acres and doesn't require the extension of any public utilities, they aren't required to plat, which can cause these large parcels to remain un-subdivided for years until the developer/owner sells other land to another buyer.

    Our department is trying to do away with most of these split parcels as we rezone our city for our new ULDC. We have had development applications on these split zoned parcels and we ask the developer to rezone to one district, although it is not required. The only problem is that our ordinance has compatibility standards that require additional setbacks or screening between certain districts, so the compatibility stands tend to make an applicant rezone the parcel.

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