Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Zoning on abandoned railroad ROW

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    1,069

    Zoning on abandoned railroad ROW

    We have an old train depot that the railroad is donating through the county to a non-profit organization. The property is currently in the railroad ROW and does not have a county zoning classification assigned to it. When the property is subdivided and no longer belongs to the railroad, does it remain zoning-less? That seems to make sense to me, but I tried to look up if there was any case law to verify that, and haven't come upon anything.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Fort Worth, formerly Cheektowaga
    Posts
    529
    I would think you would want it zoned according to planned use and consistent with surrounding zoning, even if a formal zoning change is required.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    1,069
    Quote Originally posted by Doohickie View post
    I would think you would want it zoned according to planned use and consistent with surrounding zoning, even if a formal zoning change is required.
    I think we would officially need to do that. But I'm wondering if they'd be required to assign zoning to it prior to issuing any sorts of building permits.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Fort Worth, formerly Cheektowaga
    Posts
    529
    Not sure. I'm not a planner, I just hang out on this forum.

    Question: When you issue the permits, does the zoning matter? If so, you'd better do the zoning first, because if there's any conflict later, I would bet things would get messy legally.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered
    Aug 2015
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    22
    In my experience in California, you want to get all the planning entitlements/discretion done before any building permits are issued.

    I am not sure what environmental procedures you have in your state, but I guess that depot could have hazardous materials. One of the abandoned railroad ROWs in my area had arsenic.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Remote command post at local bar
    Posts
    11,411
    One of my old zoning codes had a rule for that. Basically if anything was abandoned it would adopt the majority zoning in the area. Road abandonment would adopt the zoning of the property it went to. If you don't have that I would require a hearing to set the zoning.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    1,069
    We don't have anything in place to handle these situations, so we'd have to go through a public hearing to assign it a zone. I've just never run into this situation before. I think we'd want to have the public hearing to assign the zone prior to approving the subdivision of the property. If we didn't, they'd have a window of time to come in and not have to meet any zoning requirements.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered
    Apr 2011
    Location
    End of the cul-de-sac
    Posts
    8
    In every ordinance I've worked with, there is usually an interpretation of boundaries section that discusses issues how the zoning relates to streets, railroad, streams, and property lines. Most I've used extends the zoning of the property to the midpoint of the right-of-way, railroad or other unless a zone is specifically shown in this area. If we vacate a street or in rare event the railroad vacates its right-of-way, the zoning is just extended without requiring action by the any body because the ordinance already assumed it extended even if it was not shown this way on the zoning map.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    1,069
    Quote Originally posted by bureaucrat#3 View post
    In every ordinance I've worked with, there is usually an interpretation of boundaries section that discusses issues how the zoning relates to streets, railroad, streams, and property lines. Most I've used extends the zoning of the property to the midpoint of the right-of-way, railroad or other unless a zone is specifically shown in this area. If we vacate a street or in rare event the railroad vacates its right-of-way, the zoning is just extended without requiring action by the any body because the ordinance already assumed it extended even if it was not shown this way on the zoning map.
    At first, that's what I would have just assumed. What makes this situation different than any other one I've dealt with is that this piece of property will be it's own stand alone lot. But I double-checked with our attorney and it would be un-zoned according to his interpretation, which was also what I had initially thought. We may want to add something in about that, though.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    5,207
    Quote Originally posted by gtpeach View post
    I think we would officially need to do that. But I'm wondering if they'd be required to assign zoning to it prior to issuing any sorts of building permits.
    Certainly. Add it to the adjacent district that includes businesses, or make it a park. What's the future use?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Fort Worth, formerly Cheektowaga
    Posts
    529
    deleted

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    1,069
    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Certainly. Add it to the adjacent district that includes businesses, or make it a park. What's the future use?
    They want to turn it into a community center. The only issue with making it Ag like the surrounding zoning district would be the setback issues. I found out there's a pretty good chance it might not materialize now, though, so maybe I won't have to figure it out.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 9
    Last post: 04 Nov 2008, 1:14 PM
  2. Railroad Reservations
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 30 Aug 2006, 6:31 PM
  3. Guess the Railroad #3
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 11
    Last post: 21 Jan 2004, 1:13 AM
  4. Guess the Railroad #2
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 8
    Last post: 19 Jan 2004, 10:24 AM
  5. Guess the Railroad #1
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 10
    Last post: 12 Jan 2004, 11:46 AM