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Subdivision Aligning Lots

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I'm getting down to re-writing the last sections of the Land Use Bylaw (Z.O. for those in the States) and I'm having a hard time formulating one particular section of code.

Lately, we have been having problems with applicants coming in with a block of single family lots that are off-set from the block that it's backing onto so that each single family lot has two rear yard neighbours (at least!). (So the side lot lines of the backing lots bisect the proposed lot). I would like to add a section to the LUB that states to the greates extent possible lots shall be aligned so that each s.f. lot has only one rear yard neighbour. I will likely have an illustration of "good" and "bad" examples.

I was wondering if anyone has adopted this sort of language and whether it cut down the problem. If anyone knows of a good cite, I would be very interested in that as well.

If this doesn't make sense, please let me know and I'll do a back of napkin drawing to scan and upload.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
Is it a vista thing, so you can see between the houses? Seems that you get more lots when they are lined up.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
No... it's more of a problem that we are having with fencing, privacy, etc. Instead of coordinating fencing or other issues with one rear neighbour, lately we have had a lot of situations where one lot shares a rear property line with two or three lots. It has created a lot of neighbour in-fighting and upped the number of complaints we get.

I know I've seen similar language before... it's an informal policy in a lot of planning departments. I just wonder if anyone has ever codified it somehow.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,841
Points
59
I haven't seen anything like lot line alignment codified. I think it might be a concept that would be too difficult to put into words, when you consider all the conditions that would result in lot lines that aren't aligned (i.e. adjacent subdivision with much larger lot sizes than bylaw minimum requirements, cul-de-sacs and curving streets, etc.) Even with a grid, a lot line alignment requirement would preclude a variety of lot sizes in a subdivision. Most planners would favor a mix of lot sizes, to appeal to different levels of affordability.

if the issue is fencing consistency, it doesn't seem like this regulation would help; there's still the possibility of having side fences that are different than the rear fence. Even then, it could be handled through a covenant.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
You just dropped the value of a house $20,000 with that. You have neighbors peeking in each other's windows, you have no view out any sunroom you may have, you make it tougher to get water out from behind the house, so the yards will probably require yard inlets....

I'm not sure how this affects water... explain please? Most of the lots that come in have their side lot lines match up exactly with the side lot lines of the properties behind them (when the lots are the same size).

I would think that having only one neighbour in the back would be better for marketability than having a lot look into at least two backyards. But then... I've only worked on this side of the table, so maybe I just have a clear understanding of what you are talking about.


As far as Dan's comments are concerned... you are right, it would be a big pain to try to codify this. But I thought I would investigate before making a final recommendation on whether to include these provisions. Jury's still out... :)
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I've got to agree with Dan and Mike. Right now, I but up to about twenty different neighbors. Except once, I have never lived in a house where the lots lined up. Yes, I can remember having a fence going two-thirds of the way along my parent's back yard. We really didn't notice. So what? If it is a problem, put up more fence. Maybe people are a little more wacky today.

Anyway, I think Dan's solution is correct. Require developers to handle it through a covenant restricting the type and location of fencing that can go in, and let the home-owner's association deal with it.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
Mike D. said:
You just dropped the value of a house $20,000 with that. You have neighbors peeking in each other's windows, you have no view out any sunroom you may have, you make it tougher to get water out from behind the house, so the yards will probably require yard inlets....

I'm not sure how this affects water... explain please? Most of the lots that come in have their side lot lines match up exactly with the side lot lines of the properties behind them (when the lots are the same size).

I would think that having only one neighbour in the back would be better for marketability than having a lot look into at least two backyards. But then... I've only worked on this side of the table, so maybe I just have a clear understanding of what you are talking about.


As far as Dan's comments are concerned... you are right, it would be a big pain to try to codify this. But I thought I would investigate before making a final recommendation on whether to include these provisions. Jury's still out... :)
Mike D...

I'm sorry... I'm having the *worst* day today. I wasn't paying attention and I edited your message instead of quoting it.

I think I need to stay off the boards today... I'm just screwing up left and right. Sorry :(
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
As far as lot grading and drainage goes, with your lot setup you need a high point dead center of the shared rear yard line with at least 2% flowing away from the house then back out to the street.

Really hard to describe without drawing for you, maybe I'll do that tomorrow....

With "alternating" side lot lines, there are alot more alternatives to dish water out too. However, this isn't a huge deal.

As far as marketability goes, people don't want to know their neighbors ;)
 
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