• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Subdivision Non conforming lots

ROBERT

Member
Messages
19
Points
1
A property owner has several contiguous nonconforming lots (platted prior to the current regulations). Collectively they would comply with current regs. One lot is then sold. Now the owner seeks a side yard variance. Is the applicant entitled to this variance?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Tough one. It is a little hard to answer without knowing all of the details, but I am inclined to say no. Setbacks apply to all lots, regardless of dimensions. At the same time, I am aware of neighborhoods in Madison, built under older regulations which allowed smaller setbacks. Residents frequently encountered problems when trying to put additions on their homes. This led the city to revise its zoning codes with regard to certain types of neighborhoods. The point was to make it possible to continue the existing pattern of development (additions or infill). Might this be a consideration?
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
ROBERT said:
A property owner has several contiguous nonconforming lots (platted prior to the current regulations). Collectively they would comply with current regs. One lot is then sold. Now the owner seeks a side yard variance. Is the applicant entitled to this variance?
I would say no, if the zoning ordinance does not make it unreasonable to construct a home on the lot.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
We would write it up for denial as a self-imposed hardship.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,841
Points
59
ROBERT said:
A property owner has several contiguous nonconforming lots (platted prior to the current regulations). Collectively they would comply with current regs. One lot is then sold. Now the owner seeks a side yard variance. Is the applicant entitled to this variance?
Depends. I had a similar case come up not too long ago, with a single nonconforming lot, and I recommended approval for a side lot variance. This was a corner lot, too, where there were techncially two front yards. Under the current zoning regulations, the lot had a building envelope of about 400 square feet.

According to my zoning code, if a single owner owns two or more contiguous nonconforming lots, the lots are considered to be consolidated. The act of selling off one of those lots to another party is considered an illegal subdivision, and the new owner of the nonconforming parcel has no implied or vested development rights. If they applied for a variance, I'd recommend denial because the hardship was self-imposed.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
they are legally plated? well then the lots are grand fathered but building anything on them is not. so he could get rid of the lot, but he could not build on any of them at this point-make him sign some sort of letter acknowledging this fact and that he assumes the risk himself

then when he goes for a waver deny because he caused his own hardship

we had this come up in Greensboro-some folks just don't GET it I think.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I wouldn't say they are entitled to a variance, but they are welcome to apply. I have a similar situration where this guy wants to build a new house on a 40 x 120 lot, but he says he can't meet the side yard requirements. I said he can apply for a variance but he would probably be denied since the variance is self-imposed.
 
Top