How to subdivide the non-subdividable - Posted by Paul_MA

Posted by Bud Branstetter on May 05, 2001 at 09:39:24:

Did he not say there are two houses on one lot? The lot size is usually used to have a minimum to build on. Since the houses are already built the small lot size should negate the objection.

How to subdivide the non-subdividable - Posted by Paul_MA

Posted by Paul_MA on May 05, 2001 at 24:47:25:

Here’s the situation:

Two houses on one lot. The attorney says it is not subdividable due to the square footage of the entire lot. The planning department says the same.

What solution could be used to make both houses mortgageable? Could the land be condo-ized?

Thanks in advance.

Paul MA

Re: How to subdivide the non-subdividable - Posted by LisaK

Posted by LisaK on May 05, 2001 at 06:33:48:

Houses should be able to be converted to “condos” meaning each house has an undivided interest in the whole lot. Depending on your state this could be a difficult process or a simple process. Talk with a local real estate attorney.

Re: How to subdivide the non-subdividable - Posted by JT - IN

Posted by JT - IN on May 05, 2001 at 07:36:42:

Have you checked with Board of Zoning Appeals? Many times the Planning & Zoning Dept. will quote chapter and verse of zoning, set-back, egress, etc. When you have a project that does not fall within those guidelines you may seek a variance through the BZA.
JUst be sure you have exhausted all remedies before you take other measures. You may want to consult with a local surveyor, who does most work in your area. They will know if you have a prayer to get variance.

Just something to think about…


Re: How to subdivide the non-subdividable - Posted by Nate(DC)

Posted by Nate(DC) on May 05, 2001 at 09:16:01:

That is good advice, but in most cases a variance is granted for minor items such as setbacks, not to allow the subdivision of a lot that is too small to subdivide.

If you were going to condo out the houses, you would also need to make sure the zoning allows that.

If all else fails, I would think about if there was any way to make the deal work – even if you make less money – that doesn’t require you to subdivide. It will be worth it in terms of sanity and time invested…


Re: Subdivide and BZA - Posted by Long Beach Ed

Posted by Long Beach Ed on May 05, 2001 at 13:17:28:

My experience is that the BZA in many towns is part of the “good ol’ boys’ club,” and that if you network with (or pay) the right people, you’ll get through the bull. Now that doesn’t mean you’ll get what you want, but you woun’t waste your time just to get a “no.”

I’d hire an attorney who works with the BZA on a regular basis. See who the builders in the area use. Spend a hundred bucks and talk to him about it. He may be able to make a phone call and tell you straight out what you can or can’t do, and what it will cost.

This consultation can save you months of work at something that everyone, but you, knows doesn’t have a chance of passing…


Re: How to subdivide the non-subdividable - Posted by JT - IN

Posted by JT - IN on May 05, 2001 at 10:09:15:

I think the key issue here, is that the buildings do exist on the one lot currently. You cannot use current requirements for subdividing property to determine what you should be done here, because it is obvious that this existance of both houses would not be allowed to be built on one lot today, but the fact is, they are there now. The purpose of the BZA is to make determinations in non-conforming situations, such as the one the owner is facing today.
I have been faced with similar situations, being told by Zoning & Planning that I could do such and such, because on page 44 of the manual…! BZA must give you a solution to this problem, without creating a larger problem by their actions. Without knowing more specific details it is difficult to address, but I would exhaust all options, before pursuing the condo route; which zoning & planning may not permit.
You have many of these non-conforming situations in typically small towns, where years ago, old Joe decided to build… before the exsiance of present standards. There are usually answers to these situations, just make a common sense proposal, that does not create a larger problem, and many times this will work!

Just how I view this situation…