Zoning question - Posted by Karl (Oh)

Posted by Tony Colella on February 13, 2009 at 14:28:25:

I’m with Anne on this, go in person if you can and see what you can negotiate. Bring as much documentation as you can, even stuff they should have such as arial photos (usually on the tax websites) etc.

There is no telling what the outcome will be. Scott and I had a deal that should have been a no brainer turn out to be an absolute nightmare (that will likely now be our displeasure to own for many years) all because of a change in zoning (due to the city deciding that this property was now inside 1 mile of their jurisdiction which means even though we are not in the city, we have to comply with their zoning). Don’t get me started on how well I received this news.


Zoning question - Posted by Karl (Oh)

Posted by Karl (Oh) on February 12, 2009 at 18:41:09:

I just bought two parcels of land that are deeded together. One parcel is 0.4 acres with a doublewide mobile home that’s been there since '99. The other parcel is 1.3 acres vacant land, directly behind the first. City water, city sewer, so no septic restrictions.

I researched the township zoning policy, they’ve recently established that the zoning for my area is one unit per acre where city water and city sewer are available.

I want to put another doublewide home on the 1.3 acre vacant parcel.

Here are my questions. Will the local zoning consider the 1.3 acre parcel to stand on its own for consideration of another home, or will it consider both parcels together because they are on the same deed? If zoning considers the parcels seperately, will the 0.4 acre parcel that already has a home be grandfathered by zoning since it existed before the zoning policy change? The 0.4 acre parcel is one of six identical lots along the roadfront that were developed together, and each one of them has a home on it.

I have a call in to the local zoning official with these same questions, but wanted to run it by the group to see what your thoughts are, and what I can realistically push for.

Karl Kleiner

Re: Zoning question - Posted by shawn sisco

Posted by shawn sisco on February 13, 2009 at 14:36:03:

Karl,since this .4 acre lot was grandfathered in, and would not be an issue were it not on the same deed, I suggest having a seperate warranty deed prepared for the 1.3 acre lot. That should eliminate any squables based on the single deed - it sounds to me that the .4 was deeded seperately in the past.

Re: Zoning question - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on February 13, 2009 at 11:37:12:


In two different states I’ve had two different outcomes with asking for zoning variances. As you know, it will really come down to how motivated/savvy/involved the person or committee who makes the decision turns out to be. For that reason I suggest you visit in person rather than call. Plus, you get to use that patented Karl Kleiner charisma if you show up in person.

good luck,


This is why I still read the boards - Posted by Lin (NC)

Posted by Lin (NC) on February 13, 2009 at 09:08:46:

Great question and great answers. I knew there was a reason I still visit this site.


Re: Zoning question - Posted by Don-NY

Posted by Don-NY on February 13, 2009 at 04:39:38:

My only advice is when you talk to the zoning officer, Try to read the book with him. I have found that they misinterpret zoning code some of the time. And you can gently try to steer him towards your interpretation of the code.

Re: Zoning question - Posted by Ryan (NC)

Posted by Ryan (NC) on February 12, 2009 at 19:07:35:

Here it’s done by taxed parcel ID numbers, if the lots have separate pins you can build on both lots under the newest restrictions for the zoning even if on the same deed. If the parcels are interlinked by the tax office under one parcel ID you must follow current zoning requirements.

My question to the zoning office would also include: Can I split the 1.3 acre lot in half? Here minimum is .66 ac per lot for subdivision with nothing more than a survey and surveyors draft w/formal subdivision plans only required for something like 4+ lot divisions. There is plenty of room IMHO and you might be able to get 3 on there…

Best Wishes,
Ryan Needler

Re: Zoning question - Posted by JeffB (MI)

Posted by JeffB (MI) on February 12, 2009 at 19:00:52:


I’ve been in business for about 4 years now and don’t remember you ever asking a question before, although you answered plenty of mine during that time. I thought perhaps you knew everything already?

I don’t know for sure, but then again that’s not why you asked. It is my understanding that just because two lots may be deeded together, does not mean that they have been joined or consolidated in any way. Both parcels should still have their own TaxID or Pin number, if that is the case.

I have actual experience in this. I purchased two adjacent vacant lots (zoned for MH) a couple years ago. Both were owned by the same seller. He conveyed his interest in the properties to me via a single General Warranty Deed. The deed specifically names both parcels individually, though it is one deed. It turns out that neither lot, by themselves, are large enough to permit a MH to be installed. However, together, they would be large enough. I was told that in order to place a home there (straddling both lots) that I would need a variance, and would also need to combine the lots into a single parcel. Because otherwise, I could sell one lot and not the other, and there would be an encroachment of the MH on the lot not conveyed.

It is worth noting that I am a licensed agent, however this is not something they address in real estate licensee school. Now that I think about it, there are a great many things they don’t address that are quite relevant. And to think that one of the primary reasons I acquired my license was for knowledge!