Need attorney for Land Use Variance application?

9 Replies

I have acquired a property in the city of Tacoma which is configured as a duplex, but was never legally done so.  The land use codes say that the a lot for a duplex needs to be at least 6,000 sq. ft, and this lot is 5,750, so I would need to obtain a land use variance in order to properly do this  There are 2 other duplexes in the area on the same size lot, so there is precedence for this.  Part of the variance application process is to provide a written response to the criteria in the Tacoma Municipal Code, and would like to know if this is something that I should have a lawyer complete for me rather than attempting to do this myself, as I really do not know how in depth the responses to these criteria need to be.



Know a great attorney in T-town. Give him a try. 

Joseph Harper


Seems that you will need to look him up. BP will not let me give out his contact info. 

land use planner is what you need not an attorney.. they do this for a living and its usually a couple grand.

Terry Wise is in Tacoma and does this type of land use work. He is not an attorney. 

Thanks for the suggestions guys,  I'll reach out to Joseph and Terry and get their thoughts.

@Brady Winder   my honey hole is the Trask in the Tillamook bay basin.. Salmon are HUGE this year

I spoke with Terry this week and he was able to work his magic and got my variance approved in a few days with no application fee from City of Tacoma!  

When I contacted the city a few weeks ago to find out how to make the duplex compliant, they said I would need to apply for a variance ($2,500 application fee), and then it would be a 4 month wait with a public comment period, and I would not be able to get permits until the variance was approved, so Terry literally saved me more than $12,000 between application fees and holding costs.

That's awesome Rob. I'm glad it worked out well for you. 

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here