Variance - Two Family to a Three Family

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Hi All, 

Looking to get some thoughts and advice here. I'm currently looking to buy a nice "two family property" as specified by the city assessor website. The property looks like it was used by the previous owner as a three family, at some point; it has two means of egress (stair well & fire escape ladder) and the electric is appropriately sub metered along with kitchen, bathroom, space heater, etc. Upon purchasing this property, I have a contingency that the city must recognize the house as a legal three family. In order to do this, I need to get a variance according to the building inspector who I spoke to. Talking to the attorney, the biggest issue the city typically brings up is parking. This property however is a corner lot and has a two car garage with a two car driveway. I was just wondering if anyone here has some good experience with this process. Is the fact that the property shows signs of being used as a three family prior along with adequate parking (I hope) a good leg to stand on? The property will be purchased vacant and does need quite a bit of rehab on the inside only.

Thanks everyone.

Haven't done this myself but based on people I know it depends on the town. I know there is a local property fighting this battle and they have not been successful. However in other areas particularly if you have other 3 families in the neighborhood the town won't care.