Hello and thanks for giving my long and weird question a look, any thoughts or experiences would be much appreciated!
So, I've found an interesting property for sale that has some special issues regarding subdivision ordinances. The seller's listing says that there are two single family homes on one "tax key" (property?) and that the city will NOT allow for separation of the lot into two separate properties. After researching a bit into local subdivision ordinances, I've found that the likely reason the city will not allow the separation is due to either minimum lot size and/or minimum frontage distance on a public street. In both cases, the subdividing will create properties less than the minimum requirements. However, the city has a "Subdivision Ordinance Variance Request", that in my understanding, may allow for the property to be subdivided into two.
Main Question: How would you recommend asking the property owner if they've gone through the "Subdivision Ordinance Variance Request"?
Additional Questions: Has anyone had success with requesting this type of variance? This situation seems a lot more of in the favor of the property owner rather than a situation where a property owner is trying to apply for multifamily zoning on a single family zoned property.
Thanks again if you made it all the way through. This is my first post and I'm excited to become more involved in the community
How far below minimum-sized lots would be created? In my experience, cities are very unlikely to approve a variance like this.
Around here, if you petition for such a variance, they will have you post a sign in the yard stating what you're trying to do for 3-6 months. They will invite all the neighbors to a hearing about it and if there are any objections, they will deny your variance.
An alternative to this that I have commonly seen is condominiumization where the land the home on is declared common to the association you create and then each house is deeded separately. It's a bit of work but probably MUCH less than the variance you are considering.
Thanks for your response!
From my skimming of the ordinances:
66 ft of frontage road is required, subdividing would make ~38 ft
Lot area does not make sense to me because the current lot area of 2,600 sf doesn't fit the current requirements of minimum 6,000 sf for single family unless it was grandfathered in? I need to dig a little deeper on this one.
In general, I need to talk to city ordinances/planning if I want to get serious about this. Just seems to me like this would be one of the cases that would apply to "Subdivision Ordinance Variance" as a benefit to everyone. Seems to be pretty nonsensical in the city's eyes if dividing the lot into two, one for each home, increases the value of the properties/homes increasing tax revenue.
I don't think the timeline would be a huge issue as the property is currently rented and I would plan to continue renting it, but hopefully do a renovation after the current tenants move out. Although, it would be ideal to subdivide and refinance, which opens a whole new can of worms that I have no clue about...
I'll look deeper into the condominiumization you're talking about. Thanks for that tip!
If it were me, I would probably use the time all of that will take to analyze more properties and do more deals instead. It don't think the ROI is really there if you factor in all the time/money/hassle that this will cost.
Rule #1: Don't fall in love with a deal.
Luckily, just off of basic inputs, this one cash flows well as two rentals in the as is condition (small budget for needed repairs and then some future renovations to increase the value), the possible subdivision was a bonus. It's one I'll have my relator check out further. I think the location is really great within the city too.
Thanks for the help and best of luck,
Were you able to have any luck with the variance process?
I recently purchased a sfh property with a double lot where the house is on one side and the second lot is open. I recently met with the city and was told the lot cannot be built on as a separate sfh due to the subdivided lot size being under the min sqrft allowed. All the other lots on that road are below this min sqrft requirement and were “grand-fathered” in. I was looking to use the variance process but was told by the city planner that you cannot use this variance process when it comes to zoning and subdividing. It just doesn’t smell right and I was going to see if an attorney might be the next step?