Does anyone here have any experience with the multifamily conversion process in Baltimore City? Specifically, I am interested in learning how to check the zoning records of a house to see if a multifamily property is properly zoned?
Backstory: I came across a home for sale that I believe has potential to cash flow very nicely. The house which was at one time a single family has been converted to 2 units and a garage/carriage house has been built that is essentially another unit. The owner told me that the house was "grandfathered as a two unit" but:
1) I don't know exactly what he even means by that and
2) I wouldn't trust him (since I don't know him at all) even if I knew what he meant
Looking online I found that the house is zoned as "R-7" which under current zoning regulations allows for multifamily conversions with a number of requirements (minimum unit size, parking, etc.) that this property doesn't currently have. Any suggestions about how to best go about my due diligence in looking at this deal?
call baltimore zoning, google it
If you call the Baltimore Zoning Office they will be able to tell you what the zoning status is almost immediately. I will pm you that number, it's good to have. Now, depending on a neighborhood, a multi-family conversion can be a real pain of a process. If for some reason you have a property(s) that needs a specific kind of zoning, I highly recommend calling Justin Williams of Rosenberg, Martin, and Greenburg. He is a fantastic zoning attorney. I have referred him to several people who have been thanking me since. If you need his contact information, send me a PM.
Thank you so much for the recommendation. I hope to call the zoning office today and do a bit more research into the process itself. Based off of what I find out I may be reaching out to you for Justin's contact info. Thanks again
I've found this zoning map: http://cityview.baltimorecity.gov/webmap/index.htm...
which allows you to search an address, click the pin on the map and view the zoning information. It also links to the sdat page for the property. I'm not sure how accurate the information is, but you could ask the zoning office if it is accurate? I'd recommend verifying the zoning before purchase though.
Here's a reference guide for the zoning types: https://planning.baltimorecity.gov/sites/default/files/transform%20legend_red_0.pdf