I'm in discussions with a seller to buy a duplex in Concord NH that has great space on the second and third floor of an attached double-bay over-sized garage to add two 1BR units. I'm looking for guidance to the steps to take BEFORE I buy to ensure that I would be able to do those additions. I don't want to get into a situation where I've bought the property and the city won't allow me to add the units. It's zoned RN. I own a 4-unit next door in IS zone. Any guidance is much appreciated.
Looking at the zoning ordinance quick, the RN zone allows for single family, duplex and attached dwelling units. Multifamily dwellings are not an allowable use in that zone unfortunately. Multifamily is allowed in the IS zone where you own your other property.
You would need to go to the Zoning Board of Adjustments and get a variance in order to add those additional units. The tough thing is that in order to do this, you would need to justify a hardship. Being able to make more money from the property and financial justification is typically not considered a hardship.
Could you put the property under contract contingent on going to ZBA and getting the other units approved? You could also call the City Planner and explain what you're trying to do and feel out how they think the Board would respond. From past experiences doing projects in the City, this may be a very difficult task to get approved.
That’s how I’m seeing it also. I guess my next step is to go talk to them and get a feel for whether there’s any chance for approval. Thank you.