Zoning approval


  #1  
Old 03-15-06, 01:32 PM
J
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Zoning approval

This may need to be in another forum, but here goes.

I am planning a detached garage. I live in an area with narrow lots so there is no way I can meet side set back requirements, but the local planning department says that variances are granted for garages all the time for just this reason. However I still need to request zoning approval and indicate what set backs I am planning on for both sides and the back of the lot. Front set back is not a problem. The garage will be on the back of the lot and open onto an alley.

How do I go about determining the actual property lines on the sides and back to determine my set back. There are fences on the sides, but I know you can't always relay on that. I am actually more concerned with the back. I don't want to build the thing and then find out I am on city property and then have to pull the thing down. Do I need to get a surveyor to look at my lot. What would something like this cost?

Thanks for the input.

Jeff
 
  #2  
Old 03-15-06, 03:45 PM
darinstarr
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For something like this I would highly recommend a surveyor. I called several when building a fence and most were able to give me rough estimates on cost for a complete survey over the phone.

I also searched the survey records on our county website and found some maps of my lot that had been taken 50, 30, and 20 years ago. There were measurements on the maps as well as indications of sidewalk markers I could use as reference points.

When talking with the surveyors over the phone, most stated they were so busy that they were pricing residential surveys high intentionally so they didn't get further backed up. One guy checked one of the maps I had already found and noted a metal rod buried underground in my backyard, and said if I wanted to I could stop by their office, pick up a metal detector, and find it myself to save them the trouble.

Weird stuff.
 
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Old 03-15-06, 05:53 PM
L
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I've used surveyors on occasion (when things were really questionable), but most of the time I'm able to do it on my own. I start at the building dept. or the assessor's office and get a recorded plot plan for the house in question and usually can get a subdivision map that shows several houses on each side.

You're right -- fence lines don't mean a whole lot. I'm looking for something on the plans that is located and PERMANENT (a storm drain, a fire hydrant, the centerline of a cross street) and take my measurements based on that.

As long as your drawings and dimensions are fairly accurate, once you are granted the variance, the inspector USUALLY won't question things like setbacks, as long as they look reasonable. (He's not a surveyor either!!)
 
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Old 03-15-06, 05:56 PM
U
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In my neck of the woods an application for variance relief requires a professional survey. It (the survey) is just one of several requirements. The requirements that you will need to meet for your town or city can be easily obtained from your local planning/zoning board secretary or clerk.
 
  #5  
Old 03-18-06, 02:12 PM
L
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The day when a pro survey is needed isn't too far off around here, either. It's not required, but that's what ALL of the commercial development relies on. Residential can still get by with basing things on "history", as long as you can prove it. But with disclosure laws, liability lawsuits, fruits and nuts, and all of the other stuff that CA is famous for, within 10 years I'll even have to have my deck footings located by a pro.
 
 

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