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help with zoning question

Discussion in 'Urgent - Help Needed' started by tammy otis, Mar 16, 2006.

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  1. tammy otis

    tammy otis New Member

    0
    Feb 23, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    California
    I have an assignment for a home on 20 acres. Per the County's Zoning web page the current zoning is AG-40 (agricultrual 40 acres minimum). wouldn't that make the subject legal nonconforming. (assuming rebuild is possible) I have tried to contact the County to confirm, but had to leave a message and wait for a call back. meanwhile the lender is screaming for the report. I am located in Northern California.
    Thanks in advance for any information.
     
  2. Ray Miller

    Ray Miller Elite Member

    0
    Feb 20, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Wisconsin
    Tammy, Welcome, don't think I have seen you here before.

    Maybe, maybe not. It may be grandfathered.

    As far as the screaming goes. I get that every day. You see those poor little phone monkeys have very little gray matter and they just can never understand why rural appraisals for the most part take longer then a cookie cutter.

    Let the scream. I have gotten to the point where I tell them that each time I have to stop and pull thier file. It goes back to the bottom of the heap.
     
  3. David Wimpelberg

    David Wimpelberg Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    55
    Mar 30, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    New York
    Hi Tammy,

    This is the type of question that is really area specific; you definitely have to check with the building/planning department in your area.

    In my experience (on the other side of the country), rebuild issues come into play mostly with preexisting nonconforming uses, not preexisting nonconforming lot sizes. For example, a preexisting nonconforming commerical use in a residential neighborhood may be lost if the building is destroyed.

    The other time this issue may come up is with environmentally sensitive lands. If a home is destroyed and sits on such property, it may be a major effort, if not impossible, to get the home rebuilt.
     
  4. tammy otis

    tammy otis New Member

    0
    Feb 23, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    California
    help with zoning.

    I guess my question goes back to the real basic. if it is not what it is zoned? zoned ag40, property is 20 acres assuming it is grandfathered in... that would make it Legal non-conforming correct....????
    That is what I told them but the lender doesn't like that answer.
    I don't care if he likes it or not, I just want to confirm that I am correct.
    thanks again
     
  5. Denis DeSaix

    Denis DeSaix Elite Member

    173
    May 16, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Hi, Tammy-

    Ray Miller is right on as far as it may or may not be “legal, non-conforming”.

    Non-conforming due to lot size differences is not unusual. You may be able to go on-line with the county code and look up the specific non-conforming zoning ordinance. AG-40 will typically allow for residential use. So, your non-conformance is due to lot size, not use (there is a big difference, as David W. pointed out); lot size non-conformance typically allows for improving the lot to the zoning’s allowable use (but again, not always).

    You may also want to double-check the zoning with the county; some of the data sources (NDC, FARES) report the older zoning for some of the counties. Contra Costa County (I believe), for example, has changed much of the zoning designations on the larger acreage properties.

    Good luck!
     
  6. John Hassler

    John Hassler Senior Member

    0
    Jul 23, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Tammy

    Every planning agency, city or county, seems to have their own system. Just because the lot does not meet the current minimum lot size does not automatically mean it is non-conforming. There is a AR-2 zoning here (Sonoma County) which requires a minimum lot size of 2 acres however if the site was legally created and is over 15,000 sq ft it is a legal site. Per the county the 2 acre lot size only pertains to new subdivisions of land. I would definitely wait for that call from the planning dept.
     
  7. jonathan asbury

    jonathan asbury Member

    0
    Jan 20, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    California
    I would also verify the zoning from another source as well.

    jonathan
     
  8. CANative

    CANative Elite Member

    170
    Jun 18, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    40 acres is a pretty common size for agricultural zoning districts. Zoning wasn't even implemented until fairly recently in N. California... maybe 30+ years ago? So these original tracts were divided up into smaller tracts before zoning and are now non-conforming. The legal issue (as in legal, non-conforming) is not certain until it has been established that the parcel was legally created. This is done by reviewing the deeds.

    You should find and print or copy the specific requirements for these parcels because AG zoning can be funny in what it will and will not allow.
     
  9. kim grant

    kim grant Junior Member

    0
    Nov 21, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Hi Tammy,

    I am in N. Calif.....SF Bay area to be exact. Let me say this..... we do not even look at the zoning reported in the county/assessor's/public records because it means nothing. You must call the municipality that governs your area to get the specific zoning classification and description.

    What you see in the records widely available to appraisers (FARES, WIN2DATA, DATAQUICK, NDC, etc) is after market data that is translated by people that have no clue. Depending your source, you can review the last deed and plat maps which we do on every report and we have zoning maps for every city and un-incorporated area we work in and still, I am on the phone to local planners all the time. Tell your lender he must wait, period. Its your name on this report, not his.

    Good luck!!!

    Kim
     
  10. Ray Miller

    Ray Miller Elite Member

    0
    Feb 20, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Wisconsin
    One problem we have in Wisconsin, the county may say it 40 ag is ok. But the township can also have their own rules. I would suggest you check with the township chair.

    Many times you have the old farmstead that dose not meet the township requirements because it was parceled out before the rules were set.

    Like up where I am buying the ranch the county says, one house on 20 ac. but the township says one house on 1.5 acres.
     
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