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Property Zoning

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AMF

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I talked with the state earlier this week and they told me that every time you do an appraisal, you need to get in touch with the city via phone or email in order to determine the proper zoning for the subject property.

Does anyone actually do this? Or does everybody do this? (n)

I've dealt with cities before and some of them can take days to get ahold of.

As far as zoning info goes, I always just googled for the zoning map/code on the city website and got the info from there.

Any input would be appreciated! Thanks
 

The Warrior Monk

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I would ask the state what specific regulation in license law requires this. Chances are it doesn't exist.

My experience indicates that it is generally ore accurate to get this information from the municipal websites, or related documents (zoning maps, eCode, etc.). We don't know what the experience level of person on the other end of the phone or email is, and oftentimes the information provide off the cuff is inaccurate.
 

AMF

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That's what I figured.

This person was a supervisor who was handling the upgrade of my license, so I assumed they knew what they were talking about.
 

George Hatch

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I verify zoning to the extent that its necessary. if I had reason to suspect their zoning info was outdated I might call or email, but that's almost never the case in this region.

I have a hard time believing someone at the state actually explained what they were looking for in that manner to you.

I always go straight to the city of county and look it up on their sites. I would never rely on that link you have in your tagline because maybe they're current and maybe they aren't.
 
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Terrel L. Shields

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Arkansas
Unless the on line zoning map is really out of data, I use it. Most of our small town employees cannot find their office maps. Worthless
 

norapp

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I have done work in small rural areas where the zoning officer is unfamiliar with the term legal non conforming so someone at the state level probably has no idea what they are talking about. As a former Long Island appraiser I am familiar with procedure in larger metropolitan areas and back then all requests for specific zoning were to be put in writing with a 2 week return time. Luckily I had most of the zoning maps that I bought early in my career from these towns. Now many zoning maps are online and where I live people actually answer the phone and answer questions if I have them. Unfortunately as I stated some have no idea what I am talking about. When this happens I no longer try and explain it, I just ask for current minimum building lot and if it can be rebuilt.
 
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Vermonter

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Bureaucrats.

This is one of the advantages with having to go into a town office for records. All towns in my coverage area have a zoning map and regs online (those that have zoning anyways), but the map on the wall in the zoning office is more detailed with individual parcels mapped and any changes to the regs are on a bulletin board (which stay up until officially added). Also the assessment record folder will have a note in them of any recent or pending permits or proposed changes to the zoning regs. If I run into that I will do some further digging.

Unless I find something questionable, I go by the map and regs that are published. They all have effective dates which I report in the addendum under my zoning boilerplate. Sometimes I will snap a pic of the map if my subject is close to the border of a zoning district. If I had to confirm the compliance of every property with an actual zoning person, I'd never get anything done.
 

jay trotta

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Most often I will check the on line data, but we need to visit the site anyway, so while in the area, I most often will go directly to the PZC dept. and look at the info in person and see if anything is up for a change; check permits and so forth. It's all in the work file for future reference and yes I am the Dinosaur, but old habits are hard to break.
PS: it's never a waste of time, and fills the due diligence aspect (IMO).
 

Michael P Jacobs MAI

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Florida
I talked with the state earlier this week and they told me that every time you do an appraisal, you need to get in touch with the city via phone or email in order to determine the proper zoning for the subject property. Does anyone actually do this? Or does everybody do this? <SNIP>
David is right and I'll bet the person you spoke to is basing their comment on a previous career before the Internet. You are in Orange County CA after all, not someplace out in the sticks, although I seem to recall San Clemente and Dana Point being somewhat loose with zoning controls until about 20 years ago.

My office (commercial only) does exactly what you do, although when warranted we go the extra step and analyze the zoning detail as well. We also go to the municipality website itself to avoid getting stuck with an "old" map. In most cases it is sufficient to just report the zoning but even with simple freestanding "end-user" buildings it may, for example, be important to understand how issues like the cutoff for medical parking capacity impact the property's alternative uses and therefore demand. Municode contains sufficient detail, and to go any deeper I would require the client to provide a study.
 

bnmappraisal

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Florida
As far as zoning info goes, I always just googled for the zoning map/code on the city website and got the info from there.
I start there. I'm in a more urban/suburban area so have a lot of data/zoning online. If i still have questions, or run into an oddball property, I will call the zoning dept and advise my client of any delays because of this. But generally I can/do find the specific zoning and info online and simply use this.
 
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