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Step-down zoning ~ REO property

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James Sturm

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Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Inspected a REO property yesterday that had step-down zoning quite a few years ago. It appeared that in the past (30+ years ago), the subject's site was subdivided into 2 sites to construct a ranch style house on the lot to the south of subject building. The subject building was originally constructed as a 2-unit small income property. Current zoning (RS-2) does not allow for 2-unit small income properties and neither site conforms to current zoning which requires 5,000 square feet of land per residential unit. It was concluded that both sites had legal nonconforming uses. Subject building constructed in the year 1930, prior to Grandfather Clause of 1957. Property was purchased in 2005 as a single family house with relative living space on the 2nd floor and an unfinished basement level.

However, the subject building still has a 2nd floor unit with a kitchen. Since the prior purchase (2005), relative living space (additional kitchen, 2BR's & BA) was added to the basement level. Kitchen on first floor updated in good condition. Kitchen on 2nd floor appears new. Basement kitchen appears to have cabinets from past kitchen on 2nd floor. Considering the zoning does not allow for multi-unit dwellings, should I call for the removal of the two additional kitchens?

Market data within area only shows one past sale of a single family house with relative living space on the second floor. Market has sales data with relative living spaces in basement levels.

Any advise from experience REO appraiser's out there would greatly be appreciation. Property located in city of Chicago.
 

Bobby Townsend

Sophomore Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Has the subject’s nonconforming status as two units been discontinued? If so, is a “relative living space” prohibited from having a kitchen?

It sounds like the basement improvements are unpermitted and/or illegal. I would find out what is what and if necessary make appropriate adjustments to correct any improvements deemed illegal.
 
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