How difficult to change zoning from single residence to double?

marti8aJune 22, 2013

I saw a lot with a realtor's sign on it. The lot was between two single family houses, but just down the street were several duplexes. I looked on, Zillow, and redfin and couldn't find a listing for the lot. So I called a local big name real estate company to find out. They told me that the listing had expired in 2011 and that it was zoned single residence so I couldn't build a duplex on it.

Sooo, why was the real estate sign still there, and how hard to get it rezoned? The others must have been rezoned at some point I assume. They wouldn't start out with six single family lots and then a few double family lots would they?

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You will need to check with your city/county building/zoning dept. Depends on alot of things.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 5:48PM
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" They wouldn't start out with six single family lots and then a few double family lots would they?"

Sure they would/could.

Another option could be that the duplexes were there first and grandfathered in.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 7:08PM
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In Texas neighborhoods of mixed development often have Multi-unit developments approved on one the outskirts of a neighborhood and then as you move into a neighborhood lower priced homes and then on up the further in you get. This seems to be true for most neighborhoods in incorporated areas from the late 70s and onward. Only in the older sections of towns will there be true mixed use.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 8:19PM
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This is an older neighborhood. I wonder why the lot never sold too.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 11:51PM
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It is possible they asked more for the lot than it was worth a couple years ago...and never sold. If the market is now coming up in your area, they might be willing to sell it again (it might now be worth their target price). We have one of those in our neighborhood. They torn down a house with the intent to subdivide and sell 2 lots, but did it at the very wrong time...just before the crash. They weren't able to sell the lots at the price they wanted, so just hung onto them. They have now been purchased by a developer, and will be developed as spec homes.
You won't know until you ask around/dig/research.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 12:21AM
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mariendcal is right, just talk to the zoning board, they will help you understand what is going on and let you know if they would be willing to re zone. best wishes

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 7:30AM
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And it costs money to change the zoning with all the prep work.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:25PM
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Some tips on researching the lot online:

1) Look at your county's appraisal district website and find the address; this should have a listing of the last deed records and the current zoning

2) Go to your City's website and see if you can identify zoning information; i.e., look for a zoning map and locate the property you are interested in; and also look for information on zoning applications.

It would be worthwhile to review the agendas and minutes of the zoning board of adjustment or whatever it is called in your area, to get an idea of successful (or unsuccessful) zoning applications which have been considered. A lot it depends on your local geography, history, and current political climate.

3) if you get that far, a good real estate attorney with municipal expertise in your area can assist you with rezoning.

4) It's a gamble -- if you buy the property with the intention of rezoning, and your city doesn't go for it, you're stuck

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 11:36AM
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We checked and the lot isn't big enough for a duplex. We're not in any hurry, as long as mil is still able to drive and take care of herself.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 9:43PM
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does your city allow Accessory Dwelling Units? (ADUs) or mother in law units? Zoning ordinances are changing now to permit more flexible two-family housing alternatives, other than duplexes, which sounds like it could be an option for you.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 7:04PM
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It might be an option if we lived in town, but at least for now, mil wouldn't want to live this far out - even though we're only 7 miles from town.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 9:09AM
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