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buyer of next door property wants a variance to change set back line in order to build

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    buyer of next door property wants a variance to change set back line in order to build

    Update, Post #15

    not sure if my original post was in this spot or in off course, but I KNEW there would be issues. Of course its Sunday (got the County letter to day for my limited time to contest, yada yada) but can only wait for the work week to discuss. This property KILLED our property values...as 'their friends' portioned this out and sold it to them....for SO CHEAP. ok. I never EVER understood how a home could be built on the parcel given its property lines. Huge Resource protection Area out back...creek, Chesapeake Bay Act, etc. So now? seems they want a variance so they can build a home on the lot 'outside of the Resource Protection Area' so they want to change their set back lines........................................... well DUH! I KNEW there was no room due to that when I saw this WEIRD shaped parcel YEARS ago. I will hope for some communication with county office (who sent the letter) and we'll see. Just thought to post here in case someone has experience with that situation. These people 'once upon a time' were friends of my mom.....can't believe they would not contact us, and let us know what is going on and their intention---but our world is so different now.
    Last edited by ayrabz; Oct. 19, 2020, 10:16 AM.
    ayrabz
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett

    #2
    Hang tough `` try not to panic ( I know impossible ) but try ... stand your ground ... if you have to hire the nastiest lawyer you can find.

    * no experience with this specific issue but land/property* easement related issues ..... don't believe anything until you know for sure with documentation.

    Jingles ... AO !
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

    Comment

      Original Poster

      #3
      thanks and how I love the wisdom of Zu Zu. Yeah, I'm awaiting understanding WHAT this means. I believe? it means to be allowed to build closer to the road, but I will be asking the proper county offices. But bottom line is: this property they got for 30,000. ASSESMENT is 80, 000. (yes, now...but even 'then' was creepy cheap) It IS in a major Resource Protection Area. to get the uber cheap price and then change the building rules seems a double slap.
      ayrabz
      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
      --Jimmy Buffett

      Comment


        #4
        Say no, and contact whoever manages the Chesapeake Bay Act. Is it also part of a wetlands area? Whatever you do, if there is a hearing show up for it. Forget whatever friendship your family used to have with these people, and never give permission.

        I will caution you though, if these people are connected politically, then you might not be able to stop them. If the developer is very well connected, and the county officials aren't opposing the variance, then I think you're in trouble.

        Has the developer ever approached you about selling your property?

        I grew up in Northern Virginia, and watched everywhere I ever rode, or what was empty land turn into condos, shopping centers and endless identical houses. Local officials did nothing.
        Last edited by JanM; Oct. 18, 2020, 08:01 PM.
        You can't fix stupid-Ron White

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Jan, you said a mouthfull. Already have experienced this, in the OTHER side of our property. all is supposed to be 3 acre parcels. the property owner on THAT side divided out parcels for 'family' (a way to get around must be a 3 acre parcel) 'family'sold the one on our property line to big builder/in county etc. now, we have a home right on our property line on that side on a 1.5 or less acre lot. Same big builder helped this OTHER side property owner break out parcels of his land to sell.......he owns behind all of us...... I'll be happy to share the lot/ layouts with you via PM
          ayrabz
          "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
          --Jimmy Buffett

          Comment


            #6
            Consider hiring a lawyer to help you negotiate this.

            Comment


              #7
              As a commissioner who deals with this sort of thing. A couple of points that can help your case. First, nothing but the facts. I do not want to know about any history of another house lot, unless it is the one under consideration. I can't take them into account. I absolutely do not want to hear your emotional pleas. I'll be honest, if you came before my board with the level of (very reasonable though it is) emotion that you have in your posts; my judgement would be negatively disposed. That is a horrible thing to say, but if you can be unemotional and the to the facts with concrete detail; you are in a much better position.
              Second, please, please, if an expert witness would help: soil scientist, wetland scientist, ecologist, lawyer versed in how your town's planning ought to be, etc bring them along. Fun fact, at least in my state, if a petitioner doesn't bring up a concern....I can Not act on it even if I have reason to believe it is a problem, unless it actually breaks the rules and the rules are fairly loose. In other words, you have to tell me about that wetlands!! If I am suspicious and comfortable spending town money, I can request a wetland survey, but I had better be confident about my suspicions if I want to keep my place on the board for more than a few terms.

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #8
                BB.....facts exactly. I would hope you might give me a bit more credit that I indeed know the differences between sharing on an online horse board among 'friends' vs. proper exchanges written or verbal to the officials in this instance. The RPA is established not by me, not for me to prove or disprove. The county is admitting the buyer of this property is presenting a request for a variance for a set back in order to be able to build on this parcel they bought since most of this parcel is IN the RPA (and was indeed when they bought it) Nothing about that established RPA is in question.
                ayrabz
                "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                --Jimmy Buffett

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ayrabz View Post
                  thanks and how I love the wisdom of Zu Zu. Yeah, I'm awaiting understanding WHAT this means. I believe? it means to be allowed to build closer to the road, but I will be asking the proper county offices. But bottom line is: this property they got for 30,000. ASSESMENT is 80, 000. (yes, now...but even 'then' was creepy cheap) It IS in a major Resource Protection Area. to get the uber cheap price and then change the building rules seems a double slap.
                  Ok, but what they paid for it is none of your business, right? Or are you saying it is and you were owed first right of refusal? If not, take that off your list of bummers. That said, if you get a chance to weigh-in on the variance, do that. It sounds like they have an uphill battle to fight.
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    mvp: it may be on my list, and there is nothing can be done if best friends want to sell their land for a dollar. but its plenty of my business....its public record. it affects property values. (thats how it works everywhere by the way) Nothing to quabble on with the county offices. just was some of the background. Yes, they got 3 acres for an unheard of price. but only a SMALL portion of it was buildable and why it was parceled out that way I have no idea but NOW they want the building rules changed because there is little area buildable. So that was part of the background...but not part of the official discussion.
                    ayrabz
                    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                    --Jimmy Buffett

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by ayrabz View Post
                      not sure if my original post was in this spot or in off course, but I KNEW there would be issues. Of course its Sunday (got the County letter to day for my limited time to contest, yada yada) but can only wait for the work week to discuss. This property KILLED our property values...as 'their friends' portioned this out and sold it to them....for SO CHEAP. ok. I never EVER understood how a home could be built on the parcel given its property lines. Huge Resource protection Area out back...creek, Chesapeake Bay Act, etc. So now? seems they want a variance so they can build a home on the lot 'outside of the Resource Protection Area' so they want to change their set back lines........................................... well DUH! I KNEW there was no room due to that when I saw this WEIRD shaped parcel YEARS ago. I will hope for some communication with county office (who sent the letter) and we'll see. Just thought to post here in case someone has experience with that situation. These people 'once upon a time' were friends of my mom.....can't believe they would not contact us, and let us know what is going on and their intention---but our world is so different now.
                      as one who gave a variance and then got screwed all around make sure you have an attorney lay out the terms. I gave a variance for a road next door and the asshole builder I gave it to NEVER did what he said he would and the town never held him to it. It's still a mess for the poor home owners who bought the houses. The road is not approved because the builder didn't finish the work. BTW I sold land at a decent price to friends and it did not lower my property value...so my taxes are still high. yippee
                      Humans dont mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. Sebastian Junger

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        wish I was great at figuring out a drawing/adding it here! ..... What I can ask you to try envision: our property is about 4.25 acres. almost a perfect rectangle . road frontage is only 300 ft. ............ this adjoining parcel is one the original homeowner parceled out of his land, its a 3 acre 'pie'. the tiny 'pie' wedge cut is THEIR ROAD FRONTAGE. The large wide part of the wedge is the back of their 3 acres most all in the Resource Protection Area. (non buildable) WAS DIVIDED LIKE THIS PRIOR TO THEIR PURCHASE so envision a very small buildable area right up against my barn and fenceline.
                        ayrabz
                        "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                        --Jimmy Buffett

                        Comment


                          #13
                          just some Jingles for your day •
                          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I think the advice to get a professional to help you with this rebuttal is good advice. They will know how to best deal with this situation to have a positive outcome.

                            I will also add that one piece of property selling for well below market value is not going to ruin the property values of a whole neighborhood. Anyone looking at comparable prices will see that it was well below market.

                            Comment

                              Original Poster

                              #15
                              County official kindly called me back early this AM. the set back is from the road (that they want to change to closer to stay out of the RPA. It 'would' benefit me if I had it 'stopped' BUT....they have the right to place a home 15 ft. from my fenceline as far as that goes. So I will no longer strive with this. It will happen. Its so unfortunate that the parcel was chopped as I described...as in : of course it will be closer to our line, they have no where else to put it given the width at the buildable area. but not much I can argue or change. So it goes.
                              ayrabz
                              "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                              --Jimmy Buffett

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by Bogey2 View Post

                                as one who gave a variance and then got screwed all around make sure you have an attorney lay out the terms. I gave a variance for a road next door and the asshole builder I gave it to NEVER did what he said he would and the town never held him to it. It's still a mess for the poor home owners who bought the houses. The road is not approved because the builder didn't finish the work.
                                should have had the builder be bonded to build the road, when I was on P&Z we would ave required a bond to insure the project was completed to design.

                                OP, so the land owner seeking a setback variance..... is request inches or feet and how would the request differ from the standard? They will have to submit a plot plan for review. A variance of a regulation is to allow minor infractions of no consequences to be allowed usually as a result of an oddly shaped lot (triangular lots often came up with setback problems)

                                I know absolutely nothing about wetland regulations but would assume there could very well be a problem with a home septic field.

                                .... our guidelines were only to correct a unique and unusual hardship, created by the physical characteristics of the land, but the intent of the zoning ordinance was to be held with the variance unnoticeable to the average person.










                                Comment

                                  Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  thanks Clanter...as mentioned, the setback variance they request is from road. They want it 185 ft. instead of 200ft. (to keep it out of the Resource Protection Area).....what is hard to explain to others is: this is because the width of the buildable area is so limited because of how the parcel is cut up, and because of the RPA. So yes, it does impact how close it will be to our line. but .....15 ft. is what they are allowed. Would a regular shaped lot of 3 acres allow them a MUCH more varied spot to put it, yes. But the laws are clear. they can put it 15 ft. to our fenceline. so I'm not fighting further.
                                  ayrabz
                                  "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                  --Jimmy Buffett

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    ayrabz I didn't mean to sound insulting, I am sorry! It is just that so many people come before my board with added emotion/inferences and sometimes that can get them into real trouble. If not with us than with the other side's lawyers because they say too much and open the door for a civil suite, and I cringe when I hear that happening to them.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      They want it 185 ft. instead of 200ft. (to keep it out of the Resource Protection Area).....what is hard to explain to others is: this is because the width of the buildable area is so limited because of how the parcel is cut up, and because of the RPA. So yes, it does impact how close it will be to our line.
                                      To me this to Two separate variances.... Set Back from the Front building line and the Side lot lines (I am assuming your lot is adjacent not across the street) .... The Frontal set back is usually the greater of the two setbacks where as sideline set backs can be Zero in certain conditions (town homes) .... but usual minimum side set backs are not less than five feet, If under five feet it would be set at zero.... the five foot rule is allow for fire department personal access.

                                      A 7.5% reduction in the frontal setback being 15 feet of 200 ft set back unless a person was to use Google Earth to measure the distance to average person would I think be reduced setback would be unnoticeable.

                                      To me if there is also a Side Lot Set Back question that is another issue which does cause concern. Here they would need to build a brick fence of approved standard (or an approve screen wall) to allow a closer side set back.

                                      If there is question about side lot set backs you might want to bring up the possible infringement of outside lighting making your home-life unbearable (would be helpful to have your home plotted in relationship to the proposed home to give to the board members) ... even if this request is granted you should list as many possible problems that may cause you harm so your concerns are part of the record now. There have been repeated threads here on neighbors installing lighting that has made the residents life's intolerable

                                      (But if the variance is only a reduction of the frontal set back unless there is something I am missing I really do not think you would prevail. If I owned this lot and was not allowed to build on it because of a frontal setback problem I would have my attorney go after whatever board allowed the creation of a residential lot that was deemed unbuildable ...also I would petition the Appraisal Board to reduce its value near zero )

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Wow. I am impressed at the required front set back. 200ft is quite a bit.

                                        Comment

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