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Old 09-26-2014, 09:37 AM
 
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Has anyone ever run into looking at land and finding out that the town requires minimum s.f. requirements for single family homes? I am not talking about subdivisions or HOA's, this is town requirements embedded into the zoning regs. A friend has recently run into this in NC where they dictate 2,000 s.f. - which is ridiculous IMHO.

It is one thing to restrict use and preserve an area's character by zoning - but the requirement of dwelling size seems like overstepping and snob zoning. Seems more about tax revenue than anything else.

The state has a building code which essentially says a dwelling has to be safe and habitable. Many towns and counties go by that. Only certain towns seem to have this.

Curious there are known (and successful) legal challenges to this sort of practice.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:29 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Of course it's snob zoning, it's meant to keep cheaper housing out, and perhaps lower-income people. I read something about legal challenges to it, can't remember where.
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:37 PM
 
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Most places have minimum requirements for new construction but more often than not it's a formula related to the number of bedrooms. It's also common to set a minimum size and ceiling height for bedrooms, minimum window size, number of outlets, etc.

So if you're trying to build a 4 or 5 bedroom house and they're telling you that you need a minimum of 2,000 s/f of heated space that shouldn't be surprising.

If you're trying to build a 2 or 3 bedroom house and they're still telling you 2,000 then that's ridiculous. OTOH, you could always just "heat" the garage then close off the duct work after you move in. Or put in a basement. There's usually a work around like that.
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Of course it's snob zoning, it's meant to keep cheaper housing out, and perhaps lower-income people. I read something about legal challenges to it, can't remember where.
Not square feet, but single-family only buildings was challenged here in California and the courts said it was fine. Not exaclty SFH only. They do allow churches there, for example. Just no gas stations, apartments, guest cottages.
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:23 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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Some of it isn't the locality but the state which imposes size limits, usually related to an adopted livability code.

Typical numbers are 100 sq. ft. for a bedroom with an additional 50 sq. ft. for each additional occupant. There is also a requirement of a gross 250 sq. ft. per occupant in the house.

These are aimed more at rentals but SFHs usually have to follow them since they can be converted to rentals overnight.
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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Depending on which Building Code the area is using, there will be minimum requirements in there. I think the minimum in the International Building Code is 320 square feet or some such that is labelled as an "efficiency Dwelling", but I could be getting that confused with my County's requirements, so don't quote me on that.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Many towns have minimum size requirements. It dates back to the days of tenements in cities where the building owner would try and carve out as many aprtments as possible in a building to maximize return. The minimums were set to protect people and provide better quality housing. I will say that 2,000 s.f. sounds very high. I have seen towns here in Connecticut require as low as 1,000 s.f. They do this to prevent shacks from being built. Jay
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:15 PM
 
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In areas zoned single family, most common are minimum lot size and minimum square footage. Other restrictions are on the building code side: no plastic pipe, fire sprinklers required, 200-amp minimum electric service, and so on.
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