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Hi, I applied for a construction permit back in 2006 for a

shed that I was using...
Hi, I applied for a construction permit back in 2006 for a shed that I was using as a pool house behind my house. I also got an electrical permit for a subpanel to be put in the pool house. I also had to get approval from zoning. I passed my electrical and building permit and did get approval from zoning. I just recently was going to try and finish the pool house and add outlets and a mini split a/c system. I was told for the A/C system I need approval from zoning again. So I applied for zoning approval and permits for electrical and plumbing. I just received a letter in the mail from zoning regarding my application for the A/C zoning approval, stating that my pool house needs to be 20 feet from the property line and that I also need to get zoning approval for my pool house. I guess they do not realize that I already received approval for the shed back in 2006. But what concerns me is that my shed is only 17 feet from the property line. I looked on their sheet for accessory structures and it does not specifically state how far they should be from the property line. They say from bodies of water and also if the shed is less then 100 sq ft it can be 3 feet away from property line. My shed is 200 sq ft. I could remember talking with the zoning officer in 2006 and he told me it could be 15 feet so that is what I used. Now I feel sick not sure how to handle the situation because there is no room to move it and the electrical pipes underground are already in place for years. I was wondering if the approval I received from building department verified the distance from the property line or is that not there responsibility. Also I would like to know what I should do that could make me finish this as quickly as possible. Thank You.
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
6/18/2013
Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 24,870
Experience: 20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
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Welcome to JustAnswer! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

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Sorry for your situation.

First, although you obtained a building permit - you still must construct and place the structure within the parameters of the local zoning code.


Second, you asked:

I was wondering if the approval I received from building department verified the distance from the property line or is that not there responsibility.

That is not their responsibility to measure the setbacks of where you place your structure - you are required to place the structure as per the zoning ordinance.



Also I would like to know what I should do that could make me finish this as quickly as possible.

My thoughts are - that I would apply for a variance given your situation. That you were told by the zoning officer when you originally constructed the "pool house" or "shed" (however you want to characterize the building/structure) that you only had to be 15 feet away from property line - you went 17 feet (more than required at the time).

That usually they will give a variance when you have already applied and were given a permit, AND that you can't move your structure without committing economic waste, AND that your electrical pipes have already been placed.

It's usually not that hard to get a variance given your situation - it's just a procedure that you have to apply for such and state why you need it.

Then about the only thing you would have to worry about is a neighbor complaining. If you get along with your neighbor on that side you shouldn't have a problem whatsoever getting the variance because they can come with you to the hearing and state that they are OK with it.


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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Can I apply for a variance myself. And do you know how long it takes.


Thank You.

Yes, you can apply for the variance yourself - they would have the requests at the local municipal office or where the building inspector's office is.

It's fairly simple forms that you fill out and explain the situation - maybe 4 or 5 pages at most.

Many times real estate agents can assist you because they routinely do such. Certainly a local attorney can review your request too.

How long does it take - usually about 1 plus months at least - depending on when the next meeting is held by the municipality zoning officers AND that it's advertised as per the local rules.


Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
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