REALTORS Develop Educational Video on Condo Zoning

    SPRINGFIELD (July 28, 2015)   The Capital Area REALTORS® in conjunction with the Illinois Association of REALTORS’ RVOICE program have developed an educational video that speaks to the importance of proper zoning for duplex condos.

    In the Capital Area duplexes can vary in the way in which they are zoned. They can be classified as individual parcels that share a common wall (what is known as a “zero lot line” or “attached”), or in some cases duplexes can be zoned as a condominium consisting of two units.

    With many changes in the lending environment, conventional financing is becoming more difficult to secure for duplex condominiums. Duplex properties that are zoned as zero lot line are much more likely to be eligible for conventional financing.

      “In 2012, CAR worked with the Village of Chatham to modify the zoning regulations to enable owners of two-unit condominiums a legal means to change their zoning classification to zero-lot-line.  This affected approximately 330 properties in Chatham.  This educational video which was produced in collaboration with the Illinois Association of REALTORS provides an explanation of the benefit of being “zoned zero lot line” or “attached” vs. condominium," said 2015 CAR President Mike Buscher, CRB, GRI.  
    “There are other communities in the Springfield area where properties are zoned in a similar manner and may need attention as well.  How does one know if their property is zoned this way?  Consult your REALTOR.  Your REALTOR can help you determine a properties current zoning classification, explain the process to change that classification and direct you to other experts to help you change the classification,” said Buscher.

    Zero lot line is essentially an imaginary line drawn through the center of a shared wall, as well as a dividing line that separates a duplex lot into two separate parcels. By dividing the parcel at the zero lot line, the duplex lot is split into two parcels of land (with separate tax id numbers), in contrast to condominium zoning in which the entire duplex lot is considered common area.

    Zero lot line also provides for a waiver of interior, side lot set back requirements. Due to the nature of a shared wall (or party wall), the setback from the lot line would be zero. Dividing the lot into separate parcels allows homeowners more flexibility in financing, and more certainty as to the property they actually own.

    “In 2013, the organization worked to raise awareness of this issue by reaching out to these homeowners in Chatham by sending each unit owner a postcard explaining the issue and encouraging them to contact a REALTOR® for assistance. This video is the latest in the organization’s ongoing efforts to educate the public on this important subject," said John Klemm, the organization’s Government Affairs Committee Chair.
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