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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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brewster wrote:
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jc_dweller wrote:
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brewster wrote:
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jc_dweller wrote:
Good point. She could own other property, though, so it's a reasonable assumption but not 100%. If she's in the Heights, no flood issues but almost certainly a 2-family zone.


And there's the conundrum, everyone beats their breast about affordable housing, yet the classic affordable apartment, the basement unit, is illegal to create in the R-1 zoning that covers much of the city. I have a legal basement studio in one of my Heights buildings that I rent for $600. It's not elegant, but where else are you going to find that?


As far as I know you can find it in any R-1 zone with an existing single family home. They existed citywide before Sandy, and now they exist anywhere that's not in a flood zone. I'm not sure I understand the problem.


MANY of those basement units are not legal, look at ads and they're often described as "mother in law" apartments. That's why there was a "zoning amnesty" proposal a while back that would allow any physically conforming units to be added to the CoO.


My statement was that if you have a 1 family home in R-1, you are allowed to put in a basement apartment. Existing basement apartments in a home that is otherwise a 1-family may or may not have been constructed legally (meaning with permits) but they are permitted by zoning and should that property owner request approvals or permits they would be granted.

Generally the illegal ones are a THIRD unit in an existing two-family house, which raises a whole slew of problems.




Posted on: 2016/9/23 17:49
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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jc_dweller wrote:
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brewster wrote:
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jc_dweller wrote:
Good point. She could own other property, though, so it's a reasonable assumption but not 100%. If she's in the Heights, no flood issues but almost certainly a 2-family zone.


And there's the conundrum, everyone beats their breast about affordable housing, yet the classic affordable apartment, the basement unit, is illegal to create in the R-1 zoning that covers much of the city. I have a legal basement studio in one of my Heights buildings that I rent for $600. It's not elegant, but where else are you going to find that?


As far as I know you can find it in any R-1 zone with an existing single family home. They existed citywide before Sandy, and now they exist anywhere that's not in a flood zone. I'm not sure I understand the problem.


MANY of those basement units are not legal, look at ads and they're often described as "mother in law" apartments. That's why there was a "zoning amnesty" proposal a while back that would allow any physically conforming units to be added to the CoO.

Posted on: 2016/9/23 15:40
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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FelicitaMigliore wrote:
Hello..

Looking for an architect is a good idea. But before modifying your basement into a living unit you must have a legal permission from the attorney because your neighbour may attempt to block your plans by claiming, they have a legal right to do it. Last month my friend also remodelled his basement into a small living room, but before doing that he had talk with the real estate attorney in Florida, he got the legal permit and then he had contact with the architect. It is better you should also first consult with an attorney and then search for an architect.


This is patently false. Nobody from a neighbor to the city officials have a right to block a permitted unit in New Jersey. Land use rules vary by state so maybe Florida has different rules. Now, if the OP is requesting a density variance, things change and neighbors may have sway. Also, to get such a variance, you need to go to the zoning board WITH an attorney, architect, planner to plead your case. You don't get to wait until after that to hire them.

Posted on: 2016/9/23 11:02
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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brewster wrote:
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jc_dweller wrote:
Good point. She could own other property, though, so it's a reasonable assumption but not 100%. If she's in the Heights, no flood issues but almost certainly a 2-family zone.


And there's the conundrum, everyone beats their breast about affordable housing, yet the classic affordable apartment, the basement unit, is illegal to create in the R-1 zoning that covers much of the city. I have a legal basement studio in one of my Heights buildings that I rent for $600. It's not elegant, but where else are you going to find that?


As far as I know you can find it in any R-1 zone with an existing single family home. They existed citywide before Sandy, and now they exist anywhere that's not in a flood zone. I'm not sure I understand the problem.

Posted on: 2016/9/23 10:59
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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Hello..

Looking for an architect is a good idea. But before modifying your basement into a living unit you must have a legal permission from the attorney because your neighbour may attempt to block your plans by claiming, they have a legal right to do it. Last month my friend also remodelled his basement into a small living room, but before doing that he had talk with the real estate attorney in Florida, he got the legal permit and then he had contact with the architect. It is better you should also first consult with an attorney and then search for an architect.

Posted on: 2016/9/23 9:41
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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jc_dweller wrote:
Good point. She could own other property, though, so it's a reasonable assumption but not 100%. If she's in the Heights, no flood issues but almost certainly a 2-family zone.


And there's the conundrum, everyone beats their breast about affordable housing, yet the classic affordable apartment, the basement unit, is illegal to create in the R-1 zoning that covers much of the city. I have a legal basement studio in one of my Heights buildings that I rent for $600. It's not elegant, but where else are you going to find that?

Posted on: 2016/9/22 21:20
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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brewster wrote:
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jc_dweller wrote:
Unless I missed something, we haven't been told where the building is,


In her info box it says "Heights".


Good point. She could own other property, though, so it's a reasonable assumption but not 100%. If she's in the Heights, no flood issues but almost certainly a 2-family zone.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 20:43
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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Unless I missed something, we haven't been told where the building is,


In her info box it says "Heights".

Posted on: 2016/9/22 0:36
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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Madison wrote:
Yes applying for a variance requires an attorney but the first step is to consult with an Architect to assess the feasibility of the situation beyond just the zoning and planning aspects of the project. An architect will be able to address the zoning issues as well so there's really no need to hire an attorney until later on in the process.


Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression is that assuming the place can be brought into code compliance, the bigger problem is the variance. Most of us have heard this kind of change to the CoO is tough. If it were me I'd like to know my odds of getting the variance before doing anything else, and that's a zoning attorney question.


Agreed - Code compliance is just a matter of $, more often than not. Unless I missed something, we haven't been told where the building is, so we also don't know if it is in a flood zone which post-sandy prohibits any new garden level dwellings. So, IF it isn't in a flood area (effectively not downtown, with a few exceptions) then they get to deal with a possible density variance (again, because we don't know where it is or how many dwellings are already there, it's hard to say).

Posted on: 2016/9/21 12:12
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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Madison wrote:
Yes applying for a variance requires an attorney but the first step is to consult with an Architect to assess the feasibility of the situation beyond just the zoning and planning aspects of the project. An architect will be able to address the zoning issues as well so there's really no need to hire an attorney until later on in the process.


Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression is that assuming the place can be brought into code compliance, the bigger problem is the variance. Most of us have heard this kind of change to the CoO is tough. If it were me I'd like to know my odds of getting the variance before doing anything else, and that's a zoning attorney question.

Posted on: 2016/9/20 22:44
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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Yes applying for a variance requires an attorney but the first step is to consult with an Architect to assess the feasibility of the situation beyond just the zoning and planning aspects of the project. An architect will be able to address the zoning issues as well so there's really no need to hire an attorney until later on in the process. FYI I'm an Architect and have worked on several similar projects here in the city. If you'd like additional assistance please feel free to private message me, perhaps I can help. Best of luck.

Posted on: 2016/9/20 18:39
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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tern wrote:
You need a zoning lawyer, not an architect.

Robin.


Exactly what I told her in person. Some people don't listen.

Posted on: 2016/9/20 16:04
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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tern wrote:
You need a zoning lawyer, not an architect.

Jon Campbell 973-748-7474.

Robin.


He retired. His business went to Ms. Rita McKenna. I don't know her contact info but it should be online or the Planning Office or Zoning Office surely has it.

Posted on: 2016/9/20 15:25
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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You need a zoning lawyer, not an architect.

Jon Campbell 973-748-7474.

Robin.

Posted on: 2016/9/20 14:44
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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there's a good chance that this is not legal.
But, there are several architects who know their stuff. You should ask them as well as the zoning officer if you can do what you want. Between density limits and flood zones, you might be SOL.

- Inglese Architects
- Debra David Architect
- Lee Levine Architect
- Minervini Vandermark Architects

Posted on: 2016/9/20 14:02
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Re: Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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No can do.

Posted on: 2016/9/17 21:28
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Looking for an architect with city planning experience
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Hello Fellow JCListers,
I'm a new resident in JC and looking for an architect with city planning experience to apply for a variance to convert my basement into a living unit. Can anybody recommend some? I tried calling some and they all seem to be too busy with big projects to take on something like this.
Thanks a lot!

Posted on: 2016/9/17 15:21
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