Our two properties are approximately 4 acres each and are both long and skinny. Naturally the preferred views have our house pressed right up into a corner with 30′ setbacks (as required by zoning). Another problem were dealing with is where to put the septic system in relation to the house. The leach field must be downhill of the septic tank (unless we want to use a more expensive pump system). Since zoning rules don’t allow us to build across our own two properties, there is not a lot of room below the house on either property.
Note: Gray areas shown are buildable areas based on 30 foot setbacks. Septic system is allowed to be within 10 feet of property boundary lines but must be some distance from house.
One of the options we’re considering is to re-draw the property lines to create better layout options as shown in the picture below.
Re-drawing property lines like this requires a public hearing by the county board and the opportunity for neighbors and other interested parties to weigh in on the re-drawing. There are two main rules when doing this process:
Cannot create a new parcel of land unless all existing and new properties are at least 5 acres
Redrawing of property lines cannot leave an existing property less than 2 acres.
A new land Plat survey would have to be performed to show the new property lines. This can be a fairly costly survey depending on the complexity of the redrawn boundaries. One advantage we have is that the company that provided our improvement location certificate (ILC) during the purchase process also did a similar splitting of parcels just above our property. They are familiar with the land around us and located most of our corners during that parcel process. This should hopefully save us some cost by using them again.
Additionally we would possibly have to contact the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to have mineral rights changed as well. Otherwise in the future (if we sold one property) the new owner could tunnel under the other property’s land and mine.
- Zoning Process: ~$1,000
- New Land Plat Survey: ~$3000
- BLM Changes: $???
- Timeframe: 2-7 months
We’re not sure if this cost and time is worth it, but it could solve a few issues:
- Better overall property value
- Better options for future house placement
- Room for septic system downhill of house on each property
- Shorter driveway length (any driveway > 100′ requires engineering and is more costly)
- Avoid one house building from blocking view of other house as easily (in case we sell one property)