Building Inspector, Massachusetts, Old lot lines

August 24, 2009
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Posted By Alexander Thorp on 8/24/2009 at 11:51 AM

I have a client who purchased a property in 2006 under a single deed which recites 7 individual parcels of land, all contiguous. The seven parcels are not of equal dimensions, but the net result (subject to whatever facts might be revealed by a retracement survey) is that the seven parcels add up to a single parcel having frontage of 275 feet and a depth of 585 feet.

The lot is located in a residential district in a Massachusetts town requiring minimum 1 acre, and 150 feet frontage, and as the existing total ownership calculated to be about 3.7 acres, and 275 feet frontage, it does not appear to be a non-conforming lot.

My client wishes to remove an existing deteriorated dwelling on the lot and replace it with a new single family dwelling that would be in compliance with zoning with respect to outer property lines.

The local building inspector claims there is a conflict with the building code, and won't issue a building permit unless and until she has a survey of the property made, showing the totality of the ownership without the interior lot lines. The gist of his argument is that the building code won't allow an individual to build a structure on top of an existing property line without violating the building code. He does not appear to be saying that it is a violation of the zoning code.

Any thoughts on this situation?

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