County wants ‘plan B’ to accommodate illegal, undersized lots

The Fayette County Planning Commission is being asked to revisit a different way of helping residents who were unaware their parcels do not conform to zoning regulations and are technically illegal.

In most cases, such parcels are in the agriculture residential zoning category, which requires a minimum lot size of five acres. The non-conforming parcels typically are smaller than five acres, thereby putting them in conflict with the requirement of the zoning ordinance. As such, the landowners are finding they are unable to sell their property when the time comes.

Late last year, a remedy was developed by the planning commission and the former County Commission, but it was overturned April 11 by the new County Commission over worries that the solution would create a precedent and perhaps render the county’s zoning ordinance moot.

On a unanimous vote April 11, the County Commission directed the planning commission to look into the matter again, seeking language that would protect the county’s zoning ordinance while also making sure not to reward property owners who purposefully split their parcel in defiance of county regulations.

Commissioner Charles Oddo noted that some residents who find themselves in this situation acquired their nonconforming parcels after they had been reduced in size by the previous property owner. In these cases, the new owner was unaware the lot size was illegal per the county’s zoning ordinance.

“We are asking the planning commission to discuss this with the county attorney and try to come up with some language that creates a variance and takes these lots to make them nonconforming but legal,” Oddo said.

Commissioner Randy Ognio said he felt a new process would be better for the county.

“Hopefully they will come up with wording we can use without destroying our zoning,” Ognio said. “We don’t want to be rewarding people for dividing their properties into illegal lots.”

30YearResident's picture
Joined: 03/21/2006

Undersized lots have always been considered "grandfathered" if approved prior to zoning changes. Any that required special consideration were handled via zoning appeals.
I'm sure a better way needs to be determined, but I'm curious why the previous plan of handling these type lots was scuttled by the new commission and the new county attorney.

AtHomeGym's picture
Joined: 01/18/2007
30 yr resident & lot sizes

I have noticed lately a sign near my house advertising 7.6 Acres and a statement that says "Can be divided"---how does one do that in A-R zoning?

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