Covenant vs Zoning


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    Rebekka O'Melia

    Covenants are made between 2 private parties.  A deed could have a covenant restriction created by the original owner.  Some community HOA have covenants - things like all the garages must have side-entry doors or the house you build needs to be a minimum 2200 sf and 3 bedrooms, or whatever...  It's not a zoning regulation, but if you want to live there, you'll need to conform.

    A covenant restriction can be more stringent than the zoning (but not less).  And it is important for us to know if there are any covenants.  I think the attorney handling the sale would alert their clients about the covenant restrictions.

    Zoning bylaws are created by a municipality.  These regulations we are very well versed researching when designing a project.  There is not typically much flexibility with zoning.  You can get a variance if there's a hardship, otherwise changing a properties zoning would take years, and is not guaranteed.

    Hope this helps!

    Rebekka O'Melia, Registered Architect, NCARB, B. Arch, M. Ed, Step UP, Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses


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