Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

    Question Virginia HI Question

    For inspectors in Virginia or anyone else with insight to question.
    Scenerio:
    3 Storey "home" (rental property)
    7 bedrooms available
    3 1/2 baths (1 1/2 Bath main level, 2 baths upstairs)

    Question is:
    House "manager", live in renter, says in Va, no matter size of house/bedrooms, can only allow total 4 persons, unless related, to live in house. Also had to dismantle "second kitchen" according to local "authority/inspector." Seems to me a second kitchen would make things more efficient for the renters.

    Question is: is this a local regulation/ordinance or have we all missed something. BTW: house is in Arlington/Rosslyn area.

    Main floor has one "tennant" (my grand daughter) with One bedroom, main kitchen, dismantled second kitchen (refrig only left, sink disconnected, stove removed), 1 1/2 baths, 4 closets, 1 den/sitting room, and front parlor/sitting/living room. Upper level tennants have access to main kitchen and den area (common areas) of main floor.

    Upper level (3) tennants have access to remainder of house.
    Aside: laundry room is located at end of hall on second level. Accessible by all.

    Thanks

    RES

    Similar Threads:
    2018 ASHI InspectionWorld

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Virginia HI Question

    I'm not sure about VA but there are some screwy occupancy rules/laws. I've heard of kitchens having to be dismantled so a space is no longer considered "liveable" - You might try checking with your local building department or housing authority.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: Virginia HI Question

    It may be that they do not want to get the house rezoned from single family to multiple family to skirt tax and safety requirements. By keeping it a single family home vs a multiple family, they have to meet different code requirements.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  4. #4

    Question Re: Virginia HI Question

    Matt,
    The local authorities were the ones calling for the kitchen dismantle and limit of occupants.

    Bruce,
    Single vs multifamily designation, just might be the reason.

    I really didn't care. Just thought that it might be more efficient for the occupants.

    Why not an "inlaw: suite, which is what would have been the "setup" if the kitchen was left in place. Are those "illegal" now?

    Thanks for the replies.
    RES


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Virginia HI Question

    Heck, in my area we have plenty of homes with 2,3 or 4 kitchens in them. Some have 10 bedrooms or more.

    A few months ago I looked at a home that had 8 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and 3 kitchens. One kitchen was for the family, one was for entertaining and the other was what they called a summer kitchen, it had glass doors that opened to the pool area.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Virginia HI Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Heck, in my area we have plenty of homes with 2,3 or 4 kitchens in them. Some have 10 bedrooms or more.

    A few months ago I looked at a home that had 8 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and 3 kitchens. One kitchen was for the family, one was for entertaining and the other was what they called a summer kitchen, it had glass doors that opened to the pool area.
    Thats because in Tenn. the 2 rooms you entertain in are those. 1 Room for "eatin" the other for "cheatin"


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Virginia HI Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Stakely View Post
    For inspectors in Virginia or anyone else with insight to question.
    Scenerio:
    3 Storey "home" (rental property)
    7 bedrooms available
    3 1/2 baths (1 1/2 Bath main level, 2 baths upstairs)

    Question is:
    House "manager", live in renter, says in Va, no matter size of house/bedrooms, can only allow total 4 persons, unless related, to live in house. Also had to dismantle "second kitchen" according to local "authority/inspector." Seems to me a second kitchen would make things more efficient for the renters.

    Question is: is this a local regulation/ordinance or have we all missed something. BTW: house is in Arlington/Rosslyn area.

    Main floor has one "tennant" (my grand daughter) with One bedroom, main kitchen, dismantled second kitchen (refrig only left, sink disconnected, stove removed), 1 1/2 baths, 4 closets, 1 den/sitting room, and front parlor/sitting/living room. Upper level tennants have access to main kitchen and den area (common areas) of main floor.

    Upper level (3) tennants have access to remainder of house.
    Aside: laundry room is located at end of hall on second level. Accessible by all.

    Thanks

    RES
    Not Virginia but may be an Arlington County Ordinance. There is some concern about stuffing a residence with 10-15-20 people to whom 4 or five sleeping on the floor in a carpeted room with a roof over it is almost heaven compared to a dirt floor in a hut South of the border.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Virginia HI Question

    May have something to do with square footage of living area vs. those SEVEN BEDROOMS/occupancy ratio. X. sq. ft of dinning area, living area vs. sq. ft. and number of legal bedrooms. That's usually covered in the rullng residential building codes. Extra kitchen may have encroached on space required for living/eating, Second full kitchen indicates additional occupancy. Also stands to reason that the remodeling incorporating second full kitchen area couldn't have been a permitted legal reconfiguration of the space, or else the county couldn't have demanded its removal, assuming they did, Unless, perhaps it was originally a TWO-FAMILY Dwelling - and someone removed the necessary separations turning it into a large single family home (or returning it to single family status) and the county demanded the second kitchen be deconstructed.

    Also possible a hefty reclassification by the tax apprasial showed up no longer considering single family, or something in that regard, who owns the property and why does it matter? or rather, what was there to have "missed"?

    In-law apartments are just that, apartments, separate private living space with, irrespective if rent or utilities are collected or included, not live-in servant quarters. A separate dwelling unit, or Accessory Dwelling unit as the zoning ordinance defines it. If it is a more modest (no more than 2 rooms plus a bathroom and an "efficiency" kitchen) compartment - that can qualify as a "family/caregiver suite" you'll find that in the zoning ordinance as well.

    Single family home is a single family Dwelling (see zoning ordinance). Without some sort of an exception in the zoning ordinances, for unrelated occupants a single family dwelling is not a group home, a sponsored Dormitory, second kitchen fails as to Bed & Breakfast, and a Dwelling is not a Boarding House (up to 9 guests) or Rooming House. Therefore the four unrelated parties maximum reference, and second kitchen, suspect it was a Zoning Violation and/or if newer sub-division in unincorporated area suspect a covenant restriction for development/subdivision i.e. restricting to single-family use, no group homes or multi-family.



    I'd check the county site. Find out what the property is zoned for, and permit/plans check if you're looking to invest in it. Not quite sure what the purpose is, perhaps looking to get daughter out of sub-let or lease agreement?

    Here's the zoning ordinance The Zoning Ordinance : Planning Division : Arlington, Virginia I'd check out the definitions right off, zoning maps, etc. and check with planning dept first.

    The definition of family in the zoning ordinance makes that "four unrelated persons" restriction if its not a licensed facility mentioned in (c) below:

    Family:

    (a) An individual, or two (2) or more persons related by blood, marriage or adoption, or under approved foster care; or

    (b) A group of not more than four (4) persons (including servants) whether or not related by blood or marriage living together and sharing living areas in a dwelling unit; or

    (c) A group of up to eight (8) mentally ill, mentally retarded or developmentally disabled persons who are residing with one (1) or more resident counselor(s) or other staff person(s) in a facility which is licensed by the Department of Mental Health, mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services of the Commonwealth of Virginia. For the purposes of this orinance, mental illness and developmental disability shall not include current illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance as defined in section 54.1-3401 of the Code of Virginia or its successor. (Ord. No. 9023, 7-11-90).
    HTH.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-14-2010 at 10:21 PM.

  9. #9

    Smile Re: Virginia HI Question

    HGW Sr.:

    Not looking to invest in property. (locally owned rental property in residential area.)

    NOT looking to get GRAND daughter out of sublet/lease. None required. (Just moved her in.)

    Not a group of mentally ill. (all are young "smart" upward mobile people)

    Not a crack house.

    Not a boarding house.

    Not a B&B

    Not a dorm

    No partitions removed to install 2nd kitchen.
    (Granddaughter's space.) "Front living area/suite" of house is bedroom, two closets, private bathroom, "kitchen" and front livingroom. (private entrance) (with locking doors separating from main kitchen, common den, and other areas) Other tennants have "private/separate entry.

    Only asked because I had never heard of max occupants of 4 (even rentals) and only one kitchen. (or had I MISSED a new law possibly affecting living space here in Georgia) inquiring minds want to know.

    I assumed it had something to do with local ordinances, but don't like to assume anything. Also considered the prospect of preventing "undocumented" workers over loading the dwelling (as suggested above)

    But due to your indepth "search" and expanded discourse, I consider myself fully informed and up to date. Thank you, Professor.

    RES

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Virginia HI Question

    R.S.,

    Sorry for overlooking the "Grand" relationship in typing my response.

    With your further description of the "floor plan" restrictions to the remaining three occupants, the following occurs to me.

    The primary, frontal entrance is apparently restricted to the other occupants via a locked door/compartment. If the secondary entrance does not comply with size, exit path, proximity to safety to alley, street, etc. may also be considered to be a violation of the building codes (exit/egress/primary path). Seems as described the former single family home has been compartmentalized, also restricting former common front room/living area/parlor from the remaining occupants and depending on the size of the remaining "den" - the "den" may not be sufficient sq. footage ration to sustain the required living area for the remaining six bedrooms, although being a single family home more likely the usage ratio would be the entirety of seven bedrooms, since the front area may be considered a private suite now. Likewise for required eating area ratios which may not be sufficient within kitchen, and I don't recall mention of a separate dining room, although perhaps there is a dedicated space elsewhere, or the "den" could be considered to be sufficient in size to have a demarked additional square footage designated as eating area that might meet requirements.

    Although the home may be older and thus present requirements/ratios might not otherwise apply, they might have been invoked by more recent remodeling activities.

    An additional thought possibly affecting determination of which residential zoning may apply, may be sufficient parking ratios to number of bedrooms.

    Finally, I disagree with another poster (mentioning because it was further commented on by yourself) regarding an insinuated reason for zoning ordance language anywhere in this country, or the selective enforcement or target enforcement pertaining restricing the number of unrelated parties in definition of family or use of a single family dwelling as having "anything" to do with the nationality of the occupants, or their national origin, race, religion, etc. as being absolutely incorrect. That of course, would violate expressed language in most State/Commonwealth Law, if not the local constitution/compact AND would be a violation of Federal Law. A local authority doing same (capricious or selective enforcement patterns targeting individuals for housing enforcement based on the race, nationality, national origin, religion, etc. of the occupants) could possibly be taken to task in Local Court, and the individuals even if provided state immunity (and/or the governmental unit state sovernity). might still be prosecuted via the Federal court system.

    Therefore, I completely disagree with the theory suggested by other(s) as to the "reasons" for such laws (ordinances, etc.) regarding the definition/use restrictions for single family dwelling units or their enforcement, having to do with immigration status, national origin, race, etc..

    More commonly, throughout the country, you find such improper use/enforcement more regularly "procecuted" and/or enforced in college towns, etc. dealing with off-campus and unauthorized sharing/group occupancy by unrelated students, creative tourist housing, intern, temporary or displaced employment meccas (not unlike Washington DC Metro area), etc. and illegal TROs.

    Food for thought, so to speak.


  11. #11

    Unhappy Re: Virginia HI Question

    Hard to determine the actual SF or size of the building just by the picture attached. But the Saftey exit concerns are not there. There is a front entrance as can be seen at the front "porch." There is a side, main, entrance to the "common" area at the right. There is also a rear double door exit at the rear of the den/dining/living room/kitchen area (All one large area combination, with columns (of course) There are also three (3) stairways from upper floors to the main.

    (Also 3 escape exits from front "suite" Four counting out the balcony door and over the rail)

    The "common area" is: full width of house and 1/2 depth.
    from right to left, small mechanical closet (right corner), abutting kitchen area with full facilities (refrig, L shaped sink/counter tops range, dishwasher.) This flows into the dining area.

    From there, a step down to den area Apprx 10 x 15 (open two floors to balcony on second floor, with spiral staircase)
    And then left front seating/living room area Approx 10 x 20 leading to the front hall entrance with 1/2 bath near door.

    Parking area is sufficient for 4 in driveway. And street permitted parking with sticker/registration.

    As far as the regulations pertaining to nationalities. You might be surprised at the types of ordinances enacted to dissuade certain activities disquised as "safety" rules. You really think a community is going to say outright, "Hey, we're going to enact this rule to keep out XXXXXX types." I really wouldn't think so.

    BTW: if you will check, Virginia has some of the strictest anti-Illegal immigration laws on the books. Even more so than poor ole Az.

    RES


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Virginia HI Question

    No illegals packed into the home, not a home for mentally ill, not a crack house, but, OMG!! someone is parked in a no parking zone.


  13. #13

    Wink Re: Virginia HI Question

    Not really Curt.

    Picture is taken from a slight angle from "up" the street. The no parking sign is actually to the rear of that car, indicating "no parking" from that point past the driveway and adjacent house to the end of the street. (see the little red arrow pointing in that direction?)

    Street parking is (only) allowed with sticker permit.

    Last edited by Ralph Stakely; 09-24-2010 at 09:26 AM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •