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  • Writer's pictureJones Pierce

Jurisdictional Jeopardy!

What do you do when the survey indicates your house is built over the setback? Are your expansion plans shot down in flames?

Alex, I’ll take Zoning Ordinances for $500.

“These allow for expansion of structures in non-conforming situations by reducing zoning restrictions for extenuating circumstances.”

“What are variances?”

You are correct!

Your dream home in a historical neighborhood (i.e. Inman Park) would be perfect if you could add an extra room. Do you understand the regulations and know how to navigate through the review process?

Alex, I’ll take Jurisdictional Conundrums for $100.

“These are educated professionals experienced with solving intricacies of property and historical ordinances and real estate covenants.”

“Who are Jones Pierce Studios?”

You are correct!

Jurisdictional Puzzles

Jones Pierce offers our clients the assistance needed to get through these jurisdictional puzzles. Zoning codes, historic district regulations, neighborhood covenants, etc. are all familiar hurdles and processes that we commonly deal with as part of our business. Just as we must understand and interpret building and life safety codes, we also understand the nuances of zoning codes and the various overlays local governments may apply.

The principals of Jones Pierce have over 25 years of experience of interpreting codes and their application to projects. In fact, Cooper Pierce in 2007 was awarded a proclamation from the Atlanta City Council for helping the City revise the Residential Zoning Ordinance to better control infill development. It is with this understanding of the code intent that Jones Pierce excels in assisting our clients to renovate and expand their homes as well as build new ones.

Understanding and interpreting the legal jargon is only one step of the solution, the other is navigating the process to obtain necessary approvals. We have helped, rescued and ushered through many projects through a myriad of zoning and jurisdictional regulations. Some are quite time consuming, like a City of Atlanta variance, and others are quite streamlined, such as the 2 week process of getting approval from the Urban Design Commission. In any case, we will be there to steer the project through the system and keep the project objectives front and center. If you are lucky, we might even score the Daily Double!

Inman Park

Here’s another example for you:This Inman Park Residence came to Jones Pierce after neighbors rejected the homeowners initial set of renovation plans.Read more on the project and how Jones Pierce helped a family wanting to live in an older, established neighborhood, renovate to create modern conveniences and additional space.

Jones Pierce has experience dealing with several jurisdictions and neighborhoods:

  1. City of Atlanta Variances including: setback, lot coverage, and height.

  2. City of Atlanta UDC (Urban Design Commission) Certificate of Appropriateness Type I, II, III, and IV.

  3. City of Atlanta Special Use Permits

  4. City of Atlanta Special Exception Permits

  5. City of Atlanta rezoning applications.

  6. City of Decatur Variances including: setback, lot coverage & height.

  7. Historic Preservation approvals in several Atlanta neighborhoods including: Druid Hills, Inman Park, Grant Park, and Oakland City.

  8. HOA approvals in neighborhoods outside of Atlanta.

  9. Neighborhood architectural covenant approvals.

  10. Zero lot line subdivisions.

For a full list of City of Atlanta Historic and Landmark Districts, click here.

Visit the Office of Planning to see a list of applications the City of Atlanta requires for certain variances and neighborhoods

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