My question involves real estate located in the State of: California
I'm in escrow to purchase a condominium in Santa Monica, CA. The appraiser noted that the curent zoning of the condo is legal, but non-conforming. Specifically, the density of the condo complex is too high for the zoning. Worse, according to Santa Monica zoning ordinances, buildings that are destroyed or damaged to an extent of 50% of the replacement cost, then this building must be rebuilt to conform with current code.
Now, because of this, the lender is flaky on whether to grant a loan. My condo is zoned such that the max density is 1 unit / 2000 sf of lot size. Currently, my building is 15000 sf with 21 units. This lot would only support 7 units per current zoning! The thing is, the majority of Santa Monica is zoned similarly, and my rough guess is that at least 60% of the condos are non-conforming.
My questions are:
- Is such a law even constitutional? What if you bought a condo, then they came up with these new zoning districts, then your home is destroyed in a fire/earthquake, and now you suddenly you can't rebuild your condo because the density would be too high. Isn't this a violation of right to own property?
- How has this not come up before? My lender is one of the big 4, and they said they've never seen such an issue before. My realtor said the same. Santa Monica has hundreds of thousands of homes; how is this possible?!?
I can't imagine what happens if an earthquake destroys a good number of condo buildings. The city just kicks half their residents out of their homes because of these zoning laws?