Exceptional Real Estate--Issues from ...

Exceptional Real Estate--Issues from Waltham

Posted in the Waltham Forum

Waltham Woman

Arlington, MA

#1 Mar 30, 2011
As a proud, first time home buyer, I was delighted to find an affordable place in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Now, I regret this, having learned painfully of a city permitted "by right" practice. Using what is called a "small lot" or "old lot" exception, a developer can get a permit from the city to tear down a current house, and put two or more in its place on undersized lot. And these lots, by the grandfather provision, may be MUCH SMALLER and CLOSER to your property line than current zoning allows. This is done usually without any required input from neighbors and any public notice.

To me, this is a sad deviation from the practice in some cities, which require public notification and a special permit hearing before such construction can occur.

It now appears that houses are being permitted on land 3000 sq feet or less. So, beware, that if you buy in Waltham, may you may shortly find yourself with more neighbors--and houses next to you--than expected.

At this point, I consider Waltham the "WatchOut" city. Any input or perspective from other fellow homebuyers would be appreciated--including better places to live!

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