Set Back
The setback on a site area around the perimeter of a site upon which building is prohibited. Generally, they are defined as X number of feet from the property line, creating a moat-like perimeter upon which no building component may rest. Additionally, certain terrain features may carry setbacks of their own, such as wetlands, rivers, etc. Setbacks vary greatly from town to town, and also depend on how the site is zoned. The benefit of having setbacks are many, one of which is to decrease the chance of fire spreading from one building to another. It also provides access to fire fighters and utility workers to access the respective locations on the building. It creates zones of free space which solve privacy issues when windows open onto each other between buildings. It also (and most importantly) allows for roads and other public zones to be expanded as necessary to accommodate increased traffic.

If the roads are expanded to an extent where the existing conditions now violate the new setbacks, the structure is generally grandfathered, which means it is currently exempt from complying with these new setbacks because the structure was compliant when it was built. However, this also limits renovation and new construction; if a renovation occurs where the footprint of the building changes, it may be necessary to comply with new setbacks.

If construction is severely limited because of setbacks, and the owner can demonstrate extreme hardship as a result, the architect and owner can petition the local government for a variance, which would allow them to violate the setbacks.

Setbacks must be considered very carefully; if an architect violates setbacks, either willfully or unintentionally, the government can and usually will issue a stop construction order, and demand the situation be remedied. Either a variance must be applied for and granted, or the structure must be completely demolished and the previously existing conditions must be returned. Failure to comply with these demands may result in significant fines and penalties, as well as legal action against the property owner.
There are no comments on this page.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional :: Valid CSS :: Powered by WikkaWiki