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Your_Condo_View___Enjoy_it_While_You_Can

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					Title:
Your Condo View – Enjoy it While You Can

Word Count:
366

Summary:
Downtown condo living, complete with easy access to transit, shopping, a
short walk to work, no maintenance yard and best of all, the view. It was
the birds-eye view of the city, the mountains, and the breathtaking
sunset that sold you on the place – no one mentioned it was only
temporary.


Keywords:
condo information, condo construction, property laws, obstructing
condominium views, seattle real estate


Article Body:
Downtown condo living, complete with easy access to transit, shopping, a
short walk to work, no maintenance yard and best of all, the view. It was
the birds-eye view of the city, the mountains, and the breathtaking
sunset that sold you on the place – no one mentioned it was only
temporary.

What happens when the view that came along with your 33 story condominium
disappears because a neighboring building is built only 18 feet away?
That is what happened to Benjamin Shanfelder when he purchased a unit in
the downtown Seattle Cosmopolitan building in 2005.

He realized that other condos were slated for nearby developments, but at
the time, the height restrictions limited the number of floors of an
adjacent building. The rules were changed and a 34 story condo was
constructed right next door, eliminating Shanfelder’s view, sunlight and
privacy. Whose responsibility was it to inform the new tenants that the
city regulations had changed? According to city requirements, the
developer and the adjacent property owners should be notified; however,
future tenants are on their own to discover these new developments.

A new construction does not automatically assume the condo owner will
lose their view. Different areas of the city have different separation
requirements based on density. Some areas require no separation where as
others mandate a minimum 60 to 200 feet.

Potential buyers cannot depend solely on their realtor or developer for
zoning information. A bit of research before purchasing their property
may save some nasty surprises down the road. Here are some areas to
consider:

Get as much information as possible from the developers regarding nearby
proposals for developments, zoning restrictions and whether they have
invested in air rights for the surrounding real estate to protect views.
Visit the city planning office and look up the zoning laws for the nearby
sites.

Look up the addresses for any project applications and add your name and
email address to the notification list for changes or new developments.

Speak to the city planners about possible changes to the existing zoning
laws.

Let your comments be heard at design review hearings about future
projects.

Spend the extra money to hire a land-use lawyer to complete this due
diligence on your behalf.

				
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