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Old 03-02-2010, 09:01 PM   #1
Ms Merge
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Default Involuntary Lot Merging

Folks, check out www.NHPropertyRights.com For those of you with property in Gilford this is a big issue. Many people do not understand how destructive this policy can be. If effects properties in this area. Would like to hear from folks who have had trouble with this.

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Vote YES on Article 8 REPEAL Involuntary Lot Merging

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Old 03-02-2010, 09:17 PM   #2
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Just curious - is the flag waving on the poster's name label supposed to indicate this position is the patriotic American way of doing things and the other perspective is the evil, socialist attempt to destroy all American values?

I followed the link to the website, and that is certainly how the website came across - that anyone opposed to this position is hell-bent on ruining the lives of solid, patriotic citizens who just want to create more lots for McMansions everywhere.

I believe there is another side to the story....
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:39 PM   #3
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Default Another side to this story?

Can somebody please explain what's going on with this? I'd like to hear the other side.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:11 PM   #4
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This is the most objective thing I could find on it.

http://www.meredithnhnews.com/pdf/GIL.2009.08.27.pdf

look at the article bottom right of page 1.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:21 AM   #5
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March 9, Tuesday,7am-7pm, Gilford elections, Article 8 is all about the Town of Gilford's automatic merging of two abutting lots depending on how the selectmen think about any particular parcel of land and what the selectmen want to do. Voting yes to article 8 would put a stop to this and possible help to undo past mergers that were not requested by the property owners.


Did I get that right....anyone?



(Also up for a Gilford warrant vote is the future use of Ames Farm as a boat launch area by the trailer-boating public.)
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:57 AM   #6
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Default Joined Lots . Personal Experience

My wife and I owned our home and house lot when we lived in Southeast Mass back in the early 80's.. We also owned the (3) building lots next to us.

Our town then came up with a similar zoning reg. We had to rush to do a Quitclaim deed on (2) of the three lots.

We removed her name from the lot -2 deed, so that I owned the one next to us and removed my name so that she owned the next one lot-3. We left the fourth in both our names.

This Quitclaim move allowed us to maintain ownership of four lots and not have them merged into one big 10 acre lot.

The difference here in Mass was that they would merge the lots, regardless if the were conforming or non conforming lots, which is a stronger reg than in Gilford.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Gilford Zoning Reg >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The zoning ordinance states that when two or more lots have the same owner and are contiguous, and one or more is nonconforming to its
size the owner shall be required to merge the lots. The
two exceptions to the ordinance include a pre-existing
principle use, or lots protected from mergers and not required
to merge two properties. Aichinger has gone before the Planning Board and
ZBA in prior months to request changes to this ordinance.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:16 AM   #7
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Default To get around it.

Is to put adjoining lots deeds under an LLC or trust fund.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:44 AM   #8
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Default Our Two lots were merged into one

I want to say in the early 1980s, Moultonborough merged our two separately, purchased lots into one large lot. No discussion... my mother learned of this merger by courier. She spent a lot of time and energy (and limited resources) fighting this merger with the powers that be in Moultonborough, but for naught.

My parents had purchased our first 100 feet of lakefront property in 1952, and the second (and adjoining) 100 feet in 1956. Since sub-divided lots are taxed at a higher rate (correct me if I am mistaken here!), the only benefit was that we were taxed at a slightly lower rate for the one merged lot. However, my mother lost her ability to ever sell that adjoining lot had she ever chosen to do so. It was her "nest egg" which was no more....
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redwing View Post
I want to say in the early 1980s, Moultonborough merged our two separately, purchased lots into one large lot. No discussion... my mother learned of this merger by courier. She spent a lot of time and energy (and limited resources) fighting this merger with the powers that be in Moultonborough, but for naught.

My parents had purchased our first 100 feet of lakefront property in 1952, and the second (and adjoining) 100 feet in 1956. Since sub-divided lots are taxed at a higher rate (correct me if I am mistaken here!), the only benefit was that we were taxed at a slightly lower rate for the one merged lot. However, my mother lost her ability to ever sell that adjoining lot had she ever chosen to do so. It was her "nest egg" which was no more....

It seems as though manny people fail to understand the original purpose of merging NON-CONFORMING lots WITH COMMON OWNERSHIP. In Moultonborough for example, there are many subdivisions such as Suissevale, Toltec, Richardson Shores plus many others with hundreds of waterfront and non-waterfront lots created that were as small as .29 acres.Yes,thats two tenths of an acre or approximately 8,000+ square feet. In places such as Toltec which is mostly granite the septic systems were mostly old oil tanls or 55 gallon drums.

When zoning was enacted around 1984 the minimum lot size was 40,000 square feet, plus now there are requirements for soils and slopes, etc. In order to meet DES requirements for septic plus other considerations, the town decided to go to the involuntary merger route ONLY for NON-CONFORMING lots with common ownership. This action was not taken without the owners being notofied and given time to put lots in different names - joint on one , husband on another, and wife on another (just as was described above). Many years ago, Suissevale adopted an excellent policy that has lead to fewer but larger lots. This is done by a right of first refusal to abutters of any property, especially lots. so that the smaller lots can not be built on and are purchased by neighbors. Check the Suissevale website where I believe this policy is explained.

Basically, in Moultonborough at least, the practice has worked out quite well and I don't understand why other towns are having so much trouble.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:20 PM   #10
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Default Pay close attention

Pay close attention to how this works in your town. I accounted an issue in this post. http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...7&postcount=50

Fully conforming lots merged solely based on configuration and names on the deeds.

The full thread. http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...ead.php?t=9137

The discussion regarding merging is toward the bottom of the thread.

It sounds peachy, but eliminating non-comforming is not the only reason for merging.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sue Doe-Nym View Post
Basically, in Moultonborough at least, the practice has worked out quite well and I don't understand why other towns are having so much trouble.
The small problem is that many, myself included, consider this to be an illegal taking without due process. When the lots were originally created they were legal lots of record. Future zoning changes can not un-create them.

In the past I have reviewed this with town attys in two towns and they agreed with the violation of due process. Of course not all lawyers agree on this, such as lawyers are, so this may still happen here and there.

There could be a situation where a land owner has used the size of both lots in past application for a permit, like putting a septic system on the lot line as if it was all one lot. Then the land owner may have lost full rights to claim the lots seperate.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:39 PM   #12
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Default Totally concur

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slickcraft View Post
The small problem is that many, myself included, consider this to be an illegal taking without due process. When the lots were originally created they were legal lots of record. Future zoning changes can not un-create them.

In the past I have reviewed this with town attys in two towns and they agreed with the violation of due process. Of course not all lawyers agree on this, such as lawyers are, so this may still happen here and there.

There could be a situation where a land owner has used the size of both lots in past application for a permit, like putting a septic system on the lot line as if it was all one lot. Then the land owner may have lost full rights to claim the lots seperate.

Many thanks, Slickcraft. Extremely well-stated.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:11 PM   #13
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Default Involuntary Lot Merging

Folks,

You got this right! I will add just a few more details. In Gilford there was no due process. In fact homeowners were never even notified. In some cases they didn't find out until years later when they went to build or sell. In addition it now appears it was a bit 'selective'. Some folks in the know were able to protect their rights and others were bit. The whole process never passed the smell test....if you know what I mean.

The real kicker is that the town (via the map makers) paid no attention to if a lot was buildable or not. So 3/4 acre and 1/2 acre lots were all merged together. These could certainly support a septic and well. The DES has told me that on the state level they do not merge and will recognize deeded lots regardless of what the town says. Now if you have built a McMansion across the lot line then in effect you have done a Voluntary Merge (RSA 674:39;a).

This is a taking and is unconstitutional. I have not heard of the method that they used in Swissvale. It sounds like a good method. If someone wanted the lot they had to PAY for it. In Gilford you have older established neighborhoods with vacant lots dotted around glued to house lots. Great for the abutters bad for the property owner. They have to pay taxes on it but can't do anything with it.

Hopefully Gilford Voters will see the light and end this practice.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:30 PM   #14
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I own one very tiny lot in Suissevale, it's like 1/4 acre (maybe.) It's appraised at $40,000 (ish) on my tax bill and I have always found that to be high. Is there a minimum size it needs to be to be considered buildable? I'm not sure of it's size right off hand but I know it's tiny. I've owned it for many years 15 at least. I had the same situation where we owned ajoining lots and had to have them all in seperate names. Is there a market for a tiny (hopefully buildable) lot in Moultonborough?
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dpg View Post
I own one very tiny lot in Suissevale, it's like 1/4 acre (maybe.) It's appraised at $40,000 (ish) on my tax bill and I have always found that to be high. Is there a minimum size it needs to be to be considered buildable? I'm not sure of it's size right off hand but I know it's tiny. I've owned it for many years 15 at least. I had the same situation where we owned ajoining lots and had to have them all in seperate names. Is there a market for a tiny (hopefully buildable) lot in Moultonborough?
It really depends on the lot, any lot can be made buildable through the variance process. But, the resistance from abutters in the major unknown in the process. Say, if the lot is waterfront, but is only 75' from water to road or access than I would say you do not have much of a market, unless someone is looking for a waterfront campsite (see 50' waterfront buffer requirements). If the lot is just in the middle of a wooded residential area than I would have say that you could find someone that would try to build something on it, some folks truely do not mind living directly on top of one another (Obviously I have no way of knowing the surrounding conditions to make that statement, more of a generalization). Does Suissevale have private or public water and sewer, because that is the biggest hurdle for a small residential lot.

Where you are the owner of record and have been for 15 years, you would have a better chance to build something on that lot than any new buyer. Being able to show a hardship if they will not let you build, is easier the more you have invested. So, pick out some plans and build a spec house if you are truely interested in trying for a return. This would be the easiest way for you to sell the property in my opinion, most bang for your buck as well (the modern modular built home is hard to tell apart from a custom sticker and they are priced right as well as turn around to reduce capital exposure), just a thought.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:36 PM   #16
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Default Question

Question:
We have two adjoining lots. Bought separately. One we own and one the bank still has a significant interest in. Could a town merge two lots with essentially different owners?

I like the idea of defensively moving one to my wife's name only.
Lets be honest, she is only letting me use "her lot" anyway.

Thanks
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Guy View Post
Question:
We have two adjoining lots. Bought separately. One we own and one the bank still has a significant interest in. Could a town merge two lots with essentially different owners?

I like the idea of defensively moving one to my wife's name only.
Lets be honest, she is only letting me use "her lot" anyway.

Thanks
That is the exact situation my parents had, loan on the lot with the house and cash paid for the aquired lot next door. So to answer your question, yes, at least in Loudon that is what they did. Both lots were recorded with both names on the deeds, so the information was the same for both lots.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by jmen24 View Post
It really depends on the lot, any lot can be made buildable through the variance process. But, the resistance from abutters in the major unknown in the process. Say, if the lot is waterfront, but is only 75' from water to road or access than I would say you do not have much of a market, unless someone is looking for a waterfront campsite (see 50' waterfront buffer requirements). If the lot is just in the middle of a wooded residential area than I would have say that you could find someone that would try to build something on it, some folks truely do not mind living directly on top of one another (Obviously I have no way of knowing the surrounding conditions to make that statement, more of a generalization). Does Suissevale have private or public water and sewer, because that is the biggest hurdle for a small residential lot.

Where you are the owner of record and have been for 15 years, you would have a better chance to build something on that lot than any new buyer. Being able to show a hardship if they will not let you build, is easier the more you have invested. So, pick out some plans and build a spec house if you are truely interested in trying for a return. This would be the easiest way for you to sell the property in my opinion, most bang for your buck as well (the modern modular built home is hard to tell apart from a custom sticker and they are priced right as well as turn around to reduce capital exposure), just a thought.
Thanks Jmen, it's not waterfront. Suissevale has their own water system but septic would be private.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:59 AM   #19
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Thanks Jmen, it's not waterfront. Suissevale has their own water system but septic would be private.
Having public water makes things slightly easier. A private well is required by law to be 75' from a sewer system. So, we take that out of the equation, it would be a matter of getting a septic installed, do you have a design on file, if not, a perk test is easy to have done. That will be the key stone in whether or not you can build on the lot, if it does not pass perk (required for a septic design, as it determines the size of the field) then all you have is a recreational lot and I would approach the abutters for interest in purchase.
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:22 PM   #20
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Default No More ILM in Gilford

Folks, Article 8 passed in Gilford on Tuesday. NO more Involuntary Lot Merging. In fact folks can unmerge if and when they want. Also SB406 which would ban this practice state wide just passed the NH Senate. If passed by the house would take effect in 60 days. Then no one will have to worry.

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Old 06-10-2010, 10:49 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ms Merge View Post
Folks, Article 8 passed in Gilford on Tuesday. NO more Involuntary Lot Merging. In fact folks can unmerge if and when they want. Also SB406 which would ban this practice state wide just passed the NH Senate. If passed by the house would take effect in 60 days. Then no one will have to worry.

Ms Merge
I just referred to the nhpropertyrights website, and indeed SB406 passed.

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/hous...er=SB0406.html
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:34 PM   #22
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Wow! Concord actually worked on something productive for a change! Maybe there is hope after all.

I'm glad to see Gilford get stuffed on this matter. Talk about arrogance, Gilford Town Hall takes the cake.
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Guy View Post
Question:
We have two adjoining lots. Bought separately. One we own and one the bank still has a significant interest in. Could a town merge two lots with essentially different owners?

I like the idea of defensively moving one to my wife's name only.
Lets be honest, she is only letting me use "her lot" anyway.

Thanks
I would think that whatever the cost of putting a lot in a shouse's name might be, it would be a good investment to make.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:35 AM   #24
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Default Date Moultonborough merged lots involuntarily

Old thread, but still relevant. Moultonborough did this on my grandparents 3 waterfront lots that they purchased in 1957. My brother and I now jointly own the resulting one lot. Does anyone know even approximately when Moultonborough did this? I can find no notification in my paperwork from our grandparents.
Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by granitehead View Post
Old thread, but still relevant. Moultonborough did this on my grandparents 3 waterfront lots that they purchased in 1957. My brother and I now jointly own the resulting one lot. Does anyone know even approximately when Moultonborough did this? I can find no notification in my paperwork from our grandparents.
Thanks!
Post #8 believes this occurred back in the early 80's in Moultonborough.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:23 AM   #26
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Some good info here:

https://www.nhmunicipal.org/town-cit...-and-unmergers
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