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City code allows for zoning exceptions

I have a granddaughter who goes to a private day care on South Fir Street. The house next to it on the corner is the only residential house south of West 12th Street. I'm curious as to how this can be. I know that the property is listed as "light industrial" and I didn't think you could live on that type of property. I don't want to cause anyone any problems, but I am curious.

— EJH, email submission

Well, EJH, you're right that you normally can't live on industrial-zoned property, but there are a few circumstances in which it's OK.

If a residential property is built on land that's zoned for residential use but later re-zoned for industrial use, the home's original purpose is still protected under the city's municipal code.

The code also provides for variances, or "exceptions," to the zoning requirements.

Section 10.251 of the code says exceptions can be appropriate under a number of circumstances, including the "exceptional narrowness or shape of a parcel" and if strict application of the city standards would result in "undue hardship" on the owner. Not knowing the exact address of the property in question, it's difficult to say which one applies.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.