Guideline: ALTA Endorsement 3.1 (Zoning - Completed Structure)

Organizational Guidelines

Guideline: ALTA Endorsement 3.1 (Zoning - Completed Structure)

Guideline Document
04/01/2008
V 1

Explanation:

This endorsement is designed for issuance on improved property. Like the ALTA Endorsement 3, this Endorsement insures (1) the zoning classification, and (2) authorized uses under that classification. In addition, this Endorsement insures against a final court order prohibiting the present structure, and requiring removal or alteration of the present structure, because of violation of the zoning ordinance as to (1) area, width or depth of the land as a building site, (2) floor space area of the structure, (3) setback of the structure, (4) height of the structure, or (5) number of parking spaces.

ALTA 3.1-06 is designed to be issued with a 2006 ALTA Loan or Owner's Policy.  ALTA 3.1 (07-01-2021) contains modifications to align the endorsement to the terms of the 2021 ALTA Loan and Owner’s Policies and is designed to be issued with the 2021 policies.  Where available, use the version of the endorsement designed for the applicable policy, unless approved by a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.  It is not necessary to indicate “-06” or the parenthetical (date) on the endorsement attached to the policy.

Underwriting Requirements:

1. Secure and review a written certification or building permit from the applicable zoning department or agency (municipality or county), or certification from the surveyor, as to (a) the zoning classification and authorized use, (b) compliance of the existing improvements with the zoning ordinance, and (c) compliance with the zoning ordinance as to number of parking spaces. We prefer that the letter from the zoning department or agency state that the existing improvements comply with: (a) area, width or depth of the land as a building site, (b) floor area space of the structure, (c) setback of the structure, (d) height of the structure, and (e) number of parking spaces.

2. Secure and review a copy of the applicable zoning ordinance.

3. If possible, require that the surveyor or architect state the applicable zoning classification and number of parking spaces and state that the existing improvements comply with: (a) area, width or depth of the land as a building site, (b) floor area space of the structure, (c) setback of the structure, (d) height of the structure, and (e) number of parking spaces.

4. If the authorized use is based upon an exception, variance, or prior authorized nonconforming use, consider the potential applicability of ALTA Endorsement 3.3 (Zoning - Completed Improvement - Non-Conforming Use) and consult with our underwriting personnel.

5. We prefer that this endorsement refers to the “following use or uses” by excerpting language from the zoning ordinance and not by stating in more general terms the proposed use.  We prefer if the description does not state specific numbers of units, floors, or square footage.

6. If you are unable to confirm compliance with any of Items (i) – (v) in the endorsement (e.g., parking, etc.), you should delete such item(s) before issuing this endorsement.

7. If you are asked to add "number of loading docks" or "number of loading berths", you should confirm loading docks in the same manner as you confirm parking spaces.

The underwriting guidelines contained herein have been provided for general reference. The facts, circumstances, and location of the subject property should be considered when determining the issuance of the requested form or endorsement. Please note that all of the forms and endorsements included in this system may not be available in all states. Accordingly, please contact the appropriate Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriting personnel in order to determine availability.

Compliance with the underwriting guidelines contained herein in no way obligates Stewart Title Guaranty Company to issue any form or endorsement.

Any revision to this form requires approval of a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter. The underwriting guidelines contained herein have been provided for general reference. The facts, circumstances, and location of the subject property should be considered when determining the issuance of the requested form or endorsement. Please note that all of the forms and endorsements included in this system may not be available in all states. Accordingly, please contact the appropriate Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriting personnel in order to determine availability.

Compliance with the underwriting guidelines contained herein in no way obligates Stewart Title Guaranty Company to issue any form or endorsement.