LA ALTA Endorsement 3 (Zoning)


This endorsement to the mortgagee's or owner's policy is designed for issuance on unimproved property and provides assurance on the applicable zoning classification and authorized use of the land described in the policy. Approval of the National Legal Department and a legal opinion from a Martindale-Hubbell A-V or B-V rated attorney is required before this endorsement may be issued.

Underwriting Requirements:

The underwriting guidelines are as follows:

  1. We generally prefer an attorney's opinion (paid by the borrower) by counsel competent in zoning matters. The counsel should consider issues such as the date on which the zoning classification was enacted; prior zoning classification if a recent change has occurred; the propriety of procedure (such as notice to adjoining owners, and publication) in enactment of the zoning ordinance, particularly if the zoning ordinance was recently enacted; whether a variance was granted for the particular proposed use; whether the time allowed by law and regulation to contest the zoning enactment has passed; and whether notice of enactment was given to the public as required by law.

  2. With underwriter approval, we will rely upon a certification from the applicable zoning department or agency as to the zoning classification and authorized use together with a review of the zoning maps by the title insurance agent.

  3. You should verify that the allowed use is not based upon an exception, variance, or authorized nonconforming use. If such allowed use exists, consult with our underwriting personnel.

  4. We prefer that this endorsement refer, in the second paragraph, to the "following use or uses" by excerpting language from the zoning ordinance and not by stating the proposed use.

If possible, request that the survey, if any, certify the zoning classification.

Charge: The requested rate for this endorsement is Fifteen Percent (15%) of original rate. If Zoning Form 3 coverage is provided simultaneously with Owner's and Loan policies covering the same land, the rate for the Owner's coverage shall be the original endorsement rate for the policy issued and there shall be no charge for the Loan coverage, other than the applicable simultaneous issue charge for the policy.

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.

This guideline applies to the following form(s):