Before providing the coverage’s afforded in the ALTA 3.1, Agents National Title requires the following:
1. The agent must receive an attorney’s opinion prepared by counsel experienced in zoning matters. The agent should also carefully review the County Zoning Ordinances along with any amendments for any violations. The following matters are generally considered:
a. The date on which the zoning classification was enacted
b. Prior zoning classification if a recent change has occurred
c. Whether procedure (such as notice to adjoining owners and publication) was adequate to pass the ordinance.
d. Whether a variance was granted for a particular use
e. Whether there has been recent construction and if the proposed transaction involves new permanent financing.
2. The agent must list the zone classification under paragraph 1(a) with the allowed use or uses under the zoning classification listed under paragraph 1(b). The agent should do this by specifically quoting the language from the zoning ordinance rather than summarizing the proposed or actual use(s).
3. Verification that the certificate of occupancy has been issued if the improvements involve recent construction.
4. Certification from the applicable zoning department or agency as to the zoning classification and it’s authorized use.
5. Verification that the allowed use is not based upon an exception, variance, or nonconforming use.
6. The above documentation must be submitted to Agents National Title underwriting counsel for its approval before the ALTA 3.1 Zoning Endorsement may be issued. The above endorsement may be subject to additional premium charges according the rules of your state.
A sample ALTA Endorsement 3.1 form.