Sharon is correct with respect to the description and narrative about the property, mostly. The others talked about a non-conforming LOAN which has nothing to do with the description of the property.
Current variance allows for 12 units, but there are more on the property, which means its either illlegal and must be torn down OR the extra units are grandfathered in.
What commonly happens is the variance - which means zoming allows for a lesser amount but the variance allows for 12 units, and a 12 unit building was built, but some of the units may have been 'spilt' into more units, ie a two bedroom unit was made into two one bedroom units - illegally, and was done to get more rent.
You must check with the zoning department in Laguna Beach and see if you purchased it if (1)
the extra units must be converted back to a 12 unit building at time of transfer or (2) its OK to keep them that way BUT if a fire destroyed the property you could only build 12 units.
One easy way to see how many are 'legal' is to count the GAS METERS on the outside of the building. This building probably only has 12, and the other units dont have gas, only electricity.
Since this is a high quality building, it probably is legal but non-conforming meaning all units are 'legal' but could only be rebuilt to 12 units in case of fire. CHECK with city as future planning may DOWNZONE this property from its current variance. Variances sometimes can and are changed - that why they are called variances and not a change in zoning.
- October 22 2011