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Better Check Zoning Laws Before Converting Garage

March 26, 2000

Before your readers try to emulate the Nollers ("Elbow Vroom" by Kathy Price-Robinson, March 19) and convert their garages into family rooms, they had better check with their local zoning officials.

In many jurisdictions, a single-family house is required to have an enclosed garage. Even with a conversion that meets the building codes, the homeowner can be forced to undo the conversion.

Where I live, a house with four or fewer bedrooms must have at least a two-car garage. A house with five or more bedrooms must have at least a three-car garage.

The garage may be finished inside for use as a family room. However, such features as the overhead door must remain in place to facilitate returning the space to its use for parking cars.

DAVID E. ROSS

Oak Park

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