Everything You Need to Know About Subdividing Your Land


What is a Subdivision?

Subdivision means the division of a lot, tract, or parcel of land into two or more lots for the purpose of sale or of building another house/development.

Why Subdivide?

The main reason people subdivide their land is to sell off a portion of it or build for a family member to stay close by.

How to Subdivide

There are no standard legal subdivision rules or laws across the United States. If you are thinking of subdividing land, you are going to have to look into your local rules to find out what that definition entails.

There are two things you want to check. One is zoning, and the other is subdivision regulations. Your area may or may not have these regulations, or they may be called something completely different. No matter what they are called, these regulations are specifically designed to regulate the subdivision of land.

In older days it was as easy as finding out the legal description of the property and recording it at the court house. Nowadays you have to check the zoning ordinance for the minimum lot size. If the land you want to subdivide is zoned for one acre minimum lots, you are not going to be able to subdivide into 10,000-square-foot lots.

If the zoning permits it then check for subdivision regulations. These regulations will spell out the legal requirements to subdivide your land.

Most likely you will need a current survey of the property or a plat map which shows how the various lots or tracts you propose, along with any streets and utilities, meet the requirements of the local jurisdiction.

This plat is often reviewed and approved by local planning staff and an appointed planning commission. Once your plat is approved and recorded at the local courthouse, then you can write deeds and sell of the new tracts. The whole process can take anywhere from a few weeks to years depending on the jurisdiction, their regulations and the complexity of your subdivision.

Simple two lot divisions in an urban area can often be handled quickly and easily, but building roads or trying to make dozens of lots will require a lot of professional and technical help. A rural area

With no public sewer and water will need a perk test. A 100 acre area can sometimes need up to 200 perk tests to find a suitable sewer hookup.


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