Subdivision Plan

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Subdivision platting is the process of splitting one larger piece of land into several smaller pieces of land. Generally, this plat, or map, is drawn to be used to sell off the smaller pieces of land. These pieces of land are often built upon before being sold, often by the same home builder, giving the look that many are familiar with of a subdivision with many similarly designed homes, each one on a separate lot of land.

Usually, the creation of a subdivision plat is done by a land surveyor who has been hired by the developer, who will be building upon the land once the plat is approved. This may be the original owner of the land, or an individual or company who has purchased the land strictly for the purpose of subdividing it.

The plat completed by the process of subdivision platting shows the divisions of the piece of land, showing the distance and bearings between each corner of land. In modern subdivisions, these maps may also include new roads that exist between the sections of land, where none did before. Plat maps help to exist that all properties have access to a public right of way, usually meaning a road. Without such access, a landowner would have no way to access their land without trespassing across others’ properties. The subdivision platting process ensures that this does not happen.

Subdivision plat maps also include the setting aside of part of the property for easements, parks, areas needed for flood protection, or other public uses. Subdivisions that have been platted correctly ensure compliance with zoning regulations, which often restrict lot sizes or lot geometry.

In order for the plat to become legally valid in most jurisdictions, a local governing body such as an urban planning commission or zoning board must generally review and approve the plat map. This board will ensure that the plat map follows all applicable laws and restrictions. There are many variations between cities, counties and states in the requirements for land subdivision that must be considered. After the plat is filed, the legal description of each piece of land often refers to block and lot numbers, rather than other surveying terminology such as portions of sections.

Although a subdivision may be made for any purpose, it is almost always done for the purpose of selling the individual lots of land. It is very common to subdivide the land for the purpose of building a single house on each new lot to create a new neighborhood, often termed a “subdivision”.

Besides subdivision plats, there are also a few other types. These include a plat of consolidation, when a landowner has purchased adjacent lots of land and wishes to consolidate them legally. A Correction Plat may be used to record minor corrections to a plat which already exists, although these are infrequently used. A Vacating Plat legally voids a prior plat that was drawn. This may happen when a subdivision plat was undertaken but all of the platted lots remain unsold and there have been no buildings constructed and no other public improvements. The creation of a plat map is usually one of the steps in incorporating a town or city.