Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Old subdivision plat

  1. #1

    Old subdivision plat

    I have a request from a property owner who owns a rural 5 acre tract that was acquired as a series of 0.5 acre lots. platted and recorded of over 40 years ago showing lots and street but never developed. Are they legal lots or should he be held to the current standards or maybe the lots are now considered 1 since it is one owner?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve
    Posts
    3,387
    Quote Originally posted by ROBERT
    I have a request from a property owner who owns a rural 5 acre tract that was acquired as a series of 0.5 acre lots. platted and recorded of over 40 years ago showing lots and street but never developed. Are they legal lots or should he be held to the current standards or maybe the lots are now considered 1 since it is one owner?
    I'd start by reviewing the language in your local subregs, and from there check with your muni's legal counsel.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,163
    I think I understand what you are getting at.

    Basically, if the deed(s) were recorded, this person owns then (10) 0.5 acre parcels.

  4. #4

    Registered
    May 1997
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    1,371
    Deeds may be irrelevant (they are here). This is probably a matter of state law. Talk to an attorney.

  5. #5
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 1996
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,885
    Depends on state law. Echoing everyone else, check with your municipal attorney.

    In NH, for example, we have a state law regarding vested development rights. In the scenario you describe, the subdivision would not be valid, since it did not begin construction within 12 months of approval.

    See http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/...674/674-39.htm for the NH statute on vesting of land use approvals.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Akron
    Posts
    2,255

    small lots

    We have a number of small lot subdivisions in Ohio. Most of them dating from the 1920's-30's. One was set up so people could buy a lot just big enough to store their boat on. Others were given away as prizes at theaters. The ones that don't have sewer are the easy ones. No sewer-no build unless you combine enough to make the health dept. happy. Some of the townships have in their zoning that contiguous, non-conforming lots must be considered and developed as one. Some of the other small lot subdivisions have their ownership so scrambled or lost so that its not worth straightening things out and developing them - defacto open space.
    WALSTIB

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Emerald Coast
    Posts
    17,651
    Our comp plan and local ordinance states that if they were in a recorded plat prior to a certain date (unfortunately, that date has become a moving target recently ), the owner is vested to construct a single-family dwelling subject to the availability of water and sewer.

    As mentioned earlier, state map act regulations also apply.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,163
    You can subdivide property and not build on it. A subdivision doesnt revert back to its "pre-subdivided" state if nothing is built on it, and the new property lines are recorded.....at least nowhere I've ever workd.


    The OP states that it was acquired as a series of .5 acre lots. Judging by this statement, I'm led to believe that these are STILL a series of 0.5 acre lots, unless some type of "lot line change" or whatever its called whereve you are, was submitted.


    Cant you just check the tax records? Are you paying taxes on 1 five acre lot, or 10 .5 acre lots?

    But to echoe everyone else...a simple visit to the County Recorder of Deeds should clarify.


    And quite frankly....I'm not positive if I'm reading the question correct.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    1,584
    Subdivision has nothing to do with development. You can't "lose" a subdivision because you didn't build on it within 12 months. It's not a permit. It's a change in the legal description of real estate. If the lots are legally described lots, they are legal lots. These matters do not expire or otherwise lose their status as a permit might.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Jess's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Tip of the Iceberg
    Posts
    364
    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Subdivision has nothing to do with development. You can't "lose" a subdivision because you didn't build on it within 12 months. It's not a permit. It's a change in the legal description of real estate. If the lots are legally described lots, they are legal lots. These matters do not expire or otherwise lose their status as a permit might.
    Yes. That's right.
    1. Ownership of parcels of land are deemed legal once they are acquired thru legal process, like deed of absolute sale, deed of donation and the like. Also, real property taxes shall be paid and updated regularly.
    The streets are considered private driveways if they are only serving access to inner parcels used solely by the owner. However, these streets are still subject for review by a local authorty to comply with existing regulations (safety, design standards,etc).

    2. In surveying practice, the 10 half-acre lots can be consolidated into one 5-acre lot.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,163
    OK...I was thinking about this on my bike on the way home (dork I know).

    Some things we dont know....which I think are important to know before giving a definitive answer.

    Did the owner buy 10 0.5 acre tracts, and assume they consolidated into one?

    Does the owner have a 5 acre tract that was proposed for subdivision at one time (into 10 lots), but the plan was never recorded?

    What I was thinking on the my ride was, this property owner could have a property, and at one time it was proposed for subdivision into 10 neat little lots. The plan was never constructed, and he's wondering if he has 1 lot or 10?

  12. #12
    If it was platted and recorded, the lots are still legal. We have several old plats in my jurisdiction that we still recognize. Now meeting the current setbacks is another story.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  13. #13
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 1996
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,885
    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Subdivision has nothing to do with development. You can't "lose" a subdivision because you didn't build on it within 12 months. It's not a permit. It's a change in the legal description of real estate. If the lots are legally described lots, they are legal lots. These matters do not expire or otherwise lose their status as a permit might.
    In NH, you can essentially "lose" the subdivision, if regulations and ordinances change in such a way that renders the layout non-conforming, and "active & substantial" development does not occur within 1 year from approval. That's our state law.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,163
    I think everyone is confusing a plan of subdivison (with cute little houses proposed but never gets built), with an actual subdivison of a lot (into smaller lots), nothing gets built, but the actual intent was simply to create a bunch of smaller legally described lots (assuming these are all in accordance with applicable regs).

  15. #15
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,960
    Quote Originally posted by Jess
    2. In surveying practice, the 10 half-acre lots can be consolidated into one 5-acre lot.
    Not always, in our law you may not be able to consolidate the lots back together, and sometimes they would automatically join back together under a single ownership, depends on when and how they were created.

    This is definitely one of those things were local rules vary drastically, and even vary by the type and age of the land division.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  16. #16
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,600
    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    . If the lots are legally described lots, they are legal lots. These matters do not expire or otherwise lose their status as a permit might.
    As others have pointed out that is not necesarily true. Laws are dramatically different about these sort of things from state to state. I have worked in some jurisdictions where the law allowed for the jurisdiction to treat the tract as one parcel if the smaller lots did not meet minimum regulations.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    South Milwaukee
    Posts
    8,935
    I doubt we're going to definitively answer the question, since we all work under different enabling laws and case laws, and the question can be misinterpretted. That said:

    In our state, many local land development ordinances indicate that if a property owner owns multiple adjoining lands, and one or more adjoining lands are non-conforming, they are automatically consolidated to make the "least nonconformity" possible.

    This has been court tested and upheld.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Section 14-12-7, 3rd PM
    Posts
    2,096
    Quote Originally posted by Jeff
    OK...I was thinking about this on my bike on the way home (dork I know).

    Some things we dont know....which I think are important to know before giving a definitive answer.

    Did the owner buy 10 0.5 acre tracts, and assume they consolidated into one?

    Does the owner have a 5 acre tract that was proposed for subdivision at one time (into 10 lots), but the plan was never recorded?

    What I was thinking on the my ride was, this property owner could have a property, and at one time it was proposed for subdivision into 10 neat little lots. The plan was never constructed, and he's wondering if he has 1 lot or 10?
    And is there R.O.W. dedicated in said subdivision that wasn't improved? Can the owner hang the county/township into improving the road?

    Does the owner want to sell the individual lots or improve the entire 5 acres for himself? If the latter, I would suggest having the subdivision vacated and revert to the original legal description.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,960
    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    I doubt we're going to definitively answer the question, since we all work under different enabling laws and case laws, and the question can be misinterpretted. That said:
    and

    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    Does the owner want to sell the individual lots or improve the entire 5 acres for himself? If the latter, I would suggest having the subdivision vacated and revert to the original legal description.
    Here it would be "deemed" if you decide to have the land revert to its original description. So you can see that language and jurisdiction play a huge role in answering the question at hand.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  20. #20
    Cyburbian solarstar's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    205
    Here in the land of private property rights (sigh), that owner would have ten lots. They may not be able to build on all of them due to concurrency or setback issues (current regs since no apparent evidence of vesting), but if they can meet those then theoretically they can build 10 units. It definitely varies by state and by jurisdiction, so there's no way to answer this question on a general message board. In Florida, the streets wouldn't disappear just because they've only existed on paper - you'd need a formal street vacate or replat to combine the land areas across the "streets".

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    440
    If I was a betting person I would say they are platted lots that could be built with the appropriate improvements as someone mentioned - water, sewer, street connection, etc... Though they may be able to wiggle out of that with septic and well depending on state and city regs. I'd also say, as someone else stated, a lot of cities have a clause that says lands recorded prior to a certain date are exempt from the platting process. In that case you gotta do some research to see if they have been reconfigured... A number of questions to really answer the question, but I tend to say they would be considered platted under many jurisdictions.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 6
    Last post: 08 Nov 2013, 10:26 AM
  2. Subdivision Vacation of part of plat
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 10
    Last post: 04 Dec 2009, 3:25 PM
  3. Subdivision Illegal subdivision and new plat
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 07 Jul 2008, 11:20 AM
  4. Subdivision Who owns plat?
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 18 Aug 2006, 2:01 PM
  5. Replies: 9
    Last post: 23 Nov 2005, 2:07 PM