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Do any of your counties/communities have different requirements or regulations for 'family' or minor subdividisions of less than say 10 lots? We are seeing a large level of inquiry for these type of developments. Any experiences?
Many states have a director's decision or administrative decision to subdivisions of either 9 or less or 4 or less, depending on the State. I know in California it was four, and in WA it was four, but you could exercise the administration's ability to subdivide more (up to 9 I think) before kicking in to the public hearing process.
Despite the process, the regulations were the same (still had to meet density, lot requirements, street standards, etc). Just the processing timelines were reduced.
Echoing bturk, the state's rule takes precedence unless there is a local subdivision code, and most of those mirror the state. It does not matter if the subdivision occurs all at once or over a period of years. Once you total more than four, plat it. Locally, we have made an exception to permit any number of industrially-zoned lots of greater than one acre to be created through a certified survey without triggering the platting requirement. But then, the Community Development Authority owns nearly all of the undeveloped industrial land in the city.
We require a plat for ALL subdivision of land. A commission hearing may not be required but a plat must be done and unless all lots meet regulations and are over 5 acres, the plat has to be signed off by the county department heads which is a week long process. Even the large lot subdivisions have to come to us to be stamped before they can record the plat and officially have a separate lot. Everyone has to show proof of recording the plat before a permit to build on a new lot will be issued.
They surveyors hate it but it keeps the burden off the filing clerk with the Superior Court and we don't charge a fee for those not needing department approvals for the development.
Different regs for small subdivisions are a slippery slope into real problems. Folks doing three lots, or six, or nine have exemptions in many many places, (not always total exemptions) and the result is that landowners create almost unending problems affecting access, services provision, stream corridors, etc. without any significant review. This is also drastically unfair to larger landowners, who are saddled with all sorts of requirements. If your state does not tie your hands, you should review every lot split under, say, 160 acres, and add a requirement to your regulations that you will not approve any land divisions without seeing a plan for the owner's entire contiguous holdings!
Similar to ambmason, in NH you must obtain Planning Board approval for all subdivisions and lot line adjustments. There is some flexibility for some expedited processes, but all must be platted, approved, and recorded in the registry.
My town is the same as NH - Every little lot line amend, subdivision, etc goes to planning board.
When I worked in SC, the critical mass was 9 lots - most developers used this to cut 9 lots off the main road, creating all sorts of access management problems (ie: if they'd had to do an entire subdivision they would have been required to have internal road access).