Subdivision Platting


Subdivision platting is the process of splitting one larger piece of land into several smaller parcels of land and drawing a map (or plat) of the new subdivision, often for the purpose of selling off the parcels individually. These lots of land are frequently built upon before being sold, often by the same home builder, which is why many homes within a subdivision have a similar look. Point to Point Land Surveying has the knowledge and expertise to create a subdivision plat that suits your needs while complying with local regulations.

What Is Involved With Subdivision Platting?

A licensed surveyor will combine research of existing documents with a physical survey of the land in order to create a subdivision plat. The completed plat shows the divisions of the larger piece of land, as well as the distance and bearings between each corner of land. In modern subdivisions, these maps may also include new roads that exist or are to be built between the sections of land. Plat maps must demonstrate that all properties have access to a public right of way (i.e., a road), without which a landowner would have no way to access their land without trespassing across others’ properties.

Subdivision platting also frequently involves 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 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.

Why Are Subdivision Plats Needed?

Usually, the creation of a subdivision plat is done by a land surveyor who has been hired by the developer who intends to upon the land once the plat is approved. This developer 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. While most subdivision plats are drawn for the purpose of subdividing and selling off plots of land, they can be drawn for a number of other reasons, as well. For instance, the creation of a plat map is usually a major step in incorporating a new town or city.