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Land Development, Subdivisions, & Restrictive Covenants

Subdivisions of Property and the Law

The fast rising land value is tempting land owners to subdivide their lands and make big time money by initiating sales. Subdivision of land is the process by which a parcel of land is divided into two or more smaller lots having separate deeds. Home builders may buy some acreage and subdivide it to smaller individual portions. Subdividing land is also common for commercial and industrial development.

All landed properties cannot be subdivided. Property subdivision has to be done in accordance to the state planning laws. Only lands that are of sufficient size will be qualified for subdivision. It should also pass the site constraints test.

Regulations on division of a property may vary according to a state's subdivision bylaws. For creating subdivisions, a separate permit application should be filed with the local authority. You may also have to file a plat map along with the application and get it approved. The local authority, typically the planning commission or development review board, will assess the applications based on Town Planning Scheme, Local Planning Policies, relevant Outline Development Plans, and the Residential Design Codes. The time period for completing the clearance process may vary from one state to another. However, it is not expected to extend beyond three to four months. You can always consult a qualified land surveyor who can assist you in subdividing your land. Click here for a sample letter for subdivision construction.

Before selling your subdivided land to commercial operators, builders, or homeowners, you need to add value to it. Property subdivision includes a variety of activities associated with initial development. This includes installing roads and utilities, such as water supply, electricity, gas, and telephone. Proper planning is essential for a successful subdivision. You may seek the assistance of professional land subdivision service providers for appropriate designing, excavation works, and installation of utilities.

An owner or developer of a property who desires to sell it in small lots for residential purposes can declare protective and restrictive covenant over the parcels. A protective covenant or restrictive covenant is essential to ensure uniform and desirable use, occupancy, and improvements on the subdivisions. Click here for restrictive covenants.


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