Subdivision Plat

A Subdivision Plat is exactly what it sounds like; a plat that subdivides. For either large or small subdivisions, the goals are the same; to meet the requirements of current land use ordinances and to provide a method of creating smaller parcels of land. Because the subdivision plat creates several parcels of land simultaneously, it avoids the need for determining junior/senior rights within the subdivision, and provides for a much simpler legal description when referring to any particular parcel of land within the subdivision.

The primary purpose of a subdivision plat is to take a large parcel of land and divide it into smaller parcels of land. The creation of a subdivision usually takes place under the jurisdiction of a local agency, which will have a review process and a set of guidelines to be met. The surveyor's involvement in this process begins with a boundary survey of the overall parcel to ensure that design elements and lot creation occurs entirely within the boundaries of the parcel. Depending on the nature and size of the subdivision, the surveyor may also be called on to provide a topographic survey, improvement survey plat, ALTA survey, or other survey. On a large subdivision, some of this information may be given to a civil engineer, who will create grading plans, storm drainage plans, waterline plans, sanitary sewer plans, and street plans. In the preparation of a residential subdivision, the surveyor will be working in cooperation with a civil engineer to balance design considerations with the boundary issues (including dedication of public rights-of-way for streets and creation of easements for utilities or other purposes). After the design and approval of a subdivision plat, the surveyor may also be involved in the many aspects of construction surveying for the development of the land.

For smaller scale subdivision plats (for example, taking an existing lot and dividing it into two lots, or a replat), the surveyor's function is more direct. The surveyor is then working more closely with the landowner, as the development phases probably occurred during the initial subdivision process. Most of the items to be addressed by a minor subdivision or replat are issues of ownership.