Free CSS Drop Down Menu Code

powered by FreeFind

Splitting a Lot

Almost every land buyer is going to ask the question sooner or later. 'Is it splittable?' There are many factors that come into play here. The most important factor is zoning. You have a 10 acre parcel in an area where zoning is 2 acres. Can you get five lots out of the parcel?

In theory yes, in practice, probably not. This is because 10 acres is the gross size of the lot. Is there any Open Space? This will cut down the available area. Also, is there any slope on the lot? The greater the slope, the larger the size any subdivided lot has to be. You'll often see zoning quoted as 1, 2 or 4 acres 'depending on slope'. How do you calculate slope? Hire an engineer.

Let's say that a lot can be split. How do you go about splitting it? This is a fairly easy question to answer. In San Diego County it will take between two and four years and probably about $50,000, even for a simple split of one parcel into two lots. You'll need to hire a consultant to coordinate the myriad of steps that have to be followed in order to complete the lot split. For example, a traffic study will have to be commissioned, an environmental report will have to be filed, and this is just the beginning. But patience may be worth it in the long run.

Tentative Parcel Maps and Tentative Subdivision Maps

In California, a Tentative Parcel Map or TPM is required for all parcels of land to be split into four or fewer parcels. If a fifth parcel contains a 'remainder' which cannot be sold, five parcels can be included. The minimum parcel size is set by zoning and DEH requirements.

To obtain a TPM you have to submit an application to the Planning Department of your county. This application has to be submitted by a Registered Civil Engineer or a Licensed Land Surveyor.

A Tentative Subdivision Map is required for all subdivisions that create five or more parcels.

One thing that is really annoying is the land owner who suspects that his or her land can be split, so they try to sell the land based on the price of the subdivided price per lot.




This website has been written and developed by Rob Ransom, PhD. Rob has extensive experience working with buyers and sellers of vacant land in San Diego County, CA. Although Rob currently has a California real estate license he is retired from selling real estate.

If you have comments or suggestions regarding this web site, email Rob at the address below.


Website developed by REMedia, an electronic media company based in San Diego, CA. Previous projects include the ZooGuides series of educational CD-ROM titles, of which over 1m copies have been sold to elementary, middle and high schools across the USA.


Buying and Selling Land is Copyright 2012, REMedia Inc. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this website may be used in any manner without prior approval of REMedia Inc.