Legal Lot Status for Aliquot Parts?Posted by Tim Libs on January 12, 2022 at 11:39 pm
So I ran into this for the first time and was wondering for those who are familiar with the legal lot status process, what do you think? A property owner owns the S/2 of the SW/4 of Section 27, along with the N/2 of the NW/4 of Section 34. This was originally patented from the USA to the owner as these aliquot parts. So the question is, does this property have 2 lot status’ or just 1? I believe local officials determine the lot status based on obtaining deeds prior to a certain date (1972) that show the 2 properties as separate parcels, but my argument is that when the sections were originally created, the original plat would deem these as separate legal lots. Asked a few fellow surveyors and they agreed with my logic, but weren’t quite sure. Would like to hear both sides for and against if possible.
FYI I’m surveying in Western Washington.
- 18 Replies
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 12:03 am
This comes up sometimes, it depends on how the two 80 acre parcels were transferred through the years. If they appeared on the same original patent and were granted that way since the patent then it’s one 160 acre parcel.
At least that’s the way our regulators look at it. Also if the S2 and N2 were put together in a deed as one tract the regulators will consider it one tract even if it they were patented separately. I always advise my clients to list tracts similar to lots in a subdivision. Something like Tract 1 S2SW4, Section 27; Tract 2: N2NW4, Section 34 and then they can be sold individually.
I’m assuming there is a zoning restriction that doesn’t allow the 80 acre tracts to be granted?
Our county has a minimum 80 acre restriction for Ag zones, others have 160 acre minimum.
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 12:11 am
Bureaucrats! We need a year around hunting season on them with no bag limit. This sort of bother is pure foolishness.
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 12:23 am
@mightymoe It’s actually much more convoluted than I presented it, but the argument of if it has 1 lot status or 2 from the beginning would be the determining factor. Essentially this piece was severed by a highway in the 1920’s, then cookie-cuttered up into 10 acre lots. This left a piece north of the highway, but south of the section line. Problem is that it was under the same ownership on the north and south side of the highway from 1891 (original Patent) until 1986.
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 1:42 am
The answer to this can be very different by jurisdiction. Some States have answered it at the State level and some leave it to the county. Start with the Assessor and Planning Director. I am betting they have an opinion and you will be hard pressed to change it outside of district court…
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 3:10 am
???? Certain issues go beyond stupid when applied as a general case rather than a specific case. Bureaucrats love the general case. A broad brush must be sufficient to solve the ills of the world. Horse puckey!
My home county has very little in the way of bureaucracy in the rural areas. But, our Sanitation Code says that if a landowner wishes to install a residential septic system within XXX feet of a municipal sewer system, their request is to be denied. They must get the municipality to connect them to their sewer line. Then the municipality tells the landowner they will only allow this to happen if they agree to have their entire tract annexed into the municipality. The landowner will allow a small tract of less than five acres to be annexed but will not allow the entire property to be annexed. So, they are rejected by both the county and the municipality. Meanwhile, both the county and the municipality offer great reductions in real estate taxes over the next 10 years for new construction. The landowner walks away from doing anything because he/she have been hit by two broad brushes.
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 2:19 pm
This is more newbie boundary gold!
Thank you for the post!!
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 3:09 pm
Most states have subdivision regulations with exceptions. I’m only guessing for Washington, but usually state highways are excepted. If taken in fee they are not only their own parcel but the severed parcels are also excepted so those parcels become their own stand-alone property. If the ROW is an easement then it can be iffy. Some regulators allow it, some don’t. So splitting lands by an east-west ROW should create two distinct parcels north and south of the highway. I would start by reading the State Statutes for subdivisions, the exceptions, then the county regulations governing subdividing lands.
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 3:34 pm
We are a case where the State has pretty much turned such technicalities over to the cities and counties to enforce in various ways. The requirements in one county may be extremely different from those of the adjoining counties. I avoided surveys in one county for over ten years because of the foolish bureaucracy they had created. They eventually realized their lofty goals had backfired on them, so they went back to normal.
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 4:44 pm
This may not apply to WA but in IA a tract is defined in code chpt 354 as an aliquot part of a (as in one) section. A parcel is defined as a part of a tract of land. In IA the patent would contain two tracts and our auditor and assessor would have different identification numbers for each one even for a common owner who has one deed for both.
Lot is defined as a tract of land represented and identified by number or letter designation on an official plat.
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 5:20 pm
It looks like this thread is going in the right direction, but just wanted to be clear that this question does not have a single general answer. The answer will be found in local (or state) planning or subdivision ordinances and policies.
Once land is patented national standards (federal law and BLM policies) don’t apply.
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 6:22 pm
You bring up a good argument with going back to the definition of “lot” per code. I’ll look into this as a course of explaining my thoughts on the subject, but as mentioned before by @thebionicman, I’m going to be hard pressed to change any minds at my jurisdiction. Thanks again for everyone’s insight on this.
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 6:24 pm
They’ve been slapped around a bit and now it seems easements do count if it’s a state highway. But it is hit or miss depending on the county
- MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 8:13 pm
@tim-libs not in Oregon without a approved land division. If the agency bought the all of the small portion north or south of the road alignment they could then take what they needed for the road and sell the rest to the adjoiner as part of an approved property line adjustment. That is the way I read the state statutes but if local planning does not check lot legality then anything goes. Jp
- MemberJanuary 14, 2022 at 2:17 am
In California highways do not necessarily create 2 lots for subdivision map act purposes. Even if the highway is fee, I think, but I don??t deal with this since my job doesn??t involve the sma, we are exempt.
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