Property owners are frequently interested in splitting or subdividing large parcels of land. Property owners pursuing a parcel split often find that local land use regulations and tax regulations complicate the parcel split process. Before pursuing any parcel split, it’s important to consider the following generally applicable rules:
- In order to split a parcel, one must ensure that all real estate taxes currently due, payable, or delinquent, are paid in full. The local property appraiser is statutorily prohibited from processing a parcel split before all real estate taxes are paid in full.
- Parcel splits must comply with the applicable zoning requirements. You should have a detailed understanding of the applicable requirements related to minimum lot size, minimum buildable area, yard measurements, road access, utility access, drainage, and other restrictions imposed by the local zoning authority. Every zoning authority imposes unique requirements, so there is no uniform approach to achieving zoning compliance.
- Parcels located in a subdivision are frequently subject to restrictions and covenants that prevent an owner from splitting or subdividing property.
- If there is an existing structure on the parcel that is being split, the owner will need to perform additional due diligence. Typically, existing structures must meet the minimum setback requirements after the split without any need for a variance. The owner must be especially mindful of setback requirements if the plan is to split a property near an existing structure.
- A homestead exemption, and any “Save Our Homes” cap, will only apply to the parcel where the owner maintains their primary residence. A newly created parcel that does not include the owner’s primary residence will not be protected as homesteaded property, and the newly created parcel will be assessed by the property appraiser at fair market value, without any Save Our Homes cap protection. If the owner is splitting a large parcel that contains a homestead, the owner should be prepared for sizable increase in their tax bill after the split.
Even if a parcel split is legally permissible, the owner(s) may not be able to develop the new parcel or parcels as intended because of land use regulations which are beyond the scope of this limited topic. Before pursuing a parcel split, it’s prudent to contact a knowledgeable land use attorney who can guide you through the parcel split process.
Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC
Article Authored by Ben DeMarsh, Esq. firstname.lastname@example.org
This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.
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