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Lot Line Adjustments

What is a Lot Line Adjustment (LLA)?

The main aim of lot line adjustment is to change the existing legal parcels of property lines. However, a lot line adjustment serves several other purposes:

  • Merge (up to 4) adjoining parcels into one single parcel.
  • Change the boundary among adjoining parcels (up to 4).
  • Allow the shapes of parcels (up to 4) to be reconfigured.

Each of the above processes will yield either the same number of parcels as initially, or fewer. The number of parcels can never increase during a lot line adjustment.

Requirements For a Lot Line Adjustment

The Planning Department distributes the application forms for a Lot Line Adjustment. The form can be downloaded from the official website or mailed upon request. Some states (Californian laws included) require that a licensed/ registered land surveyor submit the application form along with legal descriptions on behalf of the owner of the property. After the application is submitted, it is thoroughly scrutinized by the officials. A typical application must contain:

  • An application form jointly signed by the representative/ agent and the respective owners of the property.
  • A photocopy of the preliminary title report (single copy, must not be more than 90 days old).
  • Images depicting the present configuration and the anticipated configuration, drafted by a civil engineer or a land surveyor registered with the state.
  • A legal description related to each new proposed lot. This should also be prepared by a registered civil engineer or a land surveyor.
  • Hazardous Waste Site Verification.
  • Preliminary review charges.

Usually, LLA’ s are exempt from CEQA requirements. However, in California, CEQA (The California Environmental Quality Act) has made it obligatory for some projects to submit an environmental study along with the application.

Post Application Submission

Once your application is submitted as complete, no notifications or public hearings are required in the case of lot line adjustment. If the application is deemed complete and correct, authorities will request the processing fee.

Next, the department instructs the county surveyor to review the application. If all is well, a Notice of Decision (letter) is dispatched to the representative. The letter contains ‘approval conditions’ to be met prior to obtaining a Certificate of Compliance. Often, a lot line adjustment is approved at this very stage. 

Application processing times can extend in those cases where a discretionary action or development variation is required along with the lot line adjustment. In such cases, public notifications and review list are also required.

Typical approval conditions include:

  • A preliminary title report has to be submitted (not older than 10 days).
  • A deed of the newly configured parcels has to be recorded.
  • Alter and record any trust deeds which affect the property in order to clearly show the new configuration.

Finally, if all of the approval conditions are met, the department works in conjunction with the title company to synchronize the processing of all the required documents. A ‘Certificate of Compliance’ is issued to the owner which certifies the legitimacy of the newly configured parcels.

How are Lot Line Adjustments achieved, eventually?

After the Certificate of Compliance is received and deeds are recorded, the lots are reconfigured. County records, such as the surveyor's case maps, assessor’s maps, etc..., can take several weeks to be updated. A copy of the final approved Certificate of compliance is mailed to the applicant and their agent. The arrival of this document signifies that the lot ine adjustment process is complete.

 
 

Nationwide Surveying provides professional land surveying services to Southern and Northern California.

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Nationwide Surveying - Lot Line Adjustments