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Dividing Land

    Dividing Land (graphic)
On May 8, 2001, the Sangamon County Board adopted changes to the zoning and subdivision regulations which directly impact land divisions in the County. The most noticeable change is the minimum lot area in an agricultural zoning district which was one acre and is now 40 acres. The purpose of this provision is to protect prime farmland and preserve the rural character of the county. This regulation applies only to newly created tracts. All existing tracts are grandfathered in and can be used as permitted under the designated zoning district regulations. There are three options for dividing land in an agricultural zoning district that provide alternatives to the 40 acre lot area. These are explained in the three following paragraphs.

One Time Exception

In an agricultural zoning district, there is a one time exception to the 40 acre minimum lot area requirement available to owners of property of 40 acres or more. This exception to the bulk zoning regulations allows the creation of one tract of between 1 acre and 5 acres for each 40 acres owned on May 8, 2001.

Agricultural Exemption Certificate

To accommodate farming needs in an agricultural zoning district, property can be divided to create tracts that do not meet zoning regulations if the owner signs an Agricultural Exemption Certificate limiting use of the property to agricultural activities only. This restriction would apply to all future owners of the property unless a zoning amendment is approved at a later date by the Sangamon County Board.

Rezoning Property

A landowner may request a rezoning of the property which would reduce the minimum lot area requirement. Part of the rezoning consideration involves the Land Evaluation and Site Assessment, a rating system to assess the desirability of developing the property. Planning Commission staff can assist.

    Dividing Land (graphic)

Most land divisions must receive approval from either the Sangamon County Plat Officer or the Sangamon County Board. The following three paragraphs briefly explain how to determine which procedure should be used.

Fractional Part

For the purposes of the subdivision ordinance, a fractional part division is one which creates a tract with a legal description of a fraction of a quarter section, with acreage divisible by 5 and with no easements required for access. In an agricultural zoning district no resulting fractional part or remaining parcel shall be less than 40 acres. An example would be:

  • The NW 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 12, T13N, R5W (40 acres)
A fractional part division does not require approval. All zoning requirements must be met.

Platted Lot

A lot in a subdivision that was approved through the current subdivision process can be divided under the following procedures. For a lot in an estate plat, county clerk's plat, or other similar subdivision, see the requirements under metes and bounds.

Minor lot line adjustment: If a portion of a lot is being conveyed to an adjacent landowner and can be described simply, such as "the east 5' of lot 9", approval is not required. All zoning requirements must be met.

Other conveyance to an adjacent owner: If the portion of a lot being conveyed to an adjacent landowner requires a metes and bounds legal description, then tract survey approval is required.

New building site: A platted lot of less than one acre can be divided into two or more lots with tract survey approval. The exception to this would be a lot in a minor subdivision if the maximum number of lots (4) for a minor subdivision have already been created. Division is then approved through the subdivision process as is division of a platted lot of one acre or more.

    Dividing land tools (graphic)
Metes and Bounds Survey

Any division of land which cannot be described as part of a platted lot or as a fractional part requires a metes and bounds survey. All metes and bounds divisions must receive approval either as a tract survey or through the subdivision process. Generally, a contiguous owner division can be approved as a tract survey. Divisions creating tracts less than five acres usually require approval through the subdivision process. However, based on the history of the property, one tract less than five acres may be approvable as a tract survey. Planning Commission staff can assist in making this determination.

WAYS TO DIVIDE LAND

Tract Survey Approval

Tract survey approval is obtained from the Sangamon County Plat Officer at the Planning Commission office where information on the procedure and requirements is available.

Subdivision Approval

The procedure for dividing land through the subdivision process begins at the Planning Commission office with further consideration by the Land Subdivision Committee and County Board. Literature and assistance on the subdivision process are available at the Planning Commission office.

ANY PROPERTY LOCATED WITHIN 1 MILES OF THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF SPRINGFIELD, SHERMAN, ROCHESTER, RIVERTON, WILLIAMSVILLE, PAWNEE, OR CHATHAM IS ALSO SUBJECT TO THE SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE OF THAT MUNICIPALITY WHICH MAY DIFFER SOMEWHAT FROM THE REQUIREMENTS DISCUSSED HERE.

All divisions must meet the following:

Zoning: Requirements in the respective zoning district must be met including lot area, lot width, and yard dimensions.

Floodplain: Each lot created must have at least the required minimum lot area located above the 100-year base flood elevation.

All tracts must have direct access to a public road. Easements do not meet this requirement.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL THE SPRINGFIELD SANGAMON COUNTY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION AT 535-3110.



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