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what is a subdivision survey?

A subdivision survey divides a parcel of land into smaller tracts for sale. This is done through procedures like short platting or formal platting and must be recorded with the local and state governments. Municipalities have their own requirements and regulations for subdivision procedures. Because of the nature of subdivisions, homes within them often have a similar appearance, as the parcels of land are frequently built as a group before being sold.



Employing a land surveyor to draft up a subdivision survey provides maximum opportunities for those looking to develop a larger area of land with multiple parcels.

land development

The creation of a subdivision plat is done by a land surveyor who has been hired by the developer who intends to divide the land once the plat is approved. This developer may be the original owner or an individual or organization that has purchased the land for the purpose of subdividing it. This type of land survey is especially common in housing development projects.

urban planning

While most subdivision plats are drawn for the purpose of subdividing and selling off plots of land, they can be drawn for a number of other reasons, as well. For instance, the creation of a plat map is usually a major step in incorporating a new town or city. Subdivisions that have been platted correctly ensure compliance with zoning regulations, which often restrict lot sizes or lot geometry.


related services

There are multiple types of subdivision surveys that can be performed during the course of a larger-scale commercial or residential project. Listed below are ALS’s most frequently-requested ones.


Short platting is subdividing land into up to nine lots or tax parcels for development purposes. It involves adhering to zoning regulations, assessing ECAs, ensuring adequate access, road, drainage and utility needs, and can be used to sell or reinvest in new parcels. The short platting process is simpler than formal subdivision.

unit lot

A lot split divides a single lot for separate ownership or development, opposite of lot consolidation. New lots are detailed in a plat after survey approval, benefitting owners if they need to divide property among beneficiaries, sell smaller lots, or require a new structure on its own lot.

boundary line adjustment

Boundary line adjustments change property lines between adjacent tax parcels, meeting zoning requirements and confirming consistency with city codes. These surveys may also correct encroachments and improve lot design or access, but do not create additional lots or parcels.

site plan

Binding site plans streamline parcel creation for commercial and industrial use, RV parks, and condominium ownership. The resulting parcels can be sold individually and the plan establishes a development pattern for phased construction. This process is conducted after site development permits, and once complete, the plan is recorded.


Lot consolidation is the process of combining two or more lots into a single taxable parcel. Cities often require lot consolidation plats when developers start construction projects to simplify parcel ID. Landowners can use them to purchase adjacent vacant lots or develop multiple lots into larger facilities or to sell multiple adjacent lots to commercial developers as part of the rezoning process.