Our technical and underwriting staff involved in the division of land (subdivision) process make a point of staying on top of existing and new legislation of interest to our developer clients and friends.  Toward this end, we feel that it is appropriate to point out a few facts regarding the Subdivision Map Act.

The Government Code of the State of California sets forth general provisions, procedures and requirements for the division of land starting with Section 66410 through and including Section 66499.58.  This Division 2 of the Government Code is often referred to as the "Subdivision Map Act."  Each "governing body" (county or incorporated city) within our state has enacted local ordinances which adopt and interpret the Subdivision Map Act to meet the local needs of their jurisdiction.  In fact, many provisions of the Subdivision Map Act defer to the local governing body ("local agency") for the purpose of regulation and control of the design and improvement of subdivisions within their jurisdiction.  Therefore, an interpretation of a provision or section of the Subdivision Map Act and local ordinances enacted pursuant thereto in one county may differ from another.  Because of these local differences, title company practices for subdivision mapping may differ from county to county throughout California.
It is important to become familiar with local customs and practices of the city or county where your subdivision is located.  Your local Builder Services Representative can help you coordinate your title insurance needs.  Among the mapping services typically offered are:
  • Coordinate fulfillment of local agency (title) requirements
  • Obtain Beneficiary signatures for existing Deeds of Trust as needed
  • Prepare "Master Disposition Report" for the Development Team (developer, attorney, lender, enginner)
  • Provide pertinent documentation necessary for map preparation
  • Coordinate with local agencies to obtain tax information
  • Provide plotting of recorded easements as may be required
  • Work with Development Team to resolve title insurance issues
Consider the flexibility these amendments give the developer.  In order to build (or to convert) condominium projects in smaller phases the developer no longer has to re-subdivide a previously approved lot or parcel for condominium purposes, provided the developer complies with these conditions.
We believe that the benefits for the developer include the following:
  • Greater flexibility in design and development of project phases
  • Smaller phases reduce unit presale requirements
  • Savings of time and money due to the elimination of additional tract or parcel map processing requirements
  • The potential for reduction of developer and unit owner liability as it relates to ownership of common areas 

Chicago Title has processed and is continuing to process a number of condominium developments in California using the increased flexibility these changes in the Subdivision Map Act give to developers.  Again, we invite you to contact your Chicago Title Sales Representative regarding your Subdivision.  As a member of your team, your representative will put you in contact with our Subdivision Title and DRE experts who will work with you to be The Source of Real Estate Services throughout all phases of your development.