Chapter 4.4
Land Divisions and Property Line Adjustments


4.4.100    Purpose

4.4.110    General Requirements

4.4.120    Approval Process

4.4.130    Preliminary Plat Submission Requirements

4.4.140    Approval Criteria: Preliminary Plat

4.4.150    Variances Authorized

4.4.160    Final Plat Submission Requirements and Approval Criteria

4.4.170    Filing and Recording

4.4.180    Re-platting and Vacation of Plats

4.4.190    Property Line Adjustments

4.4.100 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to:

A.    Provide rules, regulations and standards governing the approval of subdivisions, partitions and property line adjustments.

1.    A subdivision is the creation of four or more lots from one parent lot, parcel or tract, within one calendar year.

2.    A partition is the creation of three or fewer lots from one parent lot, parcel or tract within one calendar year.

3.    A property line adjustment is a modification to lot lines or parcel boundaries that does not result in the creation of new lots (includes consolidation of lots).

B.    Carry out the City’s development pattern, as envisioned by the Comprehensive Plan.

C.    Encourage efficient use of land resources, full utilization of urban services, and transportation options.

D.    Promote the public health, safety and general welfare through orderly and efficient urbanization.

E.    Provide adequate light and air, prevent overcrowding of land, and facilitate adequate provision for transportation, water supply, sewage and surface water management, fire protection and protection against natural hazards.

4.4.110 General Requirements

A.    Subdivision and Partition Approval through Two-step Process. Applications for subdivision or partition approval shall be processed through a two-step process: the preliminary plat and the final plat.

1.    The preliminary plat shall be approved before the final plat can be submitted for approval consideration; and

2.    The final plat shall include all conditions of approval of the preliminary plat.

B.    Compliance with ORS Chapter 92. All subdivision and partition proposals shall be in conformance to state regulations set forth in Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) Chapter 92, Subdivisions and Partitions.

C.    Future Re-division Plan. When subdividing or partitioning tracts into large lots (i.e., greater than three times the minimum lot size allowed by the underlying land use district), the City shall require that the lots be of such size, shape, and orientation as to facilitate future re-division and extension of streets and utilities.

The applicant shall submit a future redivision plan, or shadow plan, indicating how re-division of oversized lots and extension of planned public facilities to adjacent parcels can occur in the future. A re-division plan (shadow plan) shall be submitted which identifies:

1.    Future lot division(s) in conformance with the density standards of Chapter 2;

2.    Location of a potential street right-of-way alignment(s) to serve future development of the property and connect to adjacent properties, including existing or planned rights-of-way.

3.    Location of proposed water, sewer and storm drainage facilities to serve the future lots.

D.    Adequate Utilities. All lots created through land division shall have adequate public facilities and private utilities such as streets, water, sewer, gas, and electrical systems, pursuant to Chapter 3.5– Public Faclities Standards.

E.    Adequate Drainage. All subdivision and partition proposals shall have adequate surface water drainage facilities that reduce exposure to flood damage and improve water quality. Water quality or quantity control improvements may be required, pursuant to Chapter 3.5 – Public Facilities Standards.

F.    Adequate Access. All lots created or reconfigured shall have adequate vehicle access and parking, as may be required, pursuant to Chapter 3.2 – Access and Circulation.

E.    Lot Size Averaging, Single family residential lot size may be averaged to allow lots less than the minimum lot size in the Residential district, as long as the average area for all lots is not less than allowed by the district. No lot created under this provision shall be less than 90% of the minimum lot size allowed in the underlying district. For example, if the minimum lot size is 10,000 square feet, the following three lots could be created: 9,000 square feet, 10,000 square feet, and 11,000 square feet.

4.4.120 Approvals Process

A.    Review of Preliminary Plat.

1.    Partition – Type II Procedure. Review of a preliminary partition plat shall be processed by means of a Type II procedure pursuant to Section 4.2.130.

2.    Subdivision – Type III Procedure. Review of a preliminary subdivision plat shall be processed by means of a Type III procedure pursuant to Section 4.2.140.

B.    Review of Final Plat. Review of a final plat for a partition or subdivision shall be processed by means of a Type I procedure under Chapter 4.2, Section 4.2.120, using the approval criteria in Section 4.4.160.

C.    Preliminary Plat Approval Period. Preliminary plat approval shall be effective for a period of 2 years from the date of approval. The preliminary plat shall lapse if a final plat has not been submitted to the County Surveyor within a 2-year period.

D.    Modifications and Extensions. The applicant may request changes to the approved preliminary plat or conditions of approval following the procedures and criteria provided in Chapter 4.6 – Modifications to Approved Plans and Conditions of Approval. The City Planner shall, upon written request by the applicant and payment of the required fee, grant one extension of the approval period not to exceed one year; provided that:

1.    Any changes to the preliminary plat follow the procedures in Chapter 4.6;

2.    The applicant has submitted written intent to file a final plat within the one-year extension period;

3.    An extension of time will not prevent the lawful development of abutting properties;

4.    There have been no changes to the applicable code provisions on which the approval was based. If such changes have occurred, a new preliminary plat application shall be required; and

5.    The extension request is made before expiration of the original approved plan.

E.    Phased Development.

1.    The City may approve a time schedule for developing a subdivision in phases, but in no case shall the actual construction time period (i.e., for required public improvements, utilities, streets) for any partition or subdivision phase be greater than 5 years without reapplying for a preliminary plat;

2.    The criteria for approving a phased land division proposal are:

a.    Public facilities shall be constructed in conjunction with or prior to each phase;

b.    The development and occupancy of any phase dependent on the use of temporary public facilities shall require City Council approval. Temporary facilities shall be approved only upon City receipt of bonding or other assurances to cover the cost of required permanent public improvements, in accordance with Chapter 3.5 – Public Facilities Standards. A temporary public facility is any facility not constructed to the applicable City or district standard;

c.    The phased development shall not result in requiring the City or a third party (e.g., owners of lots) to construct public facilities that were required as part of the approved development proposal; and

d.    The application for phased development approval shall be reviewed concurrently with the preliminary plat application and the decision may be appealed in the same manner as the preliminary plat.

4.4.130 Preliminary Plat Submission Requirements.

A.    General Submission Requirements.

1.    Partition Application. The application shall contain all the information required for a Type II procedure under Section 4.2.130, a preliminary partition plat map and the supplemental preliminary plat information required by Section 4.4.130.B.

2.    Subdivision Application. The applicant shall submit an application for a Type III procedure under Section 4.2.140, a preliminary subdivision plat, and the supplemental preliminary plat information required by Section 4.4.130.B.

3.    Public Facilities and Services Impact Study. The City may require the applicant to submit a public facilities and services impact study. The impact study shall quantify and assess the effect of the development on public facilities and services. The City shall advise as to the scope of the study, which shall address, at a minimum, the transportation system, including required improvements for vehicles and pedestrians; the drainage system; the parks system (for subdivisions and planned unit developments of 20 or more dwelling units); water system; and sewer system. For each system and type of impact, the study shall propose improvements necessary to meet City standards under adopted ordinances and facility master plans.

4.    Traffic Impact Analysis. The City, the Linn County Roads Department or the Oregon Department of Transportation may require the applicant to submit a Traffic Impact Analysis pursuant to Section 3.5.110.B.

B.    Preliminary Plat Information. In addition to the general information described in subsection A above, the preliminary plat application shall consist of drawings and supplementary written material (i.e., on forms and/or in a written narrative) adequate to provide the following information:

1.    General information:

a.    Name of subdivision (not required for partitions). This name must not duplicate the name of another subdivision in Linn County (please check with County surveyor);

b.    Date, north arrow, and scale of drawing;

c.    Location of the development sufficient to define its location in the city, boundaries, and a legal description of the site;

d.    A title block including the names, addresses and contact information for the applicant, owners of the subject property, designer, and engineer or surveyor if any, and the date of the survey; and

e.    Identification of the drawing as a ”preliminary plat”.

2.    Existing Conditions and Site Analysis: Except where the City Planner deems certain information is not needed or not relevant, applications for Preliminary Plat review shall contain all of the following information:

a.    Streets: Location, name, present width of all streets, alleys and rights-of-way on and abutting the site;

b.    Easements: Location, width and purpose of all existing easements of record on and abutting the site;

c.    Utilities: Location and identity of all utilities on and abutting the site. If water mains and sewers are not on or abutting the site, indicate the direction and distance to the nearest ones;

d.    Ground elevations shown by contour lines at two-foot vertical intervals. Ground elevations shall be related to an established bench mark or other datum approved by the County Surveyor. This requirement may be waived for partitions when grades, on average, are less than 5 percent;

e.    The location and elevation of the closest benchmark(s) within or adjacent to the site (i.e., for surveying purposes);

f.    Potential natural hazard areas, including any flood plains, base flood elevation, areas subject to high water table, and areas having a high erosion potential;

g.    Sensitive lands, including wetland areas, streams, wildlife habitat, and other areas identified by the City or natural resource regulatory agencies as requiring protection.

h.    Site features, including existing structures, pavement, and drainage ways, canals and ditches;

i.    Designated historic and cultural resources on the site and adjacent parcels or lots;

j.    The location, size and species of trees having a caliper (diameter) of 8 inches or greater at four feet above grade in conformance with Chapter 3.3 - Landscaping;

k.    North arrow, scale, name and address of owner;

l.    Other information, as deemed appropriate by the City Planner. The City may require studies or exhibits prepared by qualified professionals to address specific site features and code requirements.

3.    Proposed Development and Improvements:

a.    Proposed lots and private tracts (e.g., private open space, common area, or street): approximate dimensions, area calculation (e.g., in square feet), and identification numbers for all lots and tracts;

b.    Existing and proposed public and private streets, tracts, driveways, open space/park land; location, names, right- of-way dimensions, approximate radius of street curves; and approximate finished street center line grades. All streets and tracts which are being held for private use and all reservations and restrictions relating to such private tracts shall be identified;

c.    Easements: location, width and purpose of all easements;

d.    Proposed uses of the property, including all areas proposed to be dedicated to the public or preserved as open space for the purpose of storm water management, recreation, or other use;

e.    Proposed public and private street improvements; including streets, sidewalks, street trees and private utilities;

f.    Proposed plan for water and sewer improvements including main extensions and services to each lot;

g.    Proposed plan for storm water management including storm drainage calculations, and planned storm sewer improvements, detention/retention drainage facilities, and storm water quality improvements for the site;

h.    The approximate location and identity of other utilities, including the locations of street lights;

i.    Proposed railroad crossing or modifications to an existing crossing, if any, and evidence of contact with Oregon Department of Transportation related to proposed railroad crossing(s);

j.    Evidence of contact with the Linn County Roads Department and/or the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for any development requiring access to a roadway under the jurisdiction of either Linn County or ODOT; and

k.    Evidence of contact with the applicable natural resource regulatory agency(ies) for any development within or adjacent to jurisdictional wetlands.

4.4.140 Approval Criteria: Preliminary Plat.

A.    General Approval Criteria. The City may approve, approve with conditions or deny a preliminary plat based on the following approval criteria:

1.    The proposed preliminary plat complies with the applicable sections of this Code and other applicable ordinances and regulations, including but not limited to,

a.    Chapter 2.0 (Land Use Districts)

b.    Chapter 3.0 (Design Standards)

c.    Chapter 4.0 (Application and Review Procedures), including Chapter 4.4. Land Divisions.

d.    Chapter 5.0 (Exceptions), if any variances are required for the proposal.

2.    The proposed plat name is not already recorded for another subdivision, and satisfies the provisions of ORS Chapter 92;

3.    The proposed public improvements (transportation, water, sewer and surface water management facilities, public parks and open spaces, and private utilities) are laid out so as to conform or transition to the plats of subdivisions and maps of major partitions already approved for adjoining property as to width, general direction and in all other respects. All proposed public improvements and dedications are identified on the preliminary plat; and

4.    All proposed private common areas and improvements, if any, are identified on the preliminary plat and maintenance of such areas is assured through an appropriate legal instrument, (e.g., home owner association or other legal entity).

5.    Evidence that any required state and federal permits, as applicable, have been obtained or can reasonably be obtained prior to development; and

6.    Evidence that improvements or conditions required by the City, Linn County, Linn County Roads Department, ODOT, special districts, utilities, and/or other service providers, as applicable to the project, have been or can be met.

D.    Conditions of Approval. The City may attach such conditions as are necessary to carry out provisions of this Code, and other applicable ordinances and regulations.

4.4.150 Land Division Variance

Variances to land division standards shall be processed in accordance with Chapter 5.2 - Variances. Applications for variances shall be submitted at the same time an application for land division or property line adjustment is submitted.

4.4.160 Final Plat Submission Requirements and Approval Criteria

Final plats shall be reviewed and approved by the City prior to recording with Linn County.

A.    Submission Requirements. The applicant shall submit the final plat within 2 years of the approval of the preliminary plat as provided by Section 4.4.120. The format of the plat shall comply with ORS Chapter 92 requirements.

B.    Approval Criteria. By means of a Type I procedure, the City Planner shall review the final plat and shall approve or deny the final plat based on findings regarding compliance or non-compliance with the following criteria:

1.    The final plat is consistent with the approved preliminary plat (e.g. number of lots, easements, and dedication areas, etc.), and all conditions of approval have been satisfied;

2.    All public improvements required by the preliminary plat have been installed and approved by the City or applicable service provider, if different from the City (e.g. ODOT, Linn County Roads or other agency), or the public improvements are bonded in conformance with the performance guarantee requirements in Chapter 3.5, Section 3.5.190.

3.    The streets and roads for public use are dedicated without reservation or restriction other than revisionary rights upon vacation of any such street or road and easements for public utilities;

4.    All required streets, access ways, roads, easements and other dedications or reservation are shown on the plat;

5.    The plat contains a dedication to the public of all public improvements, including but not limited to streets, public pathways and trails, access reserve strips, parks, sewage disposal, storm drainage and water supply systems;

6.    Verification by the City that water and sanitary sewer service is available to every lot depicted on the plat or are bonded in conformance with the performance guarantee requirements in Chapter 3.5, Section 3.5.190.

7.    If required by the City, the applicant has provided, and the City has reviewed and approved copies of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R’s); homeowner’s association agreements, deed restrictions, private easements (e.g., for access, common areas, parking, etc.); and other documents to be recorded pertaining to common improvements referenced on the plat;

8.    The plat complies with the applicable sections of this Code (i.e., there have been no changes in land use or development resulting in a code violation since preliminary plat approval);

9.    The plat contains an affidavit by the surveyor who surveyed the land, represented on the plat to the effect the land was correctly surveyed and marked with proper monuments as provided by ORS Chapter 92, indicating the initial point of the survey, and giving the dimensions and kind of such monument, and its reference to some corner approved by the Linn County Surveyor for purposes of identifying its location.

10.    The plat contains a signature block for the City Administrator or Planning Commission chair.

11.    If the plat includes the dedication of land to the City for public use, then the plat will contain a signature block for the Mayor verifying the acceptance of the public dedication by the City as required by ORS 92.014.

4.4.170 Filing and Recording of the Final Plat

A new lot is not a legal lot for purposes of ownership (title), sale, lease, or development/land use until a final plat is recorded for the subdivision or partition containing the lot is recorded. Requests to validate an existing lot created through means other than a final plat (“lot of record”) shall follow the procedures set forth in ORS 92.010 to 92.190.

The final plat filing and recording requirements are as follows:

A.    Filing plat with County. Within 60 days of the City approval of the final plat, the applicant shall submit the final plat to Linn County for signatures of County officials as required by ORS Chapter 92.

B.    Proof of recording. Upon final recording with the County, the applicant shall submit to the City an electronic copy of all sheets of the recorded final plat. This shall occur prior to the issuance of building permits for the newly-created lots.

C.    Prerequisites to recording the plat.

1.    No plat shall be recorded unless all ad valorem taxes and all special assessments, fees, or other charges required by law to be placed on the tax roll have been paid in the manner provided by ORS Chapter 92;

2.    No plat shall be recorded until it is approved by the County surveyor in the manner provided by ORS Chapter 92.

4.4.180 Re-platting and Vacation of Plats

A.    Re-platting and Vacations. Any plat or portion thereof may be re-platted or vacated upon receiving an application signed by all of the owners as appearing on the deed.

B.    Procedure. All applications for a re-plat or vacation shall be processed in accordance with the procedures and standards for a subdivision or partition (i.e., the same process used to create the plat shall be used to re-plat or vacate the plat).

C.    Basis for denial. A re-plat or vacation application may be denied if it abridges or destroys any public right in any of its public uses, improvements, streets or alleys; or if it fails to meet any applicable criteria.

D.    Vacation of streets or alleys. A street and/or vacation shall comply with the procedures and standards set forth in ORS Chapter 271.

4.4.190 Property Line Adjustments

A property line adjustment is the modification of a lot boundary when no lot is created. A property line adjustment includes the consolidation of lots, and the modification of lot boundaries, when no new lots are created.

A.    Submission Requirements. All applications for a property line adjustment shall be made on forms provided by the City and shall include information required for a Type I application. The application shall include a preliminary map showing:

1.    existing and proposed lot lines and dimensions;

2.    footprints and dimensions of existing structures (including accessory structures);

3.    location and dimensions of driveways, patios, sidewalks, public and private streets within or abutting the subject lots;

4.    location of significant vegetation as defined in Section 3.3.120.B; existing fences and walls;

5.    location of public and private utilities, including service lines to each principal building;

6.    location of easements of record; and

7.    any other information deemed necessary by the City Planner for ensuring compliance with city codes.

B.    Approval Criteria. The City Planner shall approve or deny a request for a property line adjustment in writing, based on findings that all of the following criteria are satisfied:

1.    No additional parcel or lot is created by the property line adjustment.

2.    The lots being modified by the property line adjustment comply with the minimum lot standards of the zoning district including lot area, dimensions, setbacks and lot coverage requirements.

3.    The property line adjustment does not create a building encroachment into any required setback area. In situations where there is an existing encroachment, the property line adjustment will not result in a greater encroachment into the setback area.

4.    The property line adjustment does not eliminate street access for any of the parcels. Access shall conform to the access management requirements of Chapter 3.2 - Access and Circulation or the affected roadway authority.

5.    The modified lot lines will not conflict with the location of sanitary sewer line, water line, storm sewer or easement.

6.    If, prior to the application, the lot(s) did not conform to the minimum lot standard(s), access or road authority standard, the property line adjustment shall not result in greater non-conformity with the applicable standard(s).

7.    The property owner(s) of each lot affected by the property line adjustment have signed the application or a statement of agreement with the proposed property line adjustment.

C.    Time Limit, Expiration and Recording Requirements

1.    Time limit on approval. The property line adjustment approval shall be effective for a period of one year from the date of approval.

2.    Expiration. The property line adjustment approval shall expire if:

a.    The property line adjustment survey is not filed with Linn County and recorded within one year of the date of the approval.

b.    The property line adjustment has been improperly recorded with Linn County without the satisfactory completion of all conditions attached to the approval; or

c.    The final property line adjustment survey is a departure from the approved plan.

3.    Recording. Upon the City’s approval of the proposed property line adjustment, the applicant shall record the property line adjustment with Linn County within 1 year of approval (or the approval expires).

4.    Filing of Recorded Survey with the City and Issuance of Building Permits. The applicant shall comply with the Linn County Surveyor map or filing requirements. The applicant shall submit a copy of the recorded property line adjustment survey map to the City within 15 days of recording and prior to the issuance of any building permits on the re-configured lots.1

D.    Extension. The City may, upon written request by the applicant and payment of the required fee, grant an extension of the approval period not to exceed one year provided that:

1.    No changes are made on the original plan as approved by the City;

2.    There have been no changes in the applicable sections of this Code or plan provisions on which the approval was based. In the case where the property line adjustment conflicts with a code amendment, the extension shall be denied; and

3.    The extension request is made before expiration of the original approved plan.


    The survey shall comply with requirements of the County Surveyor.