How to Divide Land
Dividing your land and drawing new property boundaries requires the involvement of the town's Planning Board.
If you are building a subdivision, with its own new road or roads, please contact the board for instructions on how to proceed under the subdivision control law.
But, if you are just dividing land using frontage on existing roads, you may be able to just have the new configuration surveyed and have the survey plan endorsed by the planning board as "Approval Not Required" under the subdivision control law. This is referred to as an ANR Plan. In order for a survey plan dividing land into multiple lots to qualify as ANR, it must meet three standards:
- The lots shown on such plan must front on a public way, an already approved subdivision way, or a way that was in existence at the time the subdivision control law came into effect.
- The lots shown on such plan must meet the minimum frontage requirements (300 feet in Plainfield).
- A Planning Board's determination that "vital access" to such lots exists. Court decisions have held that "vital access" means that the way is adequate, the access implied by the frontage is not illusory, and that there is adequate vehicular access to the buildable portion of the lot from the frontage.
A professional land surveyor can help you design a layout that meets these requirements, and the Planning Board is always willing to preview your draft application and survey plan to ensure that there are no changes needed after you have made printed copies. To get this pre-review started, e-mail an electronic version of the survey plan and Form A to the chair of the planning board.
Once you have a final survey plan, the process for endorsement by the planning board is:
- File a "Form A" with the Town Clerk along with a filing fee of $50, payable to the Town of Plainfield.
- E-mail a copy of the dated Form A with the Town Clerk's signture and an electronic version of the survey plan to the chair of the planning board.
- The Planning Board chair will put this on the agenda within 21 days of the date the Form A was submitted to the town clerk, and will notify you of the date of the meeting.
- Prior to the meeting, you will need to arrange to get the physical copies of your survey plan to the Planning Board chair. You will need to provide a "mylar" copy to record at the Registry of Deeds, a paper copy for the Planning Board, a paper copy for the Assessors, and as many paper copies as you need for yourself and any other applicants (usually 2).
- At the meeting, the Planning Board will review the plan and vote whether it meets the requirements described above. If the board determines that the plan requires approval under the subdivision control law, the board will notify you and the town clerk within 21 days of the original submittal.
- If a majority of the board votes to endorse the plan as "Approval Not Required," the chair will sign the copies of the plan, notify the town clerk of the endorsement, and forward a paper copy to the Assessors.
- You will then be responsible for picking up the endorsed mylar of the plan and your paper copies, and you will need to record the survey plan at the Registry of Deeds prior to completing any transfer of ownership that references the new survey plan.