GeoCarta Has Moved

Nov 19, 2005

Calif. County Validates 1896 Subdivision Map

Can a map more than a century old still control land use and development today? That was the question put to the the San Luis Obispo California County Supervisors recently. As reported in the San Luis Obispo Tribune, by a vote of 3-2, the county supervisors agreed to allow Almond Heights LLC to move forward on a development of 13 homes based upon a map that was recorded in 1896. The county counsel and planning director had argued that the old map was no longer valid, saying that their own research showed that at most the tract should be divided into six lots. The attorney for the developer pointed out that the map was recorded three years after California's first Subdivision Map Act, and therefore should be considered legally binding.

The board's validation of the old map is considered significant since the county estimates that there are hundreds of these, "antiquated subdivisions" throughout the county. Acceptance of these old maps as valid may greatly restrict the county's authority to impose newer land use restrictions on the properties.