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California Subdivision Map Act

The California Suddivision Map Act vests regulation and control of the design and improvement of subdivisions in the legislative bodies of local agencies. This means that subdivisions must be approved by local agencies, generally either City or County depending on whether the property is inside City limits or not.

The local entity is generally considered a lead agency in the sense that State & Federal agencies often have jurisdiction over development of real estate. For instance the Federal Endangered Species Act often comes into play when developing vacant land in which case the US Fish & Wildlife service would take jurisdiction. If a property has a wetland on it the Army Corp of Engineers enforcing jurisdiction over “navigable waters” & the US Clean Water Act would have jurisdiction.

California State agencies also have various jurisdictions under both Federal law & various California water codes.

In California “final maps” and “parcel maps” may be filed for record in the office of the county recorder. A parcel map is a minor subdivision that has four of fewer lots. A final map or major subdivision a tentative map first but a parcel map doesn’t.

The Subdivision Map Act provides for but also puts limitations on dedications required for

The Subdivision Map Act also talks about Mitigation Fees which are covered more in depth in the Mitigation Fee Act.

The local agency may establish reasonable fees for the processing of tentative, final and parcel maps and for other procedures required or authorized by this division or local ordinance, but the fees shall not exceed the amount reasonably required by such agency to administer the provisions of this division. The fees shall be imposed pursuant to the Mitigation Fee Act, consisting of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 66000), Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 66010), Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 66012), Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 66016), and Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 66020) of Division 1.