Land Parcel Splits, Contiguous Parcels and Contiguous Lots Sale and Transfer of Title

Mid-American Title receives quite a few calls regarding Land Parcel Splits and the sale of those parcel.  We also receive many calls about selling contiguous parcels of land or lots that are vested (owned) by the same person(s) or entity.

The division of any parcel of land is regulated by the LAND DIVISION ACT  288 of 1967 passed by the State of Michigan and any amendments to the act since it was passed.  Below is the original act for a reference.  There have been amendments to the ACT and those should be researched and reviewed:

We cannot provide legal advice, but we certainly suggest the Landowner does not spend much time or any money until they talk to the township, village, city and sometimes the county where the property is located.  The approval process starts with them.  Eventually the landowner would need to have a new legal description for each and every parcel of land the new split creates, typically completed by a Professional Surveyor Licensed through the State of Michigan.

There are restrictions on how a parcel of land may be divided.  They include but is not limited to the number of previous land splits on the “Parent Land”, the original size of the “Parent Land”, the size of the parcels once the split has been completed, how long since the last parcel split and much more.

Beyond the size restrictions, there are Public Road access requirements and exceptions to those Public Road access requirements under certain circumstances and much more. 

Some things that need to be considered is the use of the parcels after the split.  What improvements if any are on the parcels and where are they located?  Will the parcel split be in compliance with any set-back restrictions?  Is the lot buildable as configured once the split is completed?  Are there any easements, title restrictions, encroachments, riparian rights that must be accounted for and much more? 

If the vested owner(s) have title to 2 or more lots or parcels, again the place to begin would be the township, village, city and sometimes the county.  While this may seem like a straightforward transaction, you may have issues based upon the location of improvements if any with regard to any setback requirements, building lot size requirements and more.

The governing body typically will be very responsive to your questions and guide you through the process.

Here is a nice overview you may also read from the Michigan State University Extension titled “Land Division Act basics for landowners:

Once you have done your legwork and the parcel is ready to be sold or transferred, Mid-American Title would facilitate that transaction and issue a Title Insurance Policy when we close the transaction for you and the new owner.

Okay, were done, let’s split!