Lot Line Adjustment
WHAT IS A LOT LINE ADJUSTMENT (LLA)?
A lot line adjustment is the process that is used to change property lines of existing parcels. The process can be used to do a number of things, such as: combine up to four (4) adjacent parcels into one (1) parcel, alter the boundary between up to four (4) parcels, or reconfigure the shapes of up to four (4) parcels. In every instance, the lot line adjustment process will yield the same number of parcels that you began with, or fewer. The lot line adjustment process is not used to create additional parcels.
The legal requirements that apply to lot line adjustments can be found in both State Law (Section 66412.d-California Government Code) and the County Ordinance (Chapter 18.35-Kern County Land Division Ordinance). Only conditions of approval required to ensure conformity with the County’s Zoning regulations (Title 19- Kern County Zoning Ordinance Code), adopted Building Codes (Title 17- Kern County Ordinance Code), and conformity with the applicable General Plan are improved through the County’s lot line adjustment process. While road improvements are not typically required for a lot line adjustment, all of the affected parcels must have recorded public or private access.
WHAT ARE THE SUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A LOT LINE ADJUSTMENT?
Applications for a lot line adjustment may be obtained at the Planning and Natural Resources Department public counter, mailed upon request, or downloaded from the department website. A licensed land surveyor or registered civil engineer will submit the application on behalf of the property owner, as state law requires that new legal descriptions must be pre-pared by one of these professionals. Once an application is submitted to the Department, it is reviewed to determine if it is complete. An application package will consist of the following:
Application form, signed by the owners and agent/representative;
One (1) copies of a preliminary title report (less than ninety (90) days old);
llustrations showing the existing configuration of the proposed configuration, prepared by a land surveyor or engineer licensed to survey in California (required by local ordinance) and state law;
A legal description of each new lot, prepared by a land surveyor or civil engineer;
Hazardous Waste Site Verification Statement; and
Preliminary review fee.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that an environmental study be prepared for some types of projects. Lot line adjustments are normally exempt from the requirements of CEQA.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE APPLICATION IS ACCEPTED AS COMPLETE?
Under normal circumstances, the lot line adjustment process does not require any public hearings or notifications. As such, the processing of this kind of request is very quick. Once the application is determined to be complete, processing fees will be requested.
The Department will next request that the County Surveyor review the proposed legal description. If the legal description is satisfactory and everything else is in order, a Notice of Decision (letter) will be sent to your representative informing them of our action. That notice will contain conditions of approval that must be met in order to obtain a Certificate of Compliance. At this point, your lot line adjustment is approved (in concept). However, the lot lines are not yet adjusted.
In cases where a development variation or discretionary action is required in conjunction with the lot line adjustment, processing times are extended due to agency review list and public notification requirements.
Typical conditions of approval require that you: submit an updated preliminary title report (less than ten (10) days old), record a deed creating the newly configured parcels, and modify and re-record any deeds of trust affecting the property so that they reflect the new configuration.
Once all of the conditions of approval have been satisfied, this Department works with your title company to coordinate the recording of all the necessary documents. The Certificate of Compliance is a legal document certifying that the newly configured parcels have been legally created. Title companies and financial institutions recognize a Certificate of Compliance as being verification of the legal parcel con-figuration.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PROCESS A LOT LINE ADJUSTMENT?
Over-the-counter processing is offered for proposed lot line adjustments containing parcels/lots that were previously included in a lot line adjustment, were created through the recordation of a parcel map waiver, parcel map, or tract map, or have a recorded Certificate or Compliance issued by the County of Kern. If there is a question with regard to the legality of the parcels involved, the existence of legal access to the site, or if the proposal requires the processing of a development variation of discretionary action, the lot line adjustment cannot be approved over the counter.
For simple lot line adjustments that do not qualify for over-the-counter processing, you should expect an initial written response within 30 days of the submittal of the application for preliminary review. Once the application is complete and the processing fees have been paid, a simple lot line adjustment takes about eleven (11) working days to obtain a Notice of Decision. Due to the shortened processing time frame, no advance report is prepared. Instead, copies of the agency comments received during the review period are included with the Notice of Decision.
In cases where a development variation or discretionary action is required in conjunction with the lot line adjustment, once the processing fees have been paid and the application is deemed complete, it requires approximately fifty (50) days to obtain the Notice of Decision or to be heard at the Director’s Hearing, where the action is taken. The illustrations are sent to several government agencies, utility companies, and the public for review and comment. A Notice of Opportunity for Public Hearing or Notice of Public Hearing, when processed concurrently with a discretionary action, is sent to all property owners within 500 feet or 1,000 feet of the site, depending on existing lot sizes in the area, and is published in the local newspaper.
Comments received during the review period are compiled by the Planning and Natural Resources Department and a list of recommended conditions of approval and recommended findings are prepared. The recommendation, along with copies of the comments received, known as the “Advance Report”, is forwarded to the applicant’s engineer/surveyor approximately fifteen (15) days before final action is scheduled on the lot line adjustment. This time is provided to that the applicant can review the draft recommendation and discuss it with the Department or any commenting agency. Applicants are strongly suggested to carefully read through the Advance Report and contact the Staff planner about any questions, or concerns prior to the action date. On a predetermined date, a Notice of Decision is issued or a hearing is held to conditionally approve or deny the lot line adjustment. At this point, if the lot line adjustment is approved, it is considered to be “tentatively approved”.
Upon verification that all the conditions of approval have been satisfied, a minimum of one (1) week is needed to prepare the Certificate of Compliance for recording.
AFTER THE LOT LINE ADJUSTMENT IS APPROVED AND RECORDED, WHAT HAPPENS?
The lots are legally reconfigured upon recordation of the deeds and the Certificate of Compliance. It will take several weeks for the county’s records (Assessor’s maps, Surveyor’s case maps, etc.) to be updated to reflect the new parcel configuration. This Department will mail a copy of the recorded Certificate of Compliance to the applicant and their representative. That document is your verification that the process is complete. The original Certificate of Compliance is kept on file by the Planning and Natural Resources Department. If you should need a copy, one can be easily obtained.
Please telephone (661) 862-8600 and ask to speak to a planner assigned to the Land Division Unit if you have any questions regarding the lot line adjustment process.
FORM 717 (12/2016)