July 17, 2019

Parcel Map Waiver


Normally when land is subdivided, both a tentative and final map are required by the State Subdivision Map Act (Government Code Section 66410 et. seq.); however, when fewer than five (5) parcels will be created, a parcel map is allowed under State Law (Government Code Section 66426). As applied in Kern County, a parcel map also requires that a tentative and final map be processed; however, under the specific circumstances described below, a final map is not required. The requirement to waive the preparation and submittal of a final map results in the processing of a parcel map waiver and is authorized by State Law (Government Code Section 66428) and the procedures specified in Chapter 18.30 of the Kern County Land Division Ordinance.

The criterion for using the parcel map waiver process is fairly narrow. It can only be used in very specific circumstances, as follows:

  • Creation of parcels 40 acres, or larger and has approved access to a public street or highway; or
  • Creating lots within a recorded tract where all of the tract improvements have been constructed; or
  • Creation of commercial or industrial lots within a recorded tract or parcel map if the site is in a Type A area and all improvements have been constructed.

The parcel map waiver process does not involve the recording of a final map; instead, the lots are created by deed. A Certificate of Compliance is recorded that recognizes said deeds as describing lawfully created parcels resulting from the parcel map waiver process.


Applications for a parcel map waiver may be obtained at the Kern County Planning and Natural Resources Department public counter, mailed upon request, or downloaded from the Planning and Natural Resources Department website. Typically, a licensed land surveyor or registered civil engineer will submit the application on behalf of the property owner.

Once an application is submitted, we will review it 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) copy of a preliminary title report (less than ninety (90) days old);
  • Illustration showing the existing configuration and the proposed configuration, prepared by a land surveyor or civil engineer, licensed to survey in California;
  • 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. Parcel map waivers are usually exempt from the requirements of CEQA.


After a parcel map waiver application has been formally accepted as complete, the illustration is sent to several governmental agencies, utility companies, and the public for review and comment. A Notice of Opportunity for Public Hearing or a Notice for Public Meeting, when processed concurrently with a discretionary action, is sent to all of the property owners within 500 to 1,000 feet of the site and is published in the local newspaper. A parcel map waiver is not scheduled for a public hearing unless one is requested by the applicant or any other interested person or is processed concurrently with a discretionary action such as a zone variance, zone modification, or precise development plan, for which a public hearing is already required.

All of the 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 is prepared. The recommendation, along with copies of the comments received is known as the “Advance Report.” The Advance Report is sent to the applicant fifteen (15) days before final action is scheduled on the parcel map waiver. This time is provided so that the applicant can review the draft recommendation and discuss it with the Department or any commenting agency. Applicants are strongly encouraged to carefully read the Advance Report and contact the staff planner about any questions or concerns prior to the “action date” which is a predetermined date, when action is taken to conditionally approve or deny the parcel map waiver. At this point, if the parcel map waiver is approved, it is considered to be “tentatively approved.”

Conditions of approval must be satisfied before the Certificate of Compliance for the parcel map waiver can be recorded. Typical conditions of approval may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Road dedications;
  • Removal of obstructions;
  • Preparation and filing of a field survey
  • Water supply and sewage disposal approval;
  • Installation of street signs;
  • Payment of park fees; and
  • Floodplain requirements.

Once all of the conditions of approval have been satisfied and a copy of all required title work has been submitted to the Planning andNatural Resources Department, a Certificate of Compliance will be prepared for recordation. The Certificate of Compliance is a legal document certifying that the new parcels have been legally created. Title companies and financial institutions recognize a Certificate of Compliance as being verification of the legal parcel configuration.


An applicant can expect to receive a written response within thirty (30) days of submittal of the application for preliminary review. Once the application is deemed complete and formally accepted, action to conditionally approve or deny the waiver will occur within fifty (50) calendar days. Once a parcel map waiver is tentatively approved, processing of the Certificate of Compliance is variable. It is dependent upon you and your surveyor’s or engineer’s ability to satisfy the conditions of approval.

Once the Certificate of Compliance is recorded, the property is subdivided; the land division has occurred. It will often take several weeks for the County’s records (Assessor Maps, Surveyor’s case map, etc.) to be updated to reflect the new subdivision. The Department will mail a copy of the recorded Certificate of Compliance to the applicant and their representative. The 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.



The first step in subdividing land is to determine if such a proposal is feasible. Contact the Department to find the zoning and general plan designation for the site. This will determine if the land can be subdivided and the minimum lot size.

Upon determining that it is feasible to subdivide the land, the next step is to hire a licensed land surveyor or registered civil engineer to work with us to complete the land division.

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 parcel map waiver process.


FORM 710 (11/2016)

Posted in