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Planning and Community Development Department

  • Subdivisions

    To view the Subdivision Pasadena Municipal Code, click this link and go to Title 16

    What is a subdivision?

    A subdivision is any division of land into two or more parcels. All divisions of land, including the creation of air parcels for condominium purposes, are regulated by the State Subdivision Map Act. The Subdivision Map Act establishes the time period for a subdivision map to be recorded or expired. A tentative parcel map and a tentative tract map are both reviewed and approved by the Hearing Officer. A subdivision may be achieved by one of the following methods :

    a. Tentative Parcel Maps A division of land into four or fewer parcels requires a tentative parcel map.

    b. Tentative Tract Maps A division of land into five or more parcels requires a tentative and a final tract map. A tentative map is made for the purpose of showing the design and improvement of a proposed subdivision (The map need not be based on a detailed survey). However, a tentative map must comply with all requirements contained in Title 16, of the Pasadena Municipal Code.

    c. Vesting Maps A vesting map grants vested rights to proceed with a project in accordance with the ordinances, polices and standards in effect at the time the application for approval of the vesting tentative map is completed. A tentative tract map or parcel map may be filed as a vesting map. The map act requires the subdivider to print "Vesting Tentative Map" conspicuously on the face of the map.

    What is a lot line adjustment (Certificate of Exception)?

    A Certificate of Exception (lot Line adjustment) is the method by which a property line may be moved. between two or more adjacent parcels. The property line adjustment shall not create more lots than those that already exists.


    What is the subdivision process?

    All subdivision requests are heard by the Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer has the authority to make decisions on Parcel and Tract maps, Vesting Maps, and Certificates of Exception (lot line adjustments). The Hearing Officer meets three times a month to hear cases.

    The decisions of the Hearing Officer are appealable to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Appeals of a tract or parcel map must be filed within 10 days of the date of the Hearing Officer decision. Subdivision appeals are filed at the Permit Center. There is a fee for filing an appeal. 


    What is the environmental review requirement for subdivisions?

    In all subdivision requests, the Subdivision Division Committee must adopt or acknowledge an Environmental Determination. Some subdivision requests are exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). However, for those subdivision requests which are not exempt, an Initial Environmental Study must be completed. An environmental determination is made based on the Initial Environmental study which analyzes a wide range of potential environmental impacts. The Hearing Officer must adopt an environmental determination based on the findings of the Initial Environmental Study. The Hearing Officer must approve a Negative Declaration (a statement that there is not significant environmental impact) or, a Negative Declaration with Mitigation Measures (a statement that there are some potential impacts), but conditions of approval will significantly reduce these impacts; or, certify an Environmental Impact Report when there are significant impact created which cannot be mitigated. 

    1. Consult the staff at the Hale Building Permit Center, Current Planning window and obtain a subdivision application.
    2. Obtain a tentative map number from the Los Angeles County Public Works Department. This number should be stamped on each set of maps.
    3. Submit the subdivision application at the Hale Building Permit Center, Current Planning window . A public hearing to consider the subdivision application will be held by the Hearing Officer approximately two to three months after the application is deemed complete. The length of time varies depending on the environmental determination.
    4. After approval by the Hearing Officer prepare a final map which incorporates conditions of approval imposed by the Hearing Officer.
    5. Submit the final map to Los Angeles County Public Works Department for review. The final map must be prepared under the direction of a registered civil engineer or a licensed land surveyor and be based on an accurate survey.
    6. Submit the final map to the Pasadena Public Works Department for final review and approval. All final maps in which five or more parcels are created are submitted to City Council for final review and approval.
    7. Upon approval of the final map by the City Council (for parcel maps the Pasadena Department ofPublic Works and Transportation makes the final approval) submit the final map to the Los Angeles County Public Works Department for recordation.

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