When most people hear the word subdivision, they think of a large tract of land being divided for a housing development. The Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code requires that municipalities follow certain procedures to “subdivide” land. This can involve anything as simple as moving a lot line on two adjoining properties, selling additional land to your neighbor, or creating a new lot to be sold.

Although not required by law, the very first step to take is to contact the Municipal Office regarding any planned subdivision. A sketch plan should be made illustrating how you want to divide the land. Size (acreage), shape, length and width of parcel should be shown. This sketch should be reviewed by the Planning Commission. This step will make sure that the proposed subdivision meets the regulations, prior to paying a surveyor to create the maps. This will save you money, should something need to be changed to meet the regulations.

If you are considering selling a lot for residential construction, it is best to know if the area you wish to sell will pass for a septic system. All septic permits and regulations are handled through the Erie County Health Department.

During the following reviews, a copy of the reviewed map will be left with each agency.

After the maps are created and notarized by the property owners, the maps are taken to Erie County Planning Department for review. At the same time, two copies of the map are taken to the Erie County Health Department for their review and verbal approval to the Erie County Planning Department.

Once Erie County Planning has completed their review, the maps are brought to the Municipal Office. The Planning Commission reviews and signs the maps at their next scheduled meeting. The Board of Supervisors then approves and signs at their next scheduled meeting.

After approval of the Board of Supervisors, the maps are taken to the Erie County Records Office to be recorded.

After they are recorded, the remaining maps are taken to the property owner’s attorney in order to prepare the new deeds and transfer the property.

The whole process of subdividing land can take anywhere from two to six months. This depends on how long the surveyor takes and how the reviews of all the agencies fall in line with the scheduled meetings.

Fees are charged by each of the agencies for review, and also for recording of the maps.