Final Maps & Parcel Maps

Final Maps and Parcel Maps are what convert a tentative subdivision map or tentative parcel map from a conceptual approval by the City’s Planning Commission into a legal subdivision of land.

Differences Between Maps


The difference between a Final Map and a Parcel Map is that a Final Map deals with a "major subdivision - five or more lots, and a Parcel Map deals with a "minor" subdivision - four or fewer lots. They are accurate maps that locate precisely the land being subdivided and depict exactly how that land is to be subdivided - how many lots will be created, what shape they will take, what rights-of-way and easements will be dedicated and the like.

Preparing a Final or Parcel Map


Final maps and parcel maps are prepared by licensed surveyors and certain registered civil engineers who have dual authorizations to practice both civil engineering and land surveying. Only individuals licensed to practice these activities in California may prepare Final Maps and Parcel Maps.

When Final Maps / Parcel Maps Are Required


Final Maps and Parcel Maps must be prepared and approved within the "life" of the tentative maps or tentative parcel maps they are converting into an actual subdivision of land. For most such tentative maps and tentative parcel maps the "life" is seven years - an initial two year approval and separate one year extensions thereafter (which must be applied for prior to the expiration of the previous approval or extension.) A Final Map or Parcel Map is required only if a subdivision of land is involved.

Approval of Final & Parcel Maps


Final Maps and Parcel Maps usually travel through the review and approval process in tandem with the Public Improvement Plans that detail the public and private improvements that are required to be constructed in conjunction with the subdivision. They’re not required to travel in tandem, but they usually do.

Whether they travel in tandem with Public Improvement Plans or not, Final Maps or Parcel Maps cannot be approved until after several other things take place:
  • The Public Improvement Plans must be approved
  •  A subdivision agreement between the city and the subdivider must be prepared, signed by the subdivider, and signed by the City Engineer on behalf of the City
  • Appropriate and sufficient security (usually in the form of bonds) must be posted by the subdivider
Then, and only then, can the Final Map or Parcel Map be sent to the City Council, it is accompanied by a report prepared by City staff explaining just what it is that the Council will be approving.

Once the City Council approves a Final Map or Parcel Map, the only significant step that remains is recording at the County Recorder’s Office. Once the map is recorded, the subdivision of land is an accomplished fact.

Fees


Fees for plan checking of Final Maps, Parcel Maps and Public Improvement Plans, and later inspection by the City of the installation of the required public improvements are established as follows:

Final Map Fees


For Final Maps (for subdivision of land into five or more lots) and associated improvement plans, the fee is on a per lot basis multiplied by the number of lots. The current per lot basis my be obtained from Engineering Development Services at 707-543-3200

Parcel Map Fees


For Parcel Maps (for subdivision of land into four or fewer parcels) and associated improvement plans, the fee is on a per lot basis multiplied by the number of lots, plus an amount equal to 5% of the estimated cost of all the improvements, public and private, as shown on the plans. The estimated cost is provided by the private engineer and verified by City staff. Again, the per lot fee basis is available from Engineering Development Services.

For improvement plans associated with a non-subdivision-style project, the fee is equal to 5% of estimated cost of all the improvements, public and private, as shown on the plans.

Collection of the fees takes place at different points in time as noted below:
  • For final maps, one-half of the fees are collected at the time of initial submittal of the improvement plans for checking and the other half is collected prior to approval of the map.
  • For parcel maps, the per lot amount is collected at the time of the initial submittal of the improvement plans and the 5% amount is collected prior to approval of the map.
  • For improvement plans associated with a non-subdivision style project, the entire fee is collected after approval of the plans, but prior to the return of the approved plans for blueline copying.