What are the Laws Governing a Subdivision if it Was Originally Divided Before Zoning Was Ever Done?

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“I own roughly 30 acres with my brother that was left to us by a grandparent. We want to subdivide the property. It has been surveyed and a proposed split has been made. The property is part of a larger piece that was subdivided in 1988. My town didn’t have zoning til 1999. Am I still eligible for first cut if the original division was done prior to zoning?”

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I’ve never heard the term “first cut” before this question arose, but from my research I gather that some jurisdictions allow you to make one subdivision without the review process that would normally be required for a subdivision.

Since this is a matter of extremely local law (town or county level), it’s hard to make a general statement about it.  I would expect that first cut rights, if granted at all, would apply to the first cut after the regulation system is put in place.

But the only way to get a useful answer for your particular situation would be to refer to the local ordinances.  The department in charge of subdivisions in your town (usually the planning or zoning office, but could be called something else) should be able to answer the question for you with a phone call.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.