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What's the Difference Between a Subdivision and a Partition?

· subdivisions,partitions,oregon land use

By: Will Van Vactor

Partitions and subdivisions are both types of land divisions. Oregon law defines a subdivision as the division of land to create four or more lots within a calendar year. ORS 92.010. Similarly, Oregon law defines a partition as the division of land to create not more than three parcels of land within a calendar year. ORS 92.010. The applicable statute provides a few exceptions to these basic definitions. Another difference is that new units of land created by partitions are referred to as "parcels", while new units of land created by subdivisions are called "lots."​

So, in short, the difference between a partition and a subdivision is the number of new lots or parcels that are created. A partition creates three or fewer parcels, while a subdivision creates four or more lots.

This distinction can be important because in many cases the requirements that apply to a partition will vary from what is required for a subdivision. Not surprisingly, most local land division ordinances put more of a burden on the developer seeking to develop a subdivision than a smaller partition.

Before dividing property (whether through a subdivision or partition), it is important to review ORS 92 and the local land division ordinance to make sure you understand the requirements that apply. Retaining an experienced surveyor to help layout the land division is also a good idea (and likely will be required).

Will Van Vactor has practiced law for over a decade and serves clients throughout Oregon. Will's practice focuses on land use and real estate. He works hard to understand his clients needs and to advocate on their behalf.

Van Vactor Law provides land use development services (including subdivisions and partitions).

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The information on this blog is for general informational purposes only. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.

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