The purpose of the Determination of Status process is to
assist applicants in obtaining accurate information of the legal status of
parcels. If a parcel was legally created and the necessary documentation can
be supplied to the Planning Division to demonstrate its creation, then the
Humboldt County Planning Division will recognize the parcel as legal and
document our records accordingly. If the parcel was not legally created, the
Determination of Status process will provide notice of this determination, and
Planning Division staff will advise the owner of their remedies as provided in
Article 2, Chapter 7 of the State Subdivision Map Act (Government Code Section
66499.32 et seq.). This may involve issuance of a Conditional Certificate of
The determination involves the legal status of the parcel only.
No guarantee that the parcel has suitable access or is suitable for
development will be given in the determination of status process.
A. Application Requirements
1. Completed application on forms provided by the
2. Filing fee deposit in accordance with the
adopted County Fee Schedule (The deposit shall include an application
fee for the first parcel and additional fees for adjacent parcels
under review). This fee is a deposit, and any additional costs will be
billed at the Planning Staffs' burdened hourly rates.
3. Plot plan identifying the parcel or parcels in
question and any improvements that may exist on-site.
4. Copy of the title document(s) or map(s) that
created the parcel(s) in question. A chain of title is required unless
waived by the Department1.
5. A map identifying the parcels described in the
title documents. Each title document must be mapped clearly and must
include all of the property described in that document, (even if not
included in the subject property boundaries).
6. Copy of the current deed applicable to the
7. Copy of an Agricultural Preserve Contract if
8. A statement demonstrating proof of ownership
under penalty of perjury, or existence of a contract for sale, also
documented under penalty of perjury.
1 A chain of title is usually obtained where numerous
conveyances involving the property have occurred over time and a clear
picture of the changes in the property description cannot be readily
ascertained from the available deed information. Waiver of chain of
title report may be granted by the Planning Division where few
conveyances have occurred and the description of the property has
remained unchanged as reflected in deed information furnished by the
applicant and/or title company. Waiver requests are reviewed on a case
by case basis.
B. Processing Procedures
Upon receipt of a complete application, the Planning
Division will make a determination of the property's legal status. The
property will be determined to be a separate legal parcel if the following
conclusions can be made:
1. The subject property was created in compliance with
the applicable subdivision regulations in effect at the time of the
parcel's creation; and
2. The subject property was not subject to a subsequent
survey map with the purpose of creating parcels; and
3. The subject property was not subject to merger in
accordance with Section 66451.301 of the Subdivision Map Act and the
Countyís subdivision regulations; and
4. The subject property was not subject to voluntary
merger initiated by the owner through the Planning Department.
Provided that items 1 through 4 can be met, staff will
notify the applicant that the subject parcel is considered a separate legal
parcel and will record a Certificate of Compliance as provided below. If,
however, parcel was created in violation of the Subdivision map Act and local
subdivision regulations, the applicant will be so notified and the Planning
Department will record a "Conditional Certificate of Subdivision
Compliance" for the parcel. Prior to the filing of this Conditional
Certificate of Compliance with the Recorder, an appeal of the Directorís
administrative action may be filed as provided in Part D below.
Once a determination of separate legal status has been
made, the State Subdivision Map Act (SMA) requires the County to officially
record the documentation. Document review and recording fees will be collected
at the time of application for this purpose. If the parcel is found to be
separate and created in compliance with provisions of the State Subdivision
Map Act and local subdivision regulations, a document called a "Certificate
of Subdivision Compliance" is recorded. If the property is
separate but found not to have been created in compliance with the provisions
of the State Subdivision Map Act and local subdivision regulations (e.g., deed
transferred but without prior approval of a subdivision map by the Planning
Commission), a document called a "Conditional Certificate of
Subdivision Compliance" is recorded. If the applicant was the owner
at the time of the subdivision violation, the County may condition the
certificate with any requirements applicable to the current division of the
property. If not, the conditional certificate may include only those
conditions which would have applied to the division at the time the owner
acquired his/her interest in the parcel. The Planning Division will provide
the applicant a copy of the conditions upon completion of the determination.
D. Appeal Procedures
An appeal of Administrative Action may be filed within ten
(10) calendar days of the Planning Division's determination. A party may
appeal the determination of legal status and/or the conditions applied to the
conditional certificate of compliance by the County. This appeal, when
accompanied by the applicable fees, will be scheduled to the Humboldt County
An Appeal of the Planning Commissionís action may be made
within ten (10) calendar days of the Commission's determination to the Board
of Supervisors. The appeal shall be accompanied by the applicable fees.
If you have any questions about the application
requirements or processing procedures, you may contact the Planning Division
at 445-7541 for additional information.