A Subdivision is the division of property into lots or parcels either on an existing roadway or a new roadway.
The demand for affordable single-family properties as well as multi-family homes has recently gone through an all-time low. However, recent activity indicates an increase in new single family home construction, which hopefully will continue. The commuter rail lines from Boston to the South Shore are in the process of being extended to Fall River and New Bedford. This will have a positive impact on the need for residential land development. Land that once was considered to be marginal is now being more closely evaluated and subsequently developed. P.M.P. Associates, LLC provides their clients with a logical, phased approach to the transformation of a tract of land into residential subdivisions (conventional, cluster and affordable - Chapter 40B). Critical issues, such as wetlands, stormwater management and sanitary wastewater disposal need to be addressed as a first step. The site constraints / limitations are evaluated in conjunction with local, state and federal regulations to establish a concept plan for site development. In general, the steps required to develop land into a residential subdivision include, but are not limited to, the following:
Due Diligence Reviews
P.M.P. Associates, LLC also offers a service referred to as due-diligence reviews. This service is typically provided to developers, lenders and attorneys who desire a cost efficient, pre-purchase evaluation to confirm the development feasibility of a particular property. While there are no guarantees associated with the review, nor is the review a legal opinion, the due-diligence review report provides a higher level of information associated with a specific land development project.
Typical Due Diligence reviews include the following:
- Analysis of Zoning Regulations affecting the property
- Soil suitability analysis based on published reports or available Board of Health testing
- Review of subdivision regulations, site plan regulations, Board of Health requirements and other local by-laws and regulations impacting the property
- Utility availability to service the parcel
- Assessment of wetland resources on or adjacent to the site
- Assessment of available GIS mapping
- Each review typically includes a site walk for the purpose of identifying the potential constraints to development
- If appropriate, recommendations for specific further evaluation may be made as part of due-diligence reviews
The creation of a land development Subdivision Concept Plan is the result of the combined efforts of our civil engineering staff, under the direction of our Professional Civil Engineer, Michael Perrault. Development concept plans generally include alternatives which are presented and explained to our clients for their consideration and approval.
Generally, your property deed is used to prepare a worksheet plan of the perimeter of your land, since not all deeds make a reference to a detailed property survey plan (this is especially true in New England). The local Zoning requirements and subdivision regulations are applied to create a concept plan. This plan can include other general information such as wetlands, general topography and available plan data. The "conceptual plan" is an important, low cost, planning tool and, at this stage, general initial budget numbers can be established for the two major components, Engineering / Permitting and Construction.
For larger projects, aerial photogrammetric mapping can be used for the existing features / topographic survey. For projects that will require on-site wastewater disposal systems, soil evaluations / percolation testing
are also performed.
Preliminary Subdivision Plan
In order to prepare the Preliminary Plan, the perimeter of your property needs to be determined, the physical features and topography surveyed as well as the locations of the wetlands. The local Zoning and Subdivision Regulations evaluated and applied in the design of the subdivision roadway layout and lots. The Preliminary Plan also needs to show, in a general manner, the public water supply, storm drainage, etc. The local planning agency will schedule a formal meeting to discuss the Preliminary Plan.
The Preliminary Subdivision Plan submission packages prepared by P.M.P. Associates, LLC are specifically formatted for conversion and use in preparing the Definitive Subdivision phase drawings.
Definite Subdivision Plan
The Definitive Subdivision Plan step is where all the formal design plans are created for your land development project. There are multiple drawings / plans that make up the Definitive Subdivision Plan. There is a plan created for the geometry of the roadways and lots (this is the plan that gets recorded at the Registry of Deeds), a plan showing the existing and proposed topography, a plan & profile for the roadways, a plan & profile for utilities not within a roadway layout, and a series of plans showing details for the road and utility construction. The layout design for the various utilities (infrastructure) is presented on these plans. Also included on separate documents are lot & roadway geometry calculations, drainage calculations and specific environmental reports mandated by local planning agencies.
P.M.P. Associates, LLC provides our clients with a professional in-house staff and qualified sub consultants to assist them with this process. For further information regarding our professional services, e-mail us or call our office at (508) 378-3421. You can also find more detailed information about residential land development on our Civil Engineering Blog.