In real estate, a lot or plot is a tract or parcel of land owned or meant to be owned by some owner. A lot is considered a parcel of real property in some countries or immovable property in other countries. Possible owner of a lot can be one or more person or another legal entity, such as a company/corporation, government, or trust. A common form of ownership of a lot is called fee simple in some countries. A lot may be defined as a small area of land, empty except for pavement or similar improvement. An example would be a parking lot; this article covers lots as parcels of land meant to be owned as units by an owner. Like most other types of real estate, lots owned by private parties are subject to a periodic real estate tax payable by the owners to local governments such as a county or municipality; these real estate taxes are based on the assessed value of the real property. Other fees by government are possible for improvements such as curbs and sidewalks or an impact fee for building a house on a vacant lot.
A lot has defined boundaries which are documented somewhere, but the boundaries need not be shown on the land itself. Most lots are small enough to be mapped. A characteristic of the size of a lot is its area; the area is determined as if the land is flat and level, although the terrain of the lot may not be flat, i. e, the lot may be hilly. The contour surface area of the land is changeable and may be too complicated for determining a lot's area. Lots can come in various shapes. To be considered a single lot, the land described. Two separate parcels are considered two lots, not one. A lot is sized for a single house or other building. Many lots are rectangular in shape, although other shapes are possible as long as the boundaries are well-defined. Methods of determining or documenting the boundaries of lots include metes and bounds, quadrant method, use of a plat diagram. Use of the metes and bounds method may be compared to drawing a polygon. Metes are points. Bounds are line segments between two adjacent metes.
Bounds are straight lines, but can be curved as long as they are defined. When the boundaries of a lot are not indicated on the lot, a survey of the lot can be made to determine where the boundaries are according to the lot descriptions or plat diagrams. Formal surveys are done by qualified surveyors, who can make a diagram or map of the lot showing boundaries and the locations of any structures such as buildings, etc; such surveys are used to determine if there are any encroachments to the lot. Surveyors can sometimes place posts at the metes of a lot; the part of the boundary of the lot next to a road is the frontage. Developers try to provide at least one side of frontage for every lot, so owners can have transportation access to their lots; as the name implies, street frontage determines which side of the lot is the front, with the opposite side being the back. If the lot area is known, from the deed the frontage line can be calculated as depth by measuring the width. Sometimes minor unnamed driveways called alleys publicly owned provide access to the back of a lot.
When alleys are present, garages are located in back of a lot with access from the alley. When there are alleys, garbage collection may take place from the alley. Lots at the corners of a block are called corner lots. Corner lots may have the advantage that a garage can be built with street access from the side, but have the disadvantage that there is more parkway lawn to mow and more sidewalk to shovel snow from. In areas with large blocks, homes are sometimes built in the center of the block. In this situation, the lot will include a long driveway to provide transportation access; because the shape is reminiscent of a flag on a flag pole, these lots are called flag lots. Local governments pass zoning laws which control what buildings can be built on a lot and what they can be used for. For example, certain areas are zoned for residential buildings such as houses. Other areas can be agriculturally, or industrially zoned. Sometimes zoning laws establish other restrictions, such as a minimum lot area and/or frontage length for building a house or other building, maximum building size, or minimum setbacks from a lot boundary for building a structure.
This is in addition to building codes. Minimum lot sizes and separations must be met when wells and septic systems are used. In urban areas and water lines provide service to households. There may be restrictions based on covenants established by private parties such as the real estate developer. There may be easements for utilities to run water, electric power, or telephone lines through a lot. Something, meant to improve the value or usefulness of a lot can be called an appurtenance to the lot. Structures such as buildings, sidewalks, patios or other pavement, septic systems and similar improvements which are considered permanently attached to the land in the lot are considered to be real property part of the lot but parts of a building, such as condominiums, are owned separately; such structures owned by the lot owner, as well as easements which help the lot owners or users, can be considered appurtenances to the lot. A lot without such structures can be called a vacant lot, u
A city block, urban block or block is a central element of urban planning and urban design. A city block is the smallest area, surrounded by streets. City blocks are the space for buildings within the street pattern of a city, form the basic unit of a city's urban fabric. City blocks may be subdivided into any number of smaller land lots in private ownership, though in some cases, it may be other forms of tenure. City blocks are built-up to varying degrees and thus form the physical containers or'streetwalls' of public space. Most cities are composed of a lesser variety of sizes and shapes of urban block. For example, many pre-industrial cores of cities in Europe and the Middle-east tend to have irregularly shaped street patterns and urban blocks, while cities based on grids have much more regular arrangements. In most cities of the world that were planned, rather than developing over a long period of time, streets are laid out on a grid plan, so that city blocks are square or rectangular. Using the perimeter block development principle, city blocks are developed so that buildings are located along the perimeter of the block, with entrances facing the street, semi-private courtyards in the rear of the buildings.
This arrangement is intended to provide good social interaction among people. Since the spacing of streets in grid plans varies so among cities, or within cities, it is difficult to generalize about the size of a city block. However, as reference points for US cities, the standard square blocks of Portland and Sacramento are 264 by 264 feet, 330 by 330 feet, 410 by 410 feet respectively. Oblong blocks range in width and length; the standard block in Manhattan is about 264 by 900 feet. S. cities standard blocks are as wide as 660 feet. The blocks in Calgary, are 330 by 560 feet, while those in Edmonton, Canada are 197 by 560 feet; the blocks in central Melbourne, are 330 by 660 feet, formed by splitting the square blocks in an original grid with a narrow street down the middle. In Chicago and Minneapolis, Minnesota, a typical city block is 660 by 330 feet, meaning that 16 east-west blocks or 8 north-south blocks measure one mile. Many world cities have grown by accretion over time rather than being planned from the outset.
For this reason, a regular pattern of square or rectangular city blocks is not so common among European cities, for example. An exception is represented by those cities that were founded as Roman military settlements, that preserve the original grid layout around two main orthogonal axes. One notable example is Italy. Following the example of Philadelphia, New York City adopted the Commissioners' Plan of 1811 for a more extensive grid plan. By the middle of the 20th century, the adoption of the uniform, rectilinear block subsided completely, different layouts prevailed, with random sized and either curvilinear or non-orthogonal blocks and corresponding street patterns. In much of the United States and Canada, the addresses follow a block and lot number system, in which each block of a street is allotted 100 building numbers; the concept of city block can be generalized as a sub-block. A superblock or super-block is an area of urban land bounded by arterial roads, the size of multiple typically-sized city blocks.
Within the superblock, the local road network, if any, is designed to serve local needs only. Within the broad concept of a superblock, various typologies emerge based on the internal road networks within the superblock, their historical context, whether they are auto-centric or pedestrian-centric; the context in which superblocks are being studied or conceived gives rise to varying definitions. An internal road network characterised by cul-de-sacs is typical of auto-centric suburban development in Western countries throughout the 20th century; the Oxford Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture's definition is rooted within this suburban conception:“Area containing residential accommodation, schools, etc. with public open space, surrounded by roads and penetrated by cul-de-sac service-roads. It is linked to other super-blocks and a town centre by means of paths over or under the roads.”Though the aim of such superblocks is to minimise traffic within the superblock by directing it to arterial roads, the effect in many cases has been to entrench automobile dependence by limiting pedestrian permeability.
Superblocks can contain an orthogonal internal road network, including ones based on a grid plan or quasi-grid plan. This typology is prevalent in China, for example. Chen defines the supergrid and superblock urban morphology in this context as follows:“The Supergrid is a large-scale net of wide roads that defines a series of cells or Superblocks, each containing a network of narrower streets.”Superblocks can be retroactively superimposed on pre-existing grid plan by changing the traffic rules and streetscape of internal streets within the superblock, as in the case of Barcelona’s superilles. Each superilla comprises nine city blocks, with speed limits on the internal roads slowed to 10–20 km/h and through traffic disallowed, with through travel only possible on the perimeter roads. Superblocks were popular during the early and mid-20th century auto-centric suburban development, arising from modernist ideas in architecture and urban planning. Planning in this era was based upon the distance and speed scales for the automobi
In the United States, a plat is a map, drawn to scale, showing the divisions of a piece of land. United States General Land Office surveyors drafted township plats of Public Lands Surveys to show the distance and bearing between section corners, sometimes including topographic or vegetation information. City, town or village plats show subdivisions into blocks with alleys. Further refinement splits blocks into individual lots for the purpose of selling the described lots. After the filing of a plat, legal descriptions can refer to block and lot-numbers rather than portions of sections. In order for plats to become valid, a local governing body, such as a public works department, urban planning commission, or zoning board must review and approve them. A plat of consolidation or plan of consolidation originates when a landowner takes over several adjacent parcels of land and consolidates them into a single parcel. In order to do this, the landowner will need to make a survey of the parcels and submit the survey to the governing body that would have to approve the consolidation.
A plat of subdivision or plan of subdivision appears when a landowner or municipality divides land into smaller parcels. If a landowner owns an acre of land, for instance, wants to divide it into three pieces, a surveyor would have to take precise measurements of the land and submit the survey to the governing body, which would have to approve it. A plat of subdivision applies when a landowner/building owner divides a multi-family building into multiple units; this can apply for the intention of selling off the individual units as condominiums to individual owners. A short plat is the plat of a so-called "short subdivision" of land into no more than four parcels in the State of Washington, which provides for a more summary process for approval of such subdivisions. A correction plat or amending plat records minor corrections to an existing plat, such as correcting a surveying mistake or a scrivener's error; such plats can sometimes serve to relocate lot-lines or other features, but laws tightly restrict such use.
A vacating plat functions to void a prior plat or portion of a plat. The rules allow such plats only when all the platted lots remain unsold and no construction of buildings or public improvements has taken place. Other names associated with parcel maps are: land maps, tax maps, real estate maps, landowner maps and block survey system and land survey maps. Parcel maps, unlike any other public real estate record, have no federal, state or municipal oversight with their development. Designation of roads or other rights of way. Ensuring that all property has access to a public right of way. Without such access, a property owner may be unable to utilize his or her property without having to trespass to reach it; the platting process restricts the fraudulent practice of knowingly selling lots with no access to public right of way without revealing that such access does not exist. Creation or vacation of easements. Dedication of land for other public uses, such as parks or areas needed for flood protection.
Ensuring compliance with zoning. Zoning regulations contain restrictions that govern lot sizes and lot geometry; the platting process allows the governing authorities to ensure that all lots comply with these regulations. Ensuring compliance with a land use plan established to control the development of a city. Ensuring that all property has access to public utilities. Plats contain a number of informational elements: The property boundaries are indicated by bearing and distance; the bearing is in the format of degrees, seconds with compass point letters before and afterward to indicate the compass quadrant. For example, N 38 00 00 E is 38 degrees into the northeast quadrant or 38 degrees east of north. S 22 00 00 W is 22 degrees west of south. Note that north here is true north, so magnetic orientation must be corrected for magnetic declination; the certification note provides information on the surveyor and is the location where recent US plats place the flood survey code in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968.
The north arrow is familiar to most map readers The title block and lot numbers provide information specific to a development or land use plan An easement is indicated by a dashed line, although it is common to have to look them up in supplementary documents Streets are indicated by a graphical outline of the right of way, sometimes depicts the paved area. The creation of a plat map marks an important step in the process of incorporating a town or city according to United States law; because the process of incorporation sometimes occurred at a courthouse, the incorporation papers for many American cities may be stored hundreds of miles away in another state. For example, to view the original General Land Office plat for the city of San Francisco, filed in 1849, one must visit the Museum of the Oregon Territory in Oregon City, Oregon, as at that time Oregon City was the site of the closest federal land office to San Francisco. Lot and block survey system Plat of Zion The dictionary definition of plat at Wiktionary Media related to Survey drawings at Wikimedia Commons The U.
S. National Archives and Records Administration
A commuter town is a populated area with residents who work elsewhere, but in which they live and sleep. The term additionally implies a community that has little commercial or industrial activity beyond a small amount of locally oriented retail business. A commuter town may be called by many other terms: "exurb", "bedroom community", "bedroom town", "bedroom suburb", "dormitory town", "dormitory suburb", or, less "dormitory village". In Japan, a commuter town may be referred to with the wasei-eigo coinage "bed town". Suburbs and commuter towns coincide, but are not synonymous. Similar to college town, resort town and mill town, the term commuter town describes the municipality's predominant economic function. A suburb, in contrast, is a community of lesser size, political power and/or commerce comparative to a nearby community, of greater economic importance. A town's economic function may change, for example when improved transport brings commuters to industrial suburbs or railway towns in search of suburban living.
Some suburbs, for example Teterboro, New Jersey and Emeryville, remained industrial when they became surrounded by commuter towns. As a general rule, suburbs are developed in areas adjacent to a main employment center, such as a town or a city, but may or may not have many jobs locally, whereas bedroom communities have few local businesses, most residents who have jobs commute to employment centers some distance away. Commuter towns may be in rural or semi-rural areas, with a ring of green space separating them from the larger city or town. Where urban sprawl and conurbation have erased clear lines among towns and cities in large metropolitan areas, this is not the case. Commuter towns can arise for a number of different reasons. Sometimes, as in Sleepy Hollow, New York or Tiburon, California, a town loses its main source of employment, leaving its residents to seek work elsewhere. In other cases, a pleasant small town, such as Warwick, New York, over time attracts more residents but not large businesses to employ them, requiring denizens to commute to employment centers.
Another cause relevant in the American South and West, is the rapid growth of once-small cities. Owing to the earlier creation of the Interstate Highway System, the greatest growth was seen by the sprawling metropolitan areas of these cities; as a result, many small cities were absorbed into the suburbs of these larger cities. However, commuter towns form when workers in a region cannot afford to live where they work and must seek residency in another town with a lower cost of living; the late 20th century dot-com bubble and United States housing bubble drove housing costs in Californian metropolitan areas to historic highs, spawning exurban growth in adjacent counties. For example, most cities in western Riverside County, California can be considered exurbs of Orange County and Los Angeles County, California; as of 2003, over 80% of the workforce of Tracy, California was employed in the San Francisco Bay Area. A related phenomenon is common in the resort towns of the American West that require large workforces, yet emphasize building larger single-family residences and other expensive housing.
For example, the resort town of Jackson, Wyoming has spawned several nearby bedroom communities, including Victor, Driggs and Alpine, where the majority of the Jackson workforce resides. On Long Island, New York, many of the workforce who serve The Hamptons reside in communities more modest and more suburban than their workplace, giving rise to a daily reverse commuter flow from more dense to less dense areas. In certain major European cities, such as Berlin and London, commuter towns were founded in response to bomb damage sustained during World War II. Residents were relocated to semi-rural areas within a 50-mile radius, firstly because much inner city housing had been destroyed, secondly in order to stimulate development away from cities as the industrial infrastructure shifted from rail to road. Around London, several towns – such as Basildon, Crawley and Stevenage – were built for this purpose by the Commission for New Towns. In some cases, commuter towns can result from negative economic conditions.
Steubenville, for instance, had its own regional identity along with neighboring Weirton, West Virginia until the collapse of the steel industry in the 1980s. Combined with easier access to the much larger city of Pittsburgh via the Steubenville Pike and the Parkway West, Steubenville has shifted its marketing efforts to being a commuter town to Pittsburgh, as well as one with a lower cost of living in Ohio compared to tax-heavy Pennsylvania. In 2013, Jefferson County, Ohio was added to the Pittsburgh metropolitan area as part of its larger Combined Statistical Area. Where commuters are wealthier and small town housing markets weaker than city housing markets, the development of a bedroom community may raise local housing prices and attract upscale service businesses in a process akin to gentrification. Long-time residents may be displaced by new commuter residents due to rising house prices; this can be influenced by zoning restrictions in urbanized areas that prevent the construction of suitably cheap housing closer to places of employment.
The number of commuter towns increased in the US and the UK during the 20th century because of a trend for people to move out of the cities into the surrounding green belt. Commuter towns were developed by railway companies to create demand for their l
Recorder of deeds
Recorder of deeds or Deeds registry is a government office tasked with maintaining public records and documents records relating to real estate ownership that provide persons other than the owner of a property with real rights over that property. The offices with similar duties include registrar general, register of deeds, registrar of deeds, registrar of titles; the office of such an official may be referred to as the deeds registry or deeds office. In the United States, the recorder of deeds is an elected county office and is called the county recorder. In some U. S. states, the functions of a recorder of deeds are a responsibility of the county clerk, the official may be called a clerk-recorder or recorder-clerk. The recorder of deeds provides a single location in which records of real property rights are recorded and may be researched by interested parties; the record of deeds maintains documents recorded by the recorder of deeds, including deeds, mechanic's liens and plats, among others.
To allow full access to deeds recorded throughout the office history, several indexes may be maintained, which include grantor–grantee indexes, tract indexes, plat maps. Storage methods to record registry entries include paper and computer; the principles of statutory and common law are given effect by the recorder of deeds, insofar as it relates to vested ownership in land and other real rights. Because estate in land can be held in so many complex ways, a single deeds registry provides some clarity though it cannot "guarantee" those real property rights; the legal certainty provided by a title deed issued under the registration of the recorder of deeds is of great significance to all parties who hold, or wish to acquire rights in real property. Certainty of title is the basis for the investment of massive amounts of money in real estate development for residential, commercial and agricultural use each year; this is why the meticulous recording of registration information by the recorder of deeds is so important.
Each document recorded against title to real estate can be examined and the portion of the bundle of rights that it includes can be determined. These records can assist interested parties in researching the history of land and the chain of title for any property and purpose; the Registry of Deeds exists in all cities and municipalities in the Philippines and it has a primary duty of registering and keeping all documents pertaining to transfer of real property and issuance of certificates of land title, whether original, transfer or condominium as well as chattel mortgage papers. The said agency is under the supervision of Department of Justice; the South African system of deeds registry is unique in. When conveyancers transfer title, they are expected to follow rigid procedures which involve ensuring the title and the property comply with all the relevant legislation and regulations, leading to a high degree of certainty and accuracy. Recent concerns about the standard of legal education in South Africa, has raised concerns about whether this is still the case.
The South African Registrar of Deeds is responsible for the national system of deeds offices which, through a juristic foundation and long-standing practices and procedures, has the effect of “guaranteeing” title. The Deeds Registries Act and Sectional Titles Act are applied to regulate the deeds registry system, form the foundation of land registration in South Africa. In the U. S. most recorders of deeds are elected officials who serve the area of a county or equivalent jurisdiction. In some states, the recorder of deeds may act as a public posting place for documents that are not directly related to estates in land, such as corporate charters, military discharges, Uniform Commercial Code records, applications for marriage licenses, judgments. Deeds in a few states of the U. S. are maintained under some limited implementation of it. Other U. S. states maintain their deeds under common law. Frederick Douglass: Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, May, 1881–August, 1886 James Campbell Matthews: Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, August 1886–March, 1887 James M. Trotter: Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, March, 1887-February 1890 Blanche Kelso Bruce: Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, 1891–93 C. H. J. Taylor: Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, 1894-1896 Henry Plummer Cheatham: Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, 1897-1901 John C.
Dancy: Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, 1901-1910 Henry Lincoln Johnson: Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, 1910 William J. Thompkins: Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, March 1934 – 1944 Marshall L. Shepard: Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, 1944 – 1951 Joseph Montgomery: Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, 1785–94 Samuel P. Morrill: Register of Deeds for Franklin County, Maine, 1857–67 Hugh McLaughlin, Register of Deeds for Kings County, New York, for three consecutive terms from 1861 Charles E. Townsend: Register of Deeds for Jackson County, Michigan, 1886–97 William S. Vare: Recorder of Deeds for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1902–12 Edward Boland: Register of Deeds for Hampden County, Massachusetts, 1941–52 Carol Moseley Braun: Recorder of Deeds for Cook County, Illinois, 1988–92 Jesse White: Recorder of Deeds for Cook County, Illinois, 1993–99 Ry
Subdivision is the act of dividing land into pieces that are easier to sell or otherwise develop via a plat. The former single piece as a whole is known in the United States as a subdivision. If it is used for housing it is known as a housing subdivision or housing development, although some developers tend to call these areas communities. Subdivisions may be for the purpose of commercial or industrial development, the results vary from retail shopping malls with independently owned out parcels, to industrial parks. In the United States, the creation of a subdivision was the first step toward the creation of a new incorporated township or city. Contemporary notions of subdivisions rely on the Lot and Block survey system, which became used in the 19th century as a means of addressing the expansion of cities into surrounding farmland. While this method of property identification was useful for purposes of conveyancing, it did not address the overall impacts of expansion and the need for a comprehensive approach to planning communities.
In the 1920s, the Coolidge administration formed the Advisory Committee on City Planning and Zoning, which undertook as its first task the publication of The Standard State Zoning Enabling Act in 1926, model enabling legislation for use by state legislatures. This was followed by publication of the Standard City Planning Enabling Act in 1928; the SCPEA covered six subjects: the organization and power of planning commissions, directed to prepare and adopt a master plan. The SCPEA included the following definition: "Subdivision" means the division of a lot, tract, or parcel of land into two or more lots, sites, or other divisions of land for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale or of building development, it includes resubdivision and, when appropriate to the context, relates to the process of subdividing or to the land or territory subdivided. Attached to this definition was the following footnote: for the purpose of sale or of building development: Every division of a piece of land into two or more lots, parcels or parts is, of course, a subdivision.
The intention is to cover all subdivision of land where the immediate or ultimate purpose is that of selling the lots or building on them. The object of inserting a definition in the text of the act is to avoid the inclusion, within the planning commission's control, of such cases as a testator's dividing his property amongst his children, partners' dividing firm property amongst themselves on dissolution, or cases of that nature. A subdivision does not need to be sold, in whole or in part, for its resulting pieces to be considered separate parcels of land. A subdivision plat approved by a local planning commission, once recorded in a registry of deeds, is deemed to have created the parcels of land identified on the plat itself; the problem of testamentary division of property was identified by the SCPEA in the footnote to the definition of subdivision, but not clarified by it. In some jurisdictions, a testamentary division of property does not constitute a legal subdivision for purposes of separate conveyancing of the "subdivided" parcels.
Furthermore, the SCPEA's definition leaves ambiguous the notion of'building development' and whether the identification of multiple construction sites on a single parcel of land constitutes a subdivision subject to the review and approval authority of the planning commission. Interpretations of this vary among American jurisdictions. Subdivision developers may use an architect’s services only once, with the rest of the tract houses using the same master template: the resulting houses all look similar as in the above photograph of Markham, Ontario; the overall purpose of a subdivision is to create an environment conducive to overall development and sustained growth, with development defined as: … the design work of lot layout, the construction of drainage structures, the construction of buildings or public use areas, the planning and construction of public streets and public roads, the placement of public utilities. In the Philippines, subdivisions are areas of land that have been subdivided into individual residential plots.
Whereas some subdivisions comprise exclusive gated communities, others are demarcations denoting a specific neighborhood. Some subdivisions may conduct autonomous security, or provide basic services such as water and refuse management. Most subdivisions are governed by associations made up of members who are residents of the subdivision. In the Philippines, subdivisions are known as villages. In Alberta, subdivision is the dividing of a single parcel of land into two or more parcels, each to be given a separate title. Subdivision is used for existing lot line adjustments. Notwithstanding a few exceptional circumstances, subdivision approval and endorsement by the local municipality must always be received before the subdivision can be registered at the Land Titles Office and titles issued. Exceptions may occur with parcels of land that contain more than one quarter section, a river lot, a lake lot, or some settlement lots created prior to July 1, 1950. Condominium conversion Gated community Levittown, New York Homeowners' association Housing estate Severance Terraced house Tract housing Urban planning Urban sprawl Urbanization Zoning Standard State Zoning Enabling Act and Standard City Planning Enabling Act - American Planning Assoc
Public Land Survey System
The Public Land Survey System is the surveying method developed and used in the United States to plat, or divide, real property for sale and settling. Known as the Rectangular Survey System, it was created by the Land Ordinance of 1785 to survey land ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris in 1783, following the end of the American Revolution. Beginning with the Seven Ranges, in present-day Ohio, the PLSS has been used as the primary survey method in the United States. Following the passage of the Northwest Ordinance, in 1787, the Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory platted lands in the Northwest Territory; the Surveyor General was merged with the General Land Office, which became a part of the U. S. Bureau of Land Management. Today, the BLM controls the survey and settling of the new lands. Contrary to what some believe, the BLM does not manage the State Plane Coordinate System; the SPCS is managed by the National Geodetic Survey, known as the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Proposed by Thomas Jefferson to create a nation of "yeoman farmers", the PLSS began shortly after the American Revolutionary War, when the federal government became responsible for large areas of land west of the original thirteen states. The government wished both to distribute land to Revolutionary War soldiers in reward for their services, as well as to sell land as a way of raising money for the nation. Before this could happen, the land needed to be surveyed; the Land Ordinance of 1785 marks the beginning of the Public Land Survey System. The Confederation Congress was in debt following the Declaration of Independence. With little power to tax, the federal government decided to use the sale of the Western Territories to pay off American Revolutionary War debt; the Public Land Survey System has been expanded and modified by Letters of Instruction and Manuals of Instruction, issued by the General Land Office and the Bureau of Land Management and continues in use in most of the states west of Pennsylvania, south to Florida and Mississippi, west to the Pacific Ocean, north into the Arctic in Alaska.
The original colonies continued the British system of bounds. This system describes property lines based on local markers and bounds drawn by humans based on topography. A typical, yet simple, description under this system might read "From the point on the north bank of Muddy Creek one mile above the junction of Muddy and Indian Creeks, north for 400 yards northwest to the large standing rock, west to the large oak tree, south to Muddy Creek down the center of the creek to the starting point." In New England, this system was supplemented by drawing town plats. The metes-and-bounds system was used to describe a town of a rectangular shape, 4 to 6 miles on a side. Within this boundary, a map or plat was maintained that showed all the individual lots or properties. There are some difficulties with this system: Irregular shapes for properties make for much more complex descriptions. Over time, these descriptions become problematic as trees streams move by erosion, it wasn't useful for the large, newly surveyed tracts of land being opened in the west, which were being sold sight unseen to investors.
In addition this system didn't work until there were people on the ground to maintain records. In the 1783 Treaty of Paris recognizing the United States, Britain recognized American rights to the land south of the Great Lakes and west to the Mississippi River; the Continental Congress passed the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 to control the survey and settling of the new lands. The original 13 colonies donated their western lands to the new Union, for the purpose of giving land for new states; these include the lands that formed the Northwest Territory, Tennessee and Mississippi. The state that gave up the most was Virginia, whose original claim included most of the Northwest Territory and Kentucky, too; some of the western land was claimed by more than one state in the Northwest, where parts were claimed by Virginia and Connecticut, all three of which had claimed lands all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The first surveys under the new rectangular system were in eastern Ohio in an area called the Seven Ranges.
The Beginning Point of the U. S. Public Land Survey is located at a point on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border between East Liverpool and Ohioville, Pennsylvania, on private property. A National Historic Landmark marker commemorating the site lies on the side of a state highway 1,112 feet to the north of the point. Ohio was surveyed in several major subdivisions, collectively described as the Ohio Lands, each with its own meridian and baseline; the early surveying in Ohio, was performed with more speed than care, with the result that many of the oldest townships and sections vary from their prescribed shape and area. Proceeding westward, accuracy became more of a consideration than rapid sale, the system was simplified by establishing one major north-south line and one east-west line that control descriptions for an entire state or more. For example, a single Willamette Meridian serves both Washington. County lines follow the survey, so there are many rectangular counties in the Midwest and the West.
The system is in use in some capacity in most of the country. The territory under the jurisdiction of the Thirteen Colonies at the time of independence did not adopt the PLSS, with the exception of th