What is a plat and how is it different from a property owner’s map?
A plat is drawing of specific property that has been subdivided for sale or transfer of ownership prepared by a certified land surveyor including the boundaries of the overall property and the dividing lines of each lot within the overall boundary. The governing body (i.e. Walton County Board of County Commissioners), reviews and accepts this "plat" for recording in the public records (i.e. Clerk of Court), in accordance with the Florida Statutes. After the plat is recorded, the lots or units may be sold or title transferred to new owners. A "property owner’s map," however, is a drawing prepared under the regulations and authority of the property appraiser's office by transfer of property by deed. However, a significant difference is that a parcel drawn on the "property owners map" as one parcel (because it is under one ownership and thus one tax identification number) may actually be two or more "lots," thus creating some disparity or confusion on actual property limits or boundaries. For this reason, individuals researching ownership and boundaries of property should look to both the Clerk of Court and the Property Appraiser offices for information.
How do you plat, or subdivide, your property?
Before a person can plat their property, a few items must be decided. First, are you changing one piece of property into two? Then you may wish to pursue a "lot split." (See list to left) Second, are you planning to subdivide property into three or more lots? If so, please contact the Planning Department to discuss a "development order" granting the development of a subdivision. This approval includes roads for access to the newly created lots, stormwater plans to handle stormwater runoff, buffers, setbacks, state and federal permits as necessary, and other related required guidelines. Third, if you have the development order and would like to proceed so that you can sell your lots, a plat may be prepared and submitted to the Planning Department for review. A pre-application conference is required.