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Arizona developers seek to avoid subdivision violations

Arizona real estate transactions are best made after careful thought and planning. This is especially true with subdivision planning, for which development agreements must comply with specific legal requirements.

Under Arizona law, a subdivision is land that has been divided for the purpose of financing, sale or lease into a minimum of four lots or parcels. The land may be improved or unimproved. If the division involves a new street, the development is considered a subdivision if the relevant property has been divided into two or more lots or parcels.

Condominiums, community apartments, townhouses or other cooperative living arrangements that involve four or more parcels may also qualify as subdivisions. This occurs if there is both an undivided interest in the land, as well as the right of exclusive occupancy of the unit on the land.

Before proceeding with a subdivision and planned area development, a developer ought to consider Arizona law’s specific requirements, as a violation could prove frustrating and time-consuming. It is essential that a final plat that meets Arizona statutory requirements is recorded in the appropriate county office before a sale or lease of any portion of a subdivision occurs. Failure to do so is considered a violation of Arizona law. There are exceptions to allow certain sales, however, if a parcel is offered for sale or lease under the terms of subdivision regulations or other laws in effect at the time the subdivision was established.

A developer who is considering the development of a subdivision, or who is already in the midst of the development project, may wish to consult with legal counsel about his or her rights and responsibilities under Arizona law. This brief overview of subdivision requirements in Arizona is not meant to be exhaustive but is rather informative on the topic. Each developer will need to consider the particular facts of his or her development and plans.

Source: Arizona State Legislature, “9-463.02,” accessed Nov. 27, 2015


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