Realty Subdivisions

A realty subdivision is created when a parcel of land is divided up or lots are sold from it. The Chautauqua County Health Department administers Article 11, Title II of the New York State Public Health Law, Article 17, Title 15 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, and Part 74 of the New York State Sanitary Code. These laws state that a realty subdivision means any tract of land which is divided into five or more parcels for sale or rent as residential lots.

Subdivision Regulations
A tract of land constitutes a subdivision upon the sale, rental, or offer for sale or lease of the fifth residential lot within any three consecutive year period. Parcels that are greater than five acres in area are excluded from being considered residential lots. Subdivisions require approval by the Health Department and must be filed with the County Clerk's Office prior to the sale or offering for sale of lots.

Water Regulations
Subdivisions may be developed with either individual water and/or sewage systems or with community water and/or sewage systems. However, Part 74 requires that community water systems must be provided if a subdivision consists of 5 lots or more or if individual wells cannot provide a yield of 5 gallons per minute or more. The water must be of potable quality and wells cannot adversely affect neighboring wells.

Sewage Regulations
Community sewage systems are required if the subdivision consists of 5 lots or more or if the soil percolation rate is lower than 60 minutes per inch. Only subsurface leaching systems utilizing a septic tank may be used for individual systems. There are other requirements contained in Part 74 that a potential developer should review.

Local Regulations
Local municipalities (towns and villages) also have subdivision regulations, building codes, and zoning that affect how property may be developed. Local regulations are separate and may differ from state regulations. Neither state nor local regulations supersede each other and both must be complied with.

Dividing or Selling Property
Any person considering selling lots or dividing property should contact the local municipality and the Chautauqua County Environmental Health Services, at 716-753-4481, to discuss these requirements.