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October 05, 2015
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Assessors Parcel Maps


Assessor Parcel Maps, also referred to as Parcel Maps, Tax Maps, Plat Maps or Assessors Maps, reflect the legal boundaries and dimensions of each parcel. A parcel is a piece of real property under a defined ownership, or it can be a lot in a subdivision. Local governments administer and legislate through the creation of and maintenance of land records that are associated with a parcel of land. Thus the parcel is often the vital administrative unit of local government. Parcel maps are developed and maintained at many levels of government such as Planning, Zoning & Building Department and by the private sector. The City or County may approve a parcel map when it meets the requirements of the general plan and all applicable laws and ordinances. The regulations governing the filing and processing of parcel maps are found in the state Subdivision Map Act and the local subdivision ordinance. In addition to other purposes, parcel maps primarily serve as the basis for land value assessments. Besides tax evaluation, many public and private organizations, as well as citizens utilize parcel data in a range of creative ways. Some universal examples are: administration, zoning, building and site development, flood control, lake and stream erosion management, dispute over boundary lines, disaster recovery plans, re-assessment of property for equitable taxation, supervision and regulation of public transportation and traffic, and buying and selling land. Parcel maps are also useful to attorneys, appraisers, assessors, realtors, financial planners, surveyors, engineers, and most utility corporations as a means to inventory land holdings and index land records.

From state agency planning commissions to private businesses reselling marketing data, needs are different and diverse yet all rely on the core parcel data collected by the municipality and maintained by the local government. Today the most commonly used parcel maps are local government tax parcel maps. Tax maps are designed for plotting, locating and describing properties linked to landowners, property tax bills, and other assessments. Because of these focused needs, tax maps tend to be more general in their representation of parcel locations and dimensions rather than a highly accurate illustration of legal landownership.

At times, a Parcel Map may be referred to as a Plat Map or a Plot Map. Those definitions are not completely accurate. A Plat is a plan or a map of a specific land area and generally entails a subdivision. A Plot is a diagram displaying the proposed or existing use of a specific parcel of land. To produce a well-designed Plat map or draw a Plot plan one needs to rely on the most recent Assessor’s Parcel Map for that and the neighborhood addresses. Other names associated with Parcel Maps are: Land Maps, Tax Maps, Real Estate Maps, Lot and Block Survey System and Land Survey Maps. Parcel maps, unlike any other real estate related records, have no federal or state oversight with their development. Federal government never supervised or sanctioned the development of parcel maps, and since this was done at the local level, all standards widely vary. Due to this devolution, certain controversy still exists with “parcel map” definitions and categorizations.

Parcel Maps, like other real estate filings are public record. Unlike property records accessible across the country, online search and retrieval of actual parcel maps is currently limited to some extent. This database completeness varies by State and by County, and before attempting to request a copy of a map you must check State/County Coverage to make sure it is available in your desired area. We are the largest online provider of assessors parcel maps in the nation.

The fee for obtaining a parcel maps is a per sheet charge. At times several maps may appear per query, depending on the book and map number of the parcel. Individual parcel or page numbers are commonly contained within parcel boundaries on the map. If more than one map exists for a specified property, a list of all available maps will be presented, and you will have an ability to select whatever you need; however it is not too common to have more than one map per single parcel. Not only you no longer need to go to the local County courthouse for parcel map retrieval, you do not even need to know the Assessor’s Parcel Number or the Block and Page number in order to request the copy. You can search with property address, APN, or even search statewide with a current owner name; that is all you need to do to instantly download all copies of maps for that piece of real estate directly to your computer.

The logic behind Assessor Parcel Maps: to provide an instant retrieval of the most recent parcel maps' copies online. This product is included in all of our Subscription Plans, and is offered either on its own and can be purchased independently, or sold as a supplemental purchase from an already-obtained property report. Parcel maps have no legal role in determining property ownership.

Types of Properties covered: residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, land, and all other available types of Real Estate Properties.

Contents of Assessor Parcel Maps: municipal map drawn to scale, displaying the divisions of a piece of land, the distance and bearing between survey corners, and at times including topographic or vegetation information. City, Town or Village plats also show subdivisions into blocks with numbered streets and alleys. Also dimensions and acreage on selected parcels and condominium unit numbers may be available in some areas. Complementary enhancement often splits blocks into individual lots, mainly for the purpose of marketing or developing the described lots; this is also known as subdivision.

Provided Data and Format: there is no compiled or gathered data – unlike traditional property records, Parcel Maps are simply digital reproductions of actual authentic documents, and as such are generally considered being as reliable and accurate as the originals. Please visit the sample page of a Parcel Map to review.

Most Parcel Maps are normally presented in a browser window as Portable Network Graphics (PNG) file format and require no software installation for viewing. The “Download” option will generate a full high resolution image using a Tagged Image File Format (TIFF). Due to printer and viewer variances in formatting and setting, these documents may not always display to scale.

Please Note: you must have software with TIFF viewing capabilities installed on your computer to be able to open and view downloaded Parcel Maps.

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