Basics and Uses for Subdivision Plats

When you deal with residential or commercial land surveying, you’re almost certain to be exposed to the term “plats” or “subdivision plats.” Meant to combine the words land and plot subdivision plats refer to maps of a given city, town or any smaller portion of land that’s been divided into the various property lots for that area.

At Diamond Land Surveying, we deal with subdivision plats regularly when it comes to our property and boundary surveying services. They’re some of the most basic guides available for simple information regarding basic properties, including the data we need to accurately survey your plot of land. Let’s go over the various elements that will be included on a subdivision plat, and why each piece is important.

subdivision plats


The first and simplest thing a subdivision plat will list is the basic dimensions of the lots in the area that’s being covered. This area will usually be a village or smaller town size, though this can vary depending on several factors. Each lot will be labeled with specific bearings and distances for measurement – these allow our surveyors to get the basic outline of the lot and define its size and specific location in the area.

Building Lines

Subdivision plats don’t only include the land itself – they also include basic building line setbacks and side yards as part of their standard information. These are both written and visualized in most cases, and are determined in advance by planning and zoning groups.


In addition, subdivision plats will contain information on easements. They will list all of the utility companies present for this area, even if they’re only involved in one small portion of the designated mapped space or even just a single property. From here, plats will also list rights of easement use on any lots located even partially within the subdivision or town.

On top of this, subdivision plats state the width and location of the easements on each lot. In some cases, these will be previously existing easements already in place from previous planning and zoning. In most, though, they will have been newly set by planning and zoning.

Street Info and Right of Way

And finally, subdivision plats will contain all the information we might need on surrounding streets and locations for the area. They will state legal street names as defined by the city or municipality, plus things like street width and location. This will make referencing larger areas within the plat much simpler.

In most cases, record plats for a subdivision are the baseline for surveying. They can be obtained through any local Recorder of Deeds office at your county courthouse – we’re happy to go through yours with you and explain what it tells you about your property and surrounding properties alike.

For more on subdivision plats, or to learn about any of our land surveying services, speak to the pros at Diamond Land Surveying today.