Usage of Michigan Land Act 0f 1997 rules
I bought a tract of land in Livingston County, Michigan in 2008 that consists of three separate parcels, each has a Tax ID # and I’ve been paying property taxes based on three separate tax bills since I purchased the property. My question involves determining the number of splits and parcels I have available under the Michigan Land Act of 1997. Is it legal under the LDA of 97 to consider each parcel separately and add those results together to determine the legal number of parcels that I can subsequently sell? As background, two of the three parcels were created in 1994 and the third in 2000.
Livingston County Michigan zoning and land use regulation
In order to determine the number of allowable divisions, you must first know what the parent parcel(s) was as of March 31, 1997. It is true that parent parcels that share a common boundary and are under the same ownership can be considered a single parcel for purposes of calculating the allowable number of divisions (this is not true for determining redivisions of divisions). Once the maximum number of divisions is established, then you need to know how many divisions have already been created from the parent parcel (including your own) and how many unallocated divisions have been transferred to your parcels (assuming your parcels are divisions, not parent parcels).
You describe that two of your parcels are parent parcels (those in existence since 1994). For the third, you have redivisions available to you and may also have unallocated divisions. Redivisions become available 10 years after a division is created and recorded with the County Register of Deeds. Unallocated divisions can be sold with land and your deed for the one parcel should show whether divisions were transferred from the parent.
The number of divisions or redivisions available is based on the size of the parcel. The numbers are established in the statute – the Land Division Act, PA 288 of 1967, as amended.
You may wish to read this article Land Division Act basics for landowners. This whole process can become a splitting headache, and you are strongly encouraged to talk to your zoning administrator or assessor (whoever is in charge of reviewing land division applications). This individual should have good records of the parent parcels in the community as they existed on March 31, 1997, plus divisions that have occurred since that date.