The act of separating two or more existing lots of record is known as a tax parcel division. This action is carried out by Hennepin County but requires the review and approval of the City.
Properties consisting of two or more lots of record often share one County-issued Property Identification (PID) number. Separating the lots allows multiple PIDs to be assigned and, therefore, the potential sale and/or development of the property to go forward. Since these lots are existing lots of record, they have a "grandfathered" status and can be used to support new housing even if they are smaller than the minimum size required today for new lots created through a subdivision process.
Any property owner looking to divide a tax parcel must submit an application to the Physical Development Department for review. This requires the owner to provide information about the location of any structures currently on the property. If through the division of the tax parcel, a structural nonconformity would be created with respect to setbacks or other zoning regulations, the structure(s) must be brought into conformance before approval through modification or removal.
Finally, upon completion of the review, the City will mail a notification to all property owners within 250 feet of the subject property indicating that the tax parcel division has been approved.
In most cases, the division of a property into one or more lots is followed by a sale and the construction of at least one new home. This might occur on a vacant lot or following the demolition of an existing home. The City has regulations to protect adjacent properties throughout the demolition and construction process (see Tear Down and Rebuild above).