Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

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Aug 27, 2009
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Aug 26, 2009
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How-To,FAQ

Certificate of Compliance FAQ

Will my certificate of compliance application be handled differently from normal procedures if my parcel is found to have been created in violation of the applicable subdivision laws existing when the parcel was created?

The Department will do a title chain search of your parcel, and if the parcel is found to be created in violation of State or County subdivision laws, the Department will issue you a Conditional Certificate of Compliance, which is to say that the property owner must fulfill the conditions (usually dedications of rights-of-way) prior to effectively having their parcel designated a legal lot.

If my parcel is represented by a dashed line on an Assessor’s Map Book Page, does that mean that my parcel does not have a certificate of compliance?

Such a dashed line only indicates that the parcel was not created by parcel map, tract map or parcel map. It may have been created by parcel map waiver or by deed, and it may have already received a certificate of compliance. The only way to be sure whether or not a certificate of compliance has already been issued for such a parcel, is to do a preliminary title search-i.e. ask a title company to determine that for you. Alternatively, you could apply for a certificate of compliance and the Department will do such a search for you; however, if a previous C of C is uncovered, the Department will keep $453.00 of your filing fee, with return of the balance of your application to you.

If I own more than one adjoining parcel of land, could I pay one fee to obtain more than one certificate of compliance on the adjoining parcels, thereby legalizing several separate parcels for one fee?

Each certificate of compliance application and fee may apply only to the certification of one parcel; however, one certificate of compliance can be issued for several parcels combined in cases where the property owner agrees to hold all the parcels as one, i.e. where the property owner wishes to construct improvements over adjoining internal property lines.

Can I get a certificate of compliance if my parcel is undersized in area compared to today’s zoning requirements?

In instances where your parcel’s area is undersized compared with current zoning requirements, you may be required to submit an additional zoning application, such as a director’s review, lot line adjustment, or other zoning application that will regulate the design of future improvements so as to mitigate the potential negative impacts of the parcel’s undersized area.

Is the certificate of compliance case processing procedure any different if my parcel is located with the State Coastal Zone?

If your parcel is located within the State Coastal Zone, any approved certificate of compliance will include specification that you must obtain a Coastal Development Permit prior to any grading or construction on the subject parcel.

Must I prove that my parcel has legal access to the nearest public street prior to issuance of my certificate of compliance?

Upon submittal of your certificate of compliance application, if the Department cannot establish that your parcel has such legal access, and you have not demonstrated such, the approved certificate of compliance will include a note specifying that legal access for your parcel has not been established, and lack of such proof at the time of approval will become public record for any future buyer or financing agency to know.

What is a certificate of exception, and If my parcel has previously been issued a certificate of exception, how will it affect my application for a certificate of compliance?

Certificates of Exception were issued between 1967 and 1972 by Los Angeles County to create up to four legal lots in the absence of a Parcel Map. (From 1972 onward, the Parcel Map requirement applied to all land divisions of four lots or less.) If your parcel was issued a certificate of exception, you will generally be allowed to “convert” it to a certificate of compliance for a smaller fee than is required for a regular certificate of compliance. The Department of Regional Planning recommends such a conversion due to the fact that certificates of exception were never recorded, and therefore, there is not adequate notice to potential buyers and financing banks that you have a legal lot. The new certificate of compliance would be recorded, and therefore provide such notice in the future.


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Department of Regional Planning
320 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
T: (213) 974-6411 . F: (213) 626-0434
TDD: (213) 617-2292
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