Plats 101: A Beginner’s Guide img

Plats 101: A Beginner’s Guide

calender icon 5/1/2023    poster icon  Mark Goodman

This article is all about plats. We will address all the following topics: What is a plat? Why are plats used? How are they created? What are some of the necessary details to include in a plat? And more.

What is a Plat?

A plat (sometimes referred to as a “cadastral map”) is a map or graphic depiction of land that is drawn to scale and used to identify divisions of land into smaller parcels or to change the description of a parcel of land.

Why do we use Plats?

Plats are used to simplify legal descriptions from metes and bounds descriptions, and to provide a clear depiction of a subdivision of land.

Metes and bounds legal descriptions trace the outer boundaries of a tract of land using precise measurements and compass directions to describe a progression from point to point. Metes and bounds legal descriptions can be very complex and unwieldy. By instead platting the land, the owner can refer to it by lots and blocks which are much easier to use.

Plats can also be used to subdivide land into smaller segments. They can be used to establish a common plan of development for an area. They can be used to establish roadways, easements, alleys, ponding areas, and other common elements or areas dedicated to public use.

What are the Benefits of Plats?

A plat will effectively translate a complex legal description into a simple and straightforward reference to the land. It can be used as an overlay that simplifies an otherwise complex picture.