Specific Rules for Plats

Reference Number: 

Plats of certain subdivisions of real estate require particular endorsements before the register can accept the plat for registration.  A plat of a subdivision under the regional planning regulations is defined as a plan of division of a tract or parcel of land into two (2) or more lots, sites, or other divisions requiring new street or utility construction, or any division of less than five (5) acres for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale or building development, and includes re-subdivision.  T.C.A. § 13-3-401.  In any county which has a regional planning commission that has filed a certified copy of a major road plan in the register's office, the register cannot file for record or record a plat of a subdivision as defined in T.C.A. § 13-3-401 for the area outside of the boundaries of a municipal corporation without the approval of the regional planning commission evidenced by an endorsement in writing on the plat. T.C.A. § 13-3-402.

The same definitions of a plat of a subdivision apply to plats in a municipality which require the approval of the municipal planning commission before the plat can be accepted for record when the municipal planning commission has filed a major street plan with the register.  T.C.A. § 13‑4‑301, ‑302.  Also, additional rules for what constitutes a subdivision apply to municipalities in Marion County.  T.C.A. § 13-4-301.

Further, the register may not register a plat or a survey unless the document has impressed on it the seal of a registered land surveyor who prepared the document.  Also, such instruments may not be accepted for registration as a plat, map or survey unless all the words and figures are legible and provide sufficient clarity for reduction and/or reproduction.  T.C.A. § 66‑24‑116.

Although the local planning commissions must ensure that plats of subdivisions receive the approval of the local health authorities before approving the plat, it is no longer the responsibility of the register to require the approval of the local health authorities before registering the plat.  T.C.A. § 68‑211‑407.

Each plat approved by a regional planning commission must contain the most recent recorded deed book number and page number for each deed constituting part of the property being platted.  T.C.A. § 13-3-402.  This same requirement does not appear in the law applicable to municipal planning commission approval.  But, as noted above, all plats, maps and surveys must contain sufficient words necessary for clear and accurate determination of metes, bounds, and easements that can be reproduced.

Any change to a plat (regardless of whether it is designated as an amendment, modification, correction, etc.) must also receive approval of the planning commission in the same manner as described above for the original plat before it can be recorded.  The only exception to this rule is that an easement or survey attached to an easement is not considered to be a change to the plat when the grantee is the state, a county, municipality, metropolitan government, or any entity of such government.

Plats and plans related to condominiums are treated differently under the Tennessee Condominium Act of 2008, codified in Title 66, chapter 27, parts 2-5.  Under T.C.A. § 66-27-309, plats and plans are a part of the condominium declaration. Separate plats and plans are not required if all the information required by this section is contained in either a plat or plan. Each plat and plan must be clear and legible and must contain all information required by this section.  The plat or plan, or both, can be attached to the declaration and incorporated therein, or it or they may be referenced in the declaration and recorded in a plat book at the appropriate register's office. In either event, the plat(s) or plan(s), or both, shall be deemed acceptable for recording without further action if it or they comply with this section. Each plat or plan must be clear and legible and contain a certification that the plat or plan contains all information required by this section.