Q. How do I split my property?
A. It is incumbent upon the owner to ensure the proposed property is in compliance with current zoning and subdivision laws. The California Subdivision Map Act states "No person, as principle, agent, or otherwise, shall divide, by lease, sale,or financing, any land into two, three, or four parcels, or any land described in subdivisions (a),(b),(c), or (d) of Section 66426 of the Subdivision Map Act, unless and until there is compliance with all of the requirements of this article."
It is highly suggested that you contact the Public Works and Planning Department for all inquiries regarding legal lots, parcel segregations, building or zoning regulations.
Q. How do I find my property lines?
A. If your are trying to locate your property corners for any legal purpose, you should hire a surveyor. For any other purpose, please come into our office and request assistance from someone in mapping. Based on the legal description for you property, we can give you a general idea of your parcel’s shape and location.
Q. How do I determine where my fence (or fence line) should be?
A. The assessor’s office cannot determine your shared fence line (property line). If you have a dispute with your neighbor about the placement of a fence, this office cannot resolve it. If you need detailed survey information, you will need to hire a licensed land surveyor.
Q. Where is my property in the county?
A. The best way for us to help with that is to come into our office and request assistance from mapping. Based on the legal description for you property, we can give you a general idea of your parcel’s shape and location . You can also call us, but please have your tax bill handy.
Q. Are your Assessor Maps available online and if so, can I pay via online?
A. Currently our maps can be accessed online here at no charge. You must come to the office or mail a request for any maps not accessable online. Payment must be prepaid with checks or cash. The Assessors Office cannot accept credit cards.
Q. I have two or more properties that I want to combine because I only want one tax bill, is this possible?
A. Combining two or more properties together is possible if certain requirements are met. First you would need to come into our office to fill out the necessary request form. There is no cost to combine your parcels together. Combining your parcels, however, does not make them “legal parcels” for zoning or subdivision law. If this is your intention, contact Public Works and Planning to apply for a “Certificate of Compliance”.
Q. I have my deed, but I don’t understand the legal description, can someone explain it to me?
A. Please bring your legal description into our office and request assistance from mapping and we will be able to explain it to you. Trying to explain a legal description over the telephone is extremely difficult because no common map reference is available.
Q. How long does it take for a parcel change to be processed?
A. This varies by task, but usually mapping can process a simple split or combine between 1-4 weeks depending on the workload. It may take 3-6 months to be processed by the whole office.
Q. When does my change become effective?
A. A change recorded after January 1 (the Lien Date) is effective for the following assessment cycle (Roll year) and will show up on your tax bill 9 to 20 months later. For instance, a document filed January 15, 2004 will be effective for the 2005 Roll and be shown on the tax bills mailed in October 2005. A document filed Dec 15, 2004 will also be effective for the 2005 Roll that is mailed in October 2005.
Q. What does the letter suffix on the end of my APN number refer to?
S – Surface rights only. Someone else owns the mineral rights of at least a portion of the parcel. Since the mineral rights are not usually assessed, this office does not track the mineral rights except on a few rare cases.
T – Tax Exempt. The owner is a government entity that has tax exempt status.
M – Mineral Rights. usually associated with public utilities or railroad property.
U – Public Utility. Utility or railroad parcel assessed by the State Board of Equalization.
Q. What makes up the Assessor Parcel Number (APN)?
The number is composed of a three (3) digit book, a two (2) digit page, a one (1) digit block, and a two (2) digit parcel number and sometimes there is an alphabetical suffix.
See this document for a more detailed explanation of how they are organized.
Q. Is my property in the City of the County?
A. The post office may designate or associate your property with a particular city however, the property is only with in the city boundary if it has been annexed by that city. The six-digit Tax Rate Area (TRA) code on your tax bill show if it is within the city. The first three (3) digits are the primary or city code. Each primary code number is for a specific city: 001- CLOVIS; 002- COALINGA; 003- FIREBAUGH; 004- FOWLER 005- FRESNO ; 006- KINGSBURG; 007- PARLIER; 008- REEDLEY; 009- SANGER; 010- SAN JOAQUIN; 011- SELMA; 012- MENDOTA; 013- KERMAN; 014- ORANGE COVE; 015- HURON. All other primary codes other than 001 through 015 are areas in the county.
Q. My APN number was changed for no reason. Why?
A. Sometimes it is necessary to administratively change your APN due to our map page layout and mainframe computer limitations. Other reasons are Lot Line Adjustments, Parcel Map Waivers, Agricultural Land Contracts, Tax Rate Code changes, and many others.
Q. My parcel acreage changed for no reason, why?
A. We are constantly updating and improving the map pages. The acreage data is always as accurate as known at the time it was created. Over time, with improvements in measurements or as better data becomes available, we will recalculate acreage values. If you disagree with our value and/or have better data based on a licensed surveyor please come in to the office so we can get a copy of the data and re-calculate your parcel.
Q. My assessed acreage does not match my Deed or Recorded Map, why?
A. The “assessed acreage” may be different than “recorded acreage” or “fee title” acreage from a deed, because we only assess useable acreage. For example: if you own “fee title” to the middle of a public road that crosses your parcel, we assess the parcel acreage minus the road right-of-way.
Q. I received a letter, stating that there was a problem identifying my parcel. Do I need to re-record a new deed even though I used a title company?
A. We occasionally have to write to property owners when the legal description is not “definite and certain”. “Definite and Certain” means it is unclear or uncertain where your property lies, or how your properties shape is defined. Even title companies make mistakes in filing deeds, so you are not exempt if you used a title company. You should correct the document whenever possible, as it is the legal bases for your property ownership. The assessor’s office does not insure or guarantee title; so even if we transfer your property “per intent,” you may not have clear title in a court of law. If you used a title company, that should be your first stop is getting the issue resolved. If you did not use a title company, you may need to seek legal help from an attorney or licensed land surveyor.
Q. Where can I get a legal description of my property?
A. The Recorder’s office should have a copy of your deed.
Q. What are the dimensions or size of my property?
A. Often the assessor’s parcel map has dimensions, which you can use. However, your deed or recorded subdivision map is the “source” document. If no dimensions are listed, you can estimate your acreage based on a standard section being 1 mile square (640 acres per section). If you need detailed measurements, you may need to see a licensed land surveyor.
Q. How can I get my property surveyed?
A. Contact a licensed land surveyor. There are numerous listings in the yellow pages or search the Internet.
Q. What is the zoning on my property?
A. The Assessors Office does not show zoning on our maps. If your property is in the city limits, see the city planning department. If your property is in the County of Fresno, see Public Works.
Q. How do I get a new or separate APN? My lender needs it to complete escrow.
A. Usually a new APN will be generated automatically when documents are filed with the recorders office (many different types of documents may generate a new APN). If you have a specific need, please call and we will work with you.