Could Your Property Be Subdivided Without Your Knowledge? Champaign County Has An App For That
Champaign County officials say they’ve come up with an online app to help property owners find out if their land has been subdivided without their knowledge.
The “Parcel Sliver Detector” is meant to help property owners avoid the dilemma of Kim Harden-Ware. In 2017, the Urbana homeowner found to her dismay that she did not own part of her own back yard. A portion of it had been sold for delinquent taxes to someone else, because she never knew that it was listed as a separate parcel. At the time, County Treasurer John Farney said a surveyor’s error may have created the problem.
But now, County Board Chairman Pius Weibel says such mishaps can be avoided through the use of his brainchild, the “Parcel Sliver Detector” app. It makes use of Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping technology, so that anyone can look up properties on a map of Champaign County, where all unusually small land parcels are marked in red.
“What we did was, we selected all the parcels in Champaign County that are less than 2000 square feet”, said Weibel, as he explained the Parcel Sliver Detector to the Champaign County Board at its Wednesday night Committee of the Whole meeting. “Initially, we did 1-thousand square feet, but we found some strips of land that were bigger than that”,
Weibel says anyone can use the Parcel Sliver Detector to look up any property in Champaign County by address, property PIN, or on an online map, to see if it’s been subdivided, and who owns the property sliver.
“Obviously, the owners have to go in and do this themselves”, said Weibel. “But it’s pretty easy to do”.
Weibel says any Champaign County landowner who wants to merge two adjacent land parcels into one can do so by filling out a county form at no cost.
The Parcel Sliver Detector is available through the Champaign County Website. It’s linked to the county treasurer’s webpage under “Property Tax Lookup”, and to the county assessment office webpage under “Property Record Search”.