Understanding Legal Parcels and Descriptions: So What Makes it Legal?

Date: June 30, 2020

Location: Virtual Classroom, CA

Northern California Chapter
Ms. Lisa M. Estes
Virtual Offering
Participate from Where it is Convenient
Virtual Classroom, CA
Lisa M. Estes
Lefmann, Neil

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READ through all the information listed below before selecting the "Register Now" button for details on timing, materials, required equipment, education credit, etc.


To View Additional Offerings Sponsored by the Northern California Chapter
Copy this link into your browser - www.norcal-ai.org

This offering will be held via Interactive Virtual Classroom Technology (zoom). It is the student's responsibility to have the required equipment – Internet access, computer, webcam, and a microphone.

IMPORTANT: If you are seeking credit for this offering from a state outside of California, check with your state licensing board(s) to make sure an out-of-state virtual offering will be accepted before registering.

Presenter: Neil A. Lefmann, MAI, SRA, Senior Appraiser, Valbridge Property Advisors

About the Program
California not only maintains the most complex and far-reaching land regulations in the nation: it is also the only one of 50 states that has state-mandated land use regulations and procedures, which are in addition to local county, city and other regulatory ordinances.

There is widespread confusion regarding what constitutes a legal parcel. While California’s Subdivision Map Act provides a legal framework, it’s not so simple to navigate the SMA’s complexities. This presentation will inform attendees’ understanding of significant considerations pertaining to legal parcels, which are a critically important element in real property appraisals and Market Value.

• What is PLSS? Lot & Block? Metes & Bounds?
• Tract Map vs. Parcel Map vs. Record of Survey
• Difference between Assessor’s Parcels and Legal Parcels
• California’s Subdivision Map Act
• Certificates of Compliance
• Legal non-conforming parcels and merger provisions
• Types of legal descriptions & how to read them
• Units of measure and curve descriptors
• How to draw a legal description
• Useful computer programs

About the Presenter: As an appraiser, Lefmann brings more than 4 decades of experience in land valuation to offer an engaging review of all you need to know about legal parcels, legal subdivisions, legal descriptions, and related issues.

Additional Information

Workshop Hours and Materials
Onsite check-in will begin at 12:30pm on Tuesday, June 30. The 3-hour workshop will run from 1:00pm – 4:00pm (Pacific Time) and will be conducted using zoom as the interactive learning platform.  Any relevant handouts will be emailed to registrants prior to the event.  If you are new to zoom or need a refresher, it is highly recommended that you view the tutorial - How to Join a Zoom Meeting

Photo ID Required
After registering please send  a copy of your Driver's License or Photo ID to lisa@norcal-ai.org.  Feel free to cover all personal information with the exception of your photo and name. Quick tip:  Cover this information with cut to size post-it notes before taking a photo with your phone or scanning.  Without receiving this information, registrants will not be sent the zoom log-in link.  In the subject line type "DL -  [enter your last name] - Legal Parcels June 2020 before submitting.

Required Texts / Materials 
There are no additional required texts or materials for this offering other than those referenced above.

If there are materials for this offering, registrants are strongly encouraged to pre-download these documents or perhaps view them on a secondary devise during the virtual classroom presentation.

Required Equipment 
This class will be held via Interactive Technology (zoom).  It is the student's responsibility to have the required equipment - Internet access, computer, webcam and microphone.  Some registrants will find a secondary device (ipad, phone, laptop or desktop computer) helpful during instruction.

Education Credit Hours and Attendance Verifications

Those who check into the interactive platform late, leave early or during non-scheduled breaks may jeopardize receipt of credit.

Appraisal Institute: Full attendance (100%) enables Designated Members and Practicing Affiliates to receive 15 AI CEC points.  

BREA ContinuingUnderstanding Legal Parcels and Descriptions: So What Makes it Legal?  has been approved by the BREA for 3-hours (#17CP754601259) of CEC. Licensed/certified appraisers seeking BREA CEC must meet the 100% attendance requirement. [Note:  This particular offering is based on the "live" version that falls under the temporary exemption for virtual / online education due to COVID / SIP restrictions.]

BREA Basic/QualifyingUnderstanding Legal Parcels and Descriptions: So What Makes it Legal?  is not approved for BREA qualifying education (QE) credit.

State Board of Equalization (SBE):  Property tax appraisers / assessors seeking credit should check with SBE directly to see if they are accepting "virtual" classroom offerings before registering. 

NEW! Attendance Verification Process Effective 10/01/19
Verified attendance certificates will be available within 15 working days by

  • Logging into My Account www.appraisalinstitute.org
  • Select EDUCATION
  • Click on the specific offering that you are seeking the certificate for; it will show REGISTERED
  • Scroll to the very bottom of the screen to (1) RETRIEVE CERTIFICATE

Exception:  SBE certificates will be sent out directly from the Chapter Office.

Note:  Effective 10/01/19 students will be able to access their attendance certificates 24/7 through the Appraisal Institute's netFORUM association management program.  The Northern California Chapter does not have direct access to certificates for programs held after this time. Any issues in retrieving certificates should be brought directly to the attention of the Appraisal Institute's Education Delivery Department at 312/335-4207 or education@appraisalinstitute.org

Confirmation Emails

All confirmed registrants will receive a payment receipt plus a separate confirmation by email.  Be sure that you can accept emails from each of the following email addresses: 

In addition, details regarding logging into the offering as well as any links to download the program materials (if applicable) will be sent separately from one of these emails above.


Written cancellations received by Thursday, June 25 are subject to a $10 cancellation fee.  No refunds for cancellations received after June 25 or for program "no shows".  Cancellations can be emailed to lisa@norcal-ai.org.

Questions? Contact Us
Northern California Chapter
925/932-7753    lisa@norcal-ai.org

Disclaimer Information

Cancellation Policy:    Written cancellations can be emailed to lisa@norcal-ai.org. We reserve the right to substitute instructors, or to cancel or modify this program if sufficient registrations are not received by June 25 or due to other circumstances beyond our control. In the event of cancellation, tuition fees will be refunded. All other costs incurred are the registrant’s responsibility.

Special Accommodations:  Special accommodations are available for individuals who have been professionally diagnosed as physically or learning disabled and can provide appropriate documentation in writing prior to the offering. Without advanced notification, accommodation may not be available.

Lost or Damaged Items:  The Appraisal Institute is not liable for lost or damaged items. This includes but is not limited to calculators, laptops, cell phones, etc.

Communications: By registering for this event, you agree that your communications may be monitored or recorded at any time and that your contact information may be placed in a roster designed for networking purposes.  We reserve the right to switch or change the virtual learning (zoom, Go2, etc.) platform selected for this offering based on program logistics.

Questions? Contact the Northern California Chapter:  The Northern California Chapter is the local sponsor of this virtual education event.  We can be reached at lisa@norcal-ai.org or by calling 925/932-7753. 

National Disclaimer

This Educational Program was developed and organized by the Appraisal Institute Chapter offering the Program with the intent of addressing topic(s) of current local interest solely for educational and informational purposes. The Appraisal Institute national organization was not involved in developing or organizing the Program.

The content of this Program, including but not limited to any written materials and presenter comments, does not represent the viewpoint of the Appraisal Institute (defined as including but not limited to, the national organization, its Regions, Chapters, members, candidates, affiliates and staff) unless formally adopted by the national Board of Directors. Further, the Appraisal Institute has not peer-reviewed or approved the content of the Program and does not warrant the accuracy or timeliness of the content of the Program. The content of the Program is subject to court decisions and local, state and federal laws and regulations and any such revisions of such laws and regulations.

This Program is presented with the understanding that the Appraisal Institute is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice or services. Nothing in the Program is to be construed as the offering of such advice or services. If expert advice or services are required, attendees and readers are responsible for obtaining such advice or services from appropriate professionals.

State Credit

Please note that 100% attendance is required in order to receive any approved state credit or to be awarded AI CE points. It is imperative that you check with your state board for state approval information before completing registration.

Other Information

If you have a disability and require accommodation, please notify the sponsor at least two weeks in advance for reasonable accommodations to be arranged.

The Appraisal Institute reserves the rights to cancel, limit, or reschedule the program and to change instructor assignments and facility locations at any time.