LBCS Ownership Dimension with Descriptions

Ownership is one of five dimensions in LBCS. Each dimension is an attribute that takes the appropriate four-digit code.


Ownership with Descriptions


1000 No constraints — private ownership #F5F5DC

Most private property falls into this category. Some private property may, however, have additional legal constraints to ownership. For some planning applications, tracking such constraints may be useful in determining the limits of the use of the property.




Private — fee simple




Private — fee simple, conditional


The owner enjoys the property as in fee simple absolute until a condition has been met or not met, as set by the grantor of the condition.




Private — fee simple, defeasible


Fee simple defeasible is an ownership right forever unless a specified event happens. On the happening of the event, the rights revert to the grantor.




Private — fee simple, determinable


A fee simple ownership with a provision for automatic revocation of rights if the specified or "determinable" event occurs. The determinable event is specified in the conveyance.




Private — less than fee simple


Create additional subcategories, if necessary, but the major types of fee simple ownership based on current legal precedents are provided here.

2000 Some constraints — easements or other use restrictions #0000FF

Easements are subordinate conditions to the owner or the user of the property. Besides whatever effects they have on the character of the land use, easements also vary in their application. For example, consider a public easement on a private property versus a private easement on a public property. However, from a land-use perspective, the concern is primarily the effect, if any, of such easement restrictions on the land use. For example, a dedicated public open space is an example of a public easement that may exist on a private or public property. In such cases, whatever public or private ownership of the land, we characterize the land-use as having a public easement constraint. Some planning applications track easements and similar restrictions on private property that may affect the existing and future land-use characteristics. Such restrictions derive from private contracts between adjacent property owners, owners and local governments, or owners and federal and other government agencies. Since the land-use characteristics depend on the owner's use of the land, this category is separate from public ownership. An easement is the right of use over another property. Historically, easements are applied to specific properties and not the property owner; a dominant-servient relationship. The burden is on the owner of land that constitutes a servient tenement, although the easement is held by the dominant tenement. This category refers to the servient tenement; that is, properties that have restrictions on them due to easements held by others (often adjacent property owners or public entities). Easements affect how a servient land is used in a variety of ways, not all of which affect land-use characteristics. Land-use databases do not always maintain such ownership characteristics even though many planning applications encounter these legal definitions. Subcategories here, therefore, reflect commonly accepted legal terms and descriptions. Many parcel databases from tax assessment records contain some form of easement characteristics although they may not employ the same terminology. Use only those categories that are applicable and revise the terms to suit locally used phrases. If applications need to track both the servient and dominant tenements, use additional attributes or fields in the database to record such characteristics. On the other hand, if the application needs precise links between the servient and dominant tenements in an easement (for example, transfer of development rights), employ linked or relational tables to link the records.




Standard easements




Private easement


Only a few private individuals benefit from the easement.




Public easement


The right is vested in the public or the entire community.




Access easement


The abutting property owner has access for ingress and egress; also includes easements for streets.




Affirmative easement


Servient tenement must permit access over the property or to discharge water on it.




Appurtenant easement


Refers to an incorporeal right as part of a covenant attached to the land and cannot exist separate from other aspects of the covenant.




Discontinuing easement


Also known as nonapparent or noncontinuous easement, this easement recognizes interference from people on the property, such as when using the right-of-way (in an access easement) or accessing water (in a water access easement).




Estoppel easement


Owner of the land imposes voluntary restrictions on the tenants or users of the property.




Other easements




Easement by necessity


This category refers to a situation in which a land-locked parcel is conveyed legally and does not have any access to roads or access. Note that easement of necessity refers to an easement necessary for the dominant tenement.




Easement by prescription


An easement right tied to a specific person and granted for personal usage.




Easement by gross


An easement right tied to a specific person and granted for personal usage and ends with the death of the grantee.




Easement of convenience


An easement that increases the convenience of dominant tenement.




Easement of natural support


An easement that creates lateral support of land in its natural state and such support structures are held in place on neighboring land (the kind normally seen in hillside or shoreline subdivisions).




Equitable easement


Often tied to a building deed for common usage and enjoyment of adjacent properties.




Intermittent easement


The dominant tenement enjoys the easement sometimes, not continuously.




Negative easement


Often used with access to light where the servient tenement is prohibited from blocking or interrupting light or air.

3000 Limited restrictions #00008B

Refers to a contract between the owner (lessee) and the tenant (lessor) of the property to convey the owner's rights to the lessor. In legal terms, there exist many forms of leases. Create subcategories if any application needs to track them. Also create separate categories here for tracking rental ownership. In legal terms, lease and tenancy constraints are subordinate conditions to the owner or the user of the property. That is, every property is either publicly or privately owned. Even so, when classifying in this dimension, it is the effect of lease or tenancy on the use that is of concern. Consider for example a gift shop located in a leased area of a publicly owned public park. If the shop is leased to a private entity for that specific activity, then we say that the use has an ownership constraint through the lease or tenancy arrangement. If tracking specific lease types are necessary, then users should create subcategories under the lease and tenancy category. LBCS does not provide them because they vary widely and any data classified beyond the broad categories will have limited relevance to other applications.

4000 Public restrictions #90EE90

Refers to the public entity that the property belongs to, or the public entity responsible for the property. Public entities are agencies from local, regional, state, or federal governments.




Local government


Some regional land-use databases may keep track of individual municipality names as part of this dimension. When using such names, consider using the U.S. Census Bureau's place names extracted from census databases. Each place name in the country has an unique Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code. The same files also have FIPS.




City, Village, Township, etc.


To track specific departments (park authority, school district, etc.), use the appropriate functional dimension along with this dimension to filter records. Do not create subcategories here for such departments; they will conflict with functional categories as many of them are involved in a variety of functions.




County, Parish, Province, etc.


To track specific departments (park authority, school district, etc.), use the appropriate functional dimension along with this dimension to filter records. Do not create subcategories here for such departments; they will conflict with functional categories as many of them are involved in a variety of functions.




State government




Federal government

5000 Other public use restrictions — regional, special districts, etc #006400



Regional government




Port authorities




Tribal Lands




Tribal lands in federal trust




Tribal fee land




Tribal allotted land in federal trust

6000 Nonprofit ownership restrictions #6B8E23

This category corresponds to assessors' categories for nontaxable entities. These may vary widely between jurisdictions, but the subcategories reflect the most commonly used classes.




Nonprofit educational




Nonprofit philanthropic




Nonprofit religious




Nonprofit other

7000 Joint ownership character — public entities #BEBEBE

Includes all forms of public and nonprofit ownership.

8000 Joint ownership character — public, private, nonprofit, etc. #000000

A catch-all category for any combination of ownership.

9000 Not applicable to this dimension #FFFFFF

Use this code as a permanent code for those records that will never be classified in this dimension. It is normal for land-use databases to have records that may never be classified and left blank instead. But LBCS recommends that all records have a code because some computer applications may not be able handle blank entries (null values in database terminology).




Unclassifiable ownership or restriction on the use


Use this category as a temporary placeholder for ownership characteristics that cannot be grouped anywhere until the classification scheme is updated. Check the LBCS web site to see how others have dealt with such unique activities before revising the classification scheme.




To be determined


Use this code as a placeholder until an appropriate code can be assigned.




To be determined




To be determined