Thanks to a client of mine who recently requested a map of the cabins at Camp Sherman, I learned about a great online resource for Oregon plat maps. More often than not, I research properties in Deschutes County and am able to use their very handy web tool known as LAVA, which provides instant access to all kinds of property-related public records (including ownership history, tax records, plat maps, aerial photos, building permit history, code violations and more).
For Jefferson County, however, there is no such resource. So I was put in contact with Rich Randall, president/county manager of Jefferson County Title Co., who promptly found what I needed and emailed the map to me (thanks again, Rich!). Then, when I called with a second request, he asked if I knew about The Oregon Map, a web-based tool that provides access to plat maps across the state. I didn’t — and I’m not sure that too many other folks know about it, either.
Funded by our state legislature in 1999, the Oregon Map (ORMAP) was created as a digital base map land-information system that’s publically accessible and continually maintained; it provides images of assessor maps and limited additional information on properties throughout Oregon.
To access the maps, you’ll need to know the tax map number of the subject property (you can also try to search by address, but that doesn’t always work.) Then, go to http://ormap.org and click on the “Cartography” tab on the the left-hand side of the main menu at the top of the home page.
Then click on “Maps Online,” which will bring up a county-by-county map. Click on the county you’re researching. On the right, you’ll see a sidebar titled “Tax Map Search” above a list of PDF files; they’re arranged by township and range. Go down the list until you find the corresponding township and range. That may bring up additional options. (If you don’t have specifics, you can click on each PDF file individually to find your particular map).
One caveat: If it’s critical that you have the most current tax map, you’ll want to contact the county assessor’s office. The maps online may not be the most up-to-date (they are only required to be updated quarterly).
About the Author
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.