Estate Parcel Management Changes

There has been some … dissatisfaction … with the current behavior (since 1.12) of parcel management on private estates. In one of the upcoming releases this behavior is going to change for parcel subdividing and joining.

The Estate / Region tools will get a new checkbox for ‘Allow parcel join and subdivide’. The default for this option will be enabled.

If Enabled:

* All parcel owners will be able to subdivide and join the land that they own.
* If the land is group owned, then those group members with the appropriate group powers will be able to join and subdivide the land.
* Estate owners and managers will not be able to subdivide any land they do not own or have the appropriate group powers for.

If Disabled:

* Only Estate Owners and Managers will be able to subdivide or join land parcels
* They will only be able to do so for:
** Land owned by the Estate owner OR
** Land the person performing the action owns OR
** Land the person performing the action has the appropriate group powers for.
(To be clear, in the preceding two lines ‘the person’ must be the estate owner or an estate manager)

I don’t think this addresses all concerns, in particular I don’t know anything about the status of allowing non-premium residents to lease land on private estates or anything related to the finder. However this should I believe help some with the particular issues of managing the parceling of private estates.

If you have questions, concerns or comments feel free to leave them here (although they may not appear immediately) or email me directly – kelly@lindenlab.com.

About Kelly Linden

Software developer for Linden Lab.
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18 Responses to Estate Parcel Management Changes

  1. Ceera Murakami says:

    Well… That will help.

    If I read that right, an Estate Owner or an Estate Manager will still have to buy or reclaim an parcel in order to subdivide or join it, *unless* the tenant/owner of that property adds them to an appropriate role in the group the land belongs to?

    So this *should* fix the fact that I, as an estate manager, should be able to subdivide or join land that is set to my sim’s property management land group, which I am also an officer in, and which we set all un-sold land to. So I can create new parcels for sale, carving them out of the sim’s pool of available land. That will be most welcome!

    But, if someone wants to add an additional strip of land to the edge of their existing parcel to increase their prim limit, I must first carve off the new strip, and sell it to them. Then they will have to deed that new strip to their land group and join it with their existing parcel themselves. (Which they may not understand how to do). ** OR ** To have *me* join the new parcel to the existing one, or if we set the flag for the sim to disable user subdivides and joins, they would need to temporarily add me to the appropriate role in their land group, and *then* I could do the join for them, after which I leave their land group.

    To *reduce* a parcel size, subdividing and reclaiming part of it, I’d pretty much have to be added to the owner’s land group first, with appropriate permissions.

    Hummm. Awkward, but I guess it works.

    I will be glad to see these changes, and am also eagerly awaiting resolution of the bug that is forcing one to be Premium in order to buy non-mainland properties. Until that is fixed, I can’t complete my own land deal. Apparently the land buying system can’t tell the difference now between Mainland properties (must be Premium) and Private Estates (Anyone can buy). They definitely still must fix that glitch, and should also ensure that the two kinds of land get listed separately in Find.

    I wonder… If a premium member buys land on the current 1.12 land tools, and does so on a private island, will it bump up their tier requirements? It should NOT count against their mainland tier limits, but if the system can’t tell the difference… O^O

  2. Crissa says:

    You could always have the leasee deed the land back to the estate for management, and then take it back after it was done.

    That seems easier than all the group changery.

  3. Kelly Linden says:

    I think you are incorrect Ceera.
    If this option is enabled (the default) then anyone who owns land on the estate can subdivide and join land they ‘own’ or group land they can manage. No need to pass around ownership to the estate owner etc etc. And there is no group power or role that you need to add the estate owner to or anything.

    If this option is *not checked* (which is *not* the default) then yes, the estate owner must claim or be otherwise able to manage the land (ie be in the group) for the land to be subdivided or joined. In this mode only the estate owner and managers can do this.

    In no case can the estate owner or manager subdivide or join land they do not have the rights to manage – ie they don’t own it and don’t have the right powers in the group if it is group owned.

    Yes, it is all a little convoluted. My hope is that in most cases ‘it just works’ in the way that would be expected. The option should only be changed if an estate owner does not want leasees to be able to subdivide and join parcels.

  4. Jennifer Christensen says:

    Kelly,

    It looks like a small step in the right direction but for ONE detail…

    An Estate Owner should ALWAYS be able to Join/Subdivide/Buy/Sell or whatever she wants to do without worrying about what group she is in. She owns the darn land, she is responsible for the $195 per month, so she should have god-like powers, period.

  5. Kelly Linden says:

    Jennifer,

    I think it is fair that the residents renting or leasing land from an estate owner not have their land parceled and subdivided out from under them. Now, the estate owner can *always* reclaim the land. But then the renter will *know* that it was messed with because they won’t own it anymore. I think this is better than ‘hm, wasn’t my plot bigger yesterday?’.

    Another way of phrasing these changes is this:
    * Estate owners and estate managers can *always* subdivide and join parcels on land owned by the estate owner or the estate manager doing the operation. In this case ‘ownned’ also means they have the right powers in the right group if the land is group owned.

    If the checkbox is checked, then non-estate managers who own land can subdivide and join their parcels.
    If the checkbox is unchecked, then non-estate managers who own land can not subdivide or join their parcels.

  6. Ceera Murakami says:

    Crissa – the Lessee can’t “deed the land back” to the land management group if they are not an officer or member of that land management group, with that group permission allowed.

    Kelly – Allow me to present a ficticious example, if you will.

    Let’s say I am a sim owner, and “Fox and Ground Properties” is the land group that all unsold land in the sim is deeded to. My Estate Manager, Feral Mill, is an officer in Fox and Ground Properties, with almost as much rights as I have. I sell 2048 M2 to Starchaser Webb, who then deeds the land that he bought to his “Sauk” group, so his group can control their own parcel access, bans, etc.. Today, Starchaser buys 512 M2 more that Feral partitioned off for him, and he wants to join that to his existing parcel.

    If neither Feral nor I are members of the “Sauk” group, and if Starchaser is not a member of the “Fox and Ground Properties” group, then in the default setting, Starchaser could deed his new parcel to the Sauk group, and then may join his old parcel with his newly purchased parcel, because he is an officer in the Sauk group… PROVIDED he knows how to do this!

    * But if Starchaser doesn’t understand how to use the land tools to join land, neither I, as Sim owner, nor my Estate Manager, Feral, can assist Starchaser in joining the land, unless Starchaser adds one of us to the Sauk group, with the appriopriate roles, or unless I, as sim owner, reclaim the land, thus invalidating all his access lists, ban lists, group deeding, and other parcel settings, and then sell the joined parcel back to him. *

    Would this not be correct? His parcel is deeded to the Sauk group, of which I am not an officer or member. I may own the sim, but short of reclaiming the land, I am not the ‘owner’ or ‘an officer in the land group’ for Starchaser’s parcel. And if. as sim owner, I reclaim the land, it’s no longer deeded to Sauk, and the access lists that were set while it was part of the Sauk group are null and void. As sim owner, I might have 20 or more parcels sold to different individuals, each with their own land group. I can’t belong to all of them.

    If the Sim Owner and the Estate Manager can not join and subdivide at will, then we can’t assist our customers in a task that is more than a little bit daunting to new property owners. They would have to allow us to join their group, and assign us to a powerful role, in order to assist them.

    As a sim architect and designer, I have had to assist clients in joining and subdividing land, and in deeding land to a group. The process was quite difficult to the client to comprehend, and they were more than glad to have my guidance and aid. The proposed solution still makes rendering that aid a difficult prospect.

  7. Kelly Linden says:

    All that you say is true … except!

    You *can* assist them. You can assist them by educating them on how to use the land tools. Anyone in Live Help is also able to do this if you and your estate managers are not online at the time. It is true you can not do it for them, but you can help them. If the tools for joining or subdividing land are so hard that it is simply impossible for a leasee to do it, even with the help of more experienced residents, then that is an issue in and of itself that we need to address and you are correct that this change will not help.

    Perhaps an option is needed for ‘always let the estate owner/managers parcel all land’. I do believe there is such a thing as too many options, but that is a discussion for another time. 🙂 What, if anything, we do next in this regard will depend largely on feedback once the feature is released. Please feel free to contact me (kelly@lindenlab.com) after this is released to tell me how it does or does not work for you.

  8. Sudane Erato a/k/a Rudeen Edo says:

    I’m technically the owner of the Neufreistadt sim. I’d like to enthusiasticaly welcome the parcel subdivide/join changes… between the changes brought with 1.12, and these fixes to those changes, LL has provided a very good parcel management system. A bit complex, but… hey!… every change takes awhile to get used to. We have more than 40 owners and well over a 100 parcels in our one sim. Land management tools are a major issue.

    But, the issue mentioned and un-commented upon. Allowing non-premium members to “lease” land on private estates. This is a *major* bug introduced by the new parcel “buy” procedures. It is a fundamental truth in the SL system that parcel “owners” own their parcel by virtue of a relationship with the sim owner, and *not* with LL. The sim owner has the burden of responsibility in their obligations to LL (in the form of US$195/month, as well as the very substantial upfront investment). For LL to impose itself into the relationship between sim owner and parcel “buyer” is utterly inappropriate, and contrary to the structure of private sim arrangements ever since LL made it possible to deed land there to groups. Sadly, until this bug is fixed, Neufreistadt will be forced to “sell” parcels only to the group of the new owner (the old system), bypassing the new land “buy” procedures.

    I understand that this topic was not directly the intent of this thread, but it was mentioned, and I feel it to be *so* essential that i’ll add this comment. I apologize for drifting from the point.

  9. Kara Robertson says:

    Saying that this problem will be addressed in ONE of the upcoming Releases is somewhat discouraging from my standpoint. I have rented an entire sim from the sim owner and have manager status. My plan is to rent out homes on the sim and I’ve been working to that end. About a fourth of the sim was set up when things got changed. Where as I could sub-divide and join land when I first started, I can’t now. The owner of the sim has very bad online connection and has difficulty coming in to sub-divide/join lots when I need this done. I’m now in a bad situation in that I rent the sim, but because I can’t set up the rental lots on it, I’m not able to recover what I’m spending. I’m beyond frustration with this. So telling me that this will be addressed in ONE of the upcoming Releases does nothing to make me feel better. I clearly do not understand why fixing this is such a problem that it should take so long. PLEASE, Please fix this asap. My SL experience is taking a nose dive here. Having the owner have the power to grant these privledges is fine, just please do it asap, for the life of me I can’t understand why you all changed things in first place. Thanks for listening__Kara

  10. Dana Bergson says:

    All in all this sounds plausible to me and rather balanced regarding the rights and limitations of Estate Management and land owners. This helps a lot, especially when Estate Managers now can divide/join land again, which is not owned by the Estage Owner (but by groups in which Estate Managers have “land-dividing” rights, too). Much easier in day to day management of the estate and sufficient for the time being.

    I, too believe in a thing like “too many options” 😉

    In the long run it would be nice to somehow integrate the idea of Estate Manager/Estate Owner in the model of Groups&Roles. Why not implicitely create a group for each estate where the Estate Owner can define roles for Estate Management?

    The model of Groups/Roles is so powerful and flexible, that I would love to see it used more and more in SL (like in other areas of IT systems).

    Kelly, you mentioned some other “burning issues”. And while you told us, that you don’t know the current status, could we please hear about the bug with “allowing non-premium residents to buy land on private estates” Real Soon Now!?

    Selling the land instead of deeding it to a group is so much more convenient for both parties, especially, when the buyer is relatively new in SL.

    While I greatly applaud the new Groups&Roles it is somewhat hard to guide someone through the creation of a group and inviting me with officer level rights into the group (so I can deed the land), without looking over her shoulder. There are MANY dialogs and options now which are intimidating to unexperienced users and leave a lot of possibilities for handling errors ….

  11. Ceera Murakami says:

    Thanks Kelly. And yes, I still *can* walk them through the process, step by step. For most clients, it won’t be an issue. I’m just trying to ensure that I can deliver a high level of customer service, even to those clients who get baffled by the tools.

    Quite seriously, thank you for working so hard to get this fixed. Looking forward to it, and to the other land tools bugs being repaired.

  12. Kelly Linden says:

    Kara,

    The way our process works now is not such that as soon as a fix or feature is done it can be immediately released. It must first pass QA – they must make sure it doesn’t introduce new bugs and that it actually does behave as I say it does. When I posted this I had just submitted it to QA. While I would like to have complete confidence that everything I do passes QA the first time, that is unfortunately not true. Also I was really pushing the deadline for anything going into next weeks release. Hence the hedge – I was hoping it would get in next week but I can’t be 100% sure.

  13. Ceera Murakami says:

    Kelly, we REALLY need a resolution, as soon as possible, on that bug that is preventing non-premium members from buuing land of private islands. Right now, most of the potential customers that we have can’t buy, and the ones who ARE Premium risk having their tier increased if they buy non-mainland property. So essentaily we can’t sell yet to ANYONE.

    The two sims that I manage have been ready for occupancy since something like May 1st, and have sat idle, costing the sim owner close to $400 per month, while waiting for the new land tools to be released. Two beautiful sims, over 20 parcels on each one ready for sale, and we can’t sell a single plot of land to start recovering expenses or covering overhead. If I owned them, I would have already had to sell off both sims. I couldn’t cover that kind of a loss each month.

  14. Luna Cartier says:

    Kelly,

    I don’t think that because you decided to let private Sim owners sell their land, you should hamstring those of us who are not selling our land, but are maintaining beautiful rental or private sims for anyone who wants an alternative to the mainland sim and the problems associatated with not knowing what your neighbors may build or just a place to play and/or do business.
    In my situation, I have to PERSONALLY take ownership of the parcels, remembering to turn off auto-return, carve the parcels, join then reset to group and turn on the auto-return. If you think these new “feature” is so important, then make it a check box that can be toggled on and off, but once activated cannot be toggled off while there are multiple owners of parcels on a single sim.
    This was a poorly thought out attribute LL created, any many sim owners voiced their disapproval, but you didn’t seem to listen. So feedback does not seem to apply, except when you want to sound politically correct. And spare us the condescending diatribe that we *can* assist them … I try to run a business here in SL where we offer a premiere rental with speedy and reliable customer service… something that seems to be a bit lacking somewhat in most of LL outside of the Concierge group and the Liaisons… and I don’t need platform changes that impede my ability to run my business.
    I think it is about time the devolpoment teams spend some real time in game and really start to see what the key issues are for residents in our SL world. I thought Char had a good idea about dragging some of you into the game to see what the day to day is like, of course a shaky patch rollout probably cut that short.
    Sorry if I am a bit brusque, but you really need to restore some of these abilities in the next patch. It’s frustrating enough having to deal with this lag issue that we are assured you are *working on* without causing more issues. Additionally, I’d like to see an advisory board consisting of private sim owners and some of your development team to help you guys do your job better for all of us. I think it would be the most effective way you could get real quality feedback about improvements and changes what will better Second Life in a meaningful way.

    My L$2.75…

    Luna Cartier

  15. Zero Linden says:

    In answer to some of the concerns in these comments: I just fixed the bug that kept Basic accounts from being able to buy estate land. Please see my blog post: Fix: Basic Accounts can Purchase Estate Land.

    Remember that for Premium members, buying land on an estate does not count against their Linden billed land tier. There is no risk in having your tier increased if you buy non-mainland property.

  16. Hiro Queso says:

    Thanks Luna, I have thoughts along the same lines. Although 1.12 was a great update for many, for the likes of myself, it was not so good :/ I have been offering whole sims on a rental and rent-to-buy basis with estate access included ever since the tools were intoduced. With 1.12, those residents are able to enable land sales in the sim. At the moment I am putting a lot of trust in those residents to not list any land for sale, as I feel it wrong to remove the tools that they have had for so long. I can understand the 1.12 tools are an essential first step in the direction LL is going in, but I just wish that this ‘update’ had been planned in a way to avoid taking away the tools that those of us who do not position these as sales heavily relied on. /moan

    On the groups thing, I assume that officers of group-deeded land will be able to divide land again, as well as ‘owners’? If so, it’s totally appreciated, and I look forward to having the tools back that we once had 🙂

  17. Anon says:

    While your at it… any chance of changing ‘reclaim’ so that when a reclaim is done, it FIRST turns off auto-return, THEN changes the land ownership?

  18. Ener Hax says:

    wow, this was helpful to a question I have now (2008). thank you. and I am also saddened that this type of banter does not exist anymore on the blog 😦

    i mean in that everyone on this post was civil and focused on the topic, not using it as a way to flame LL.

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