After determining you do indeed own a surface interest, the amount of interest owned (25%, 50%, 100%, etc.) is a critical factor. If you own 100% of the surface acreage, then you should have the legal right to develop the property as you see fit so long as it is approved by the local and/or state governments. However, let’s say you own an undivided 50% of the surface. Then, you are essentially a co-tenant and likely can’t develop the property without the other co-tenant’s consent. Sometimes co-tenants will agree to “divide” the property so that Parcel A is split down the middle and creates Parcel B and Parcel C. You would effectively own 100% of Parcel B, and the previous co-tenant would own 100% of Parcel C. Now that you have a 100% undivided interest in Parcel B, you can develop it as you see fit. The amount of ownership and the interest being “divided” or “undivided” are the major takeaways to focus on.