MapLink™ | Procedures | Subdivision review and approval process

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Subdivision review and approval process
A.  General procedures. The following provides a brief summary of the steps in applying for and securing approval of any subdivision of land within the City. Subdivisions that qualify as a minor subdivision shall only be required to meet the requirements of the final subdivision plat stage.
1.  Step 1: Preapplication sketch plat review (voluntary).
2.  Step 2: Planning Commission work session (voluntary).
3.  Step 3: Preliminary subdivision plat.
4.  Step 4: Improvement plans, guarantees, and trust indentures.
5.  Step 5: Final (record) plat.

B.  Preapplication review: sketch plat review meeting. Prior to applying for preliminary plat review, the prospective applicant may request a sketch plat review meeting with the Director of Public Services. If the proposed plat is part of a planned development, this meeting shall satisfy the requirement for the preapplication conference for a planned development. The Director of Public Services may request that other City department representatives attend this meeting. At this meeting, the prospective applicant shall provide general information on the proposed subdivision, including site location, existing site conditions, and a sketch plat of the proposed subdivision. The sketch plat meeting is a voluntary and informal procedure intended to benefit the prospective applicant by allowing for an exchange of ideas and information. No formal approval from the Director of Public Services or other City staff is required prior to proceeding with the preliminary plat review and approval stage.

C.  Preapplication review: contents of sketch plat. The sketch plat shall be drawn at a scale of one inch equals 200 feet or greater, which may be drawn in neat freehand form. The sketch plat, and any accompanying documents, shall include the following information, which may be based on sources other than field survey data.
1.  Name, address, and telephone number of the owner of record, applicant (if different than the owner of record), engineer and/or land surveyor retained for preparing the plat.
2.  Acreage, existing and proposed (if different) zoning classification of the tract to be subdivided.
3.  The approximate location of all existing land uses and structures within the tract proposed to be retained or demolished and all land uses and structures within 150 feet of the tract.
4.  Existing and proposed trees or tree masses, including street trees.
5.  Arrangement of all proposed lots and common areas.
6.  Proposed location and width of street right-of-way, street pavement, alleys, and their relationship to the existing adjacent street system.
7.  Proposed location of private access drives.
8.  Location and size of existing and proposed utility lines and easements.
9.  The generalized drainage scheme, including proposed detention/retention facilities (show contour intervals of five feet or less).
10.  A North arrow and scale.

D.  Preapplication review: Planning Commission work session. Prior to formal application for preliminary plat review, the applicant may submit the sketch plat for review at a work session held with the Planning Commission. This work session is not mandatory, but is highly encouraged. If the applicant wishes to take advantage of this work session, then the applicant shall request to be on the Planning Commission agenda and submit the required number of copies of required documents as indicated on the application according to the meeting schedule deadline.

E.  Preliminary plat: submittal requirements.
1.  Application. An application for a preliminary plat shall be made in compliance with Article III (Applications and Procedures), § 26-8 (Common procedures for all applications), Subsection A1, 2 and 3a (Applications and fees).
2.  Information. The preliminary plat shall be drawn at any scale, from one inch equals 20 feet to one inch equals 100 feet, in any increments of 10 feet, on one or more sheets not less than 24 inches by 36 inches or greater than 36 inches by 42 inches in size. Also include a North arrow, scale, date, and revision date block on each sheet. The plat shall contain the following information:
a.  The name of the proposed subdivision, which shall be original and not a duplication of the name of any previously recorded subdivision or development in the county.
b.  A vicinity map showing the relationship of the tract to be subdivided to the surrounding community. The vicinity map shall cover an area within a radius of one mile of the proposed subdivision at a scale of one inch equals 2,000 feet. The map shall generally locate arterial streets, highways, railroads, and any significant landmarks which help to locate the subdivision tract.
c.  The approximate area of the tract and the proposed lots therein stated to the nearest 0.1 of an acre.
d.  Dimensions of:
(1)  The tract to be subdivided;
(2)  Each proposed lot intended for sale or lease;
(3)  Proposed common open space.
e.  Sufficient existing and proposed contour data to indicate the slope and drainage of the tract and the high and low points thereof. Contour data shall extend 150 feet beyond the limits of the subdivision boundaries. USGS data is required.
f.  Delineation and widths of proposed street, alley, or other rights-of-way, including radii of curves, culs-de-sac, and any additional rights-of-way along existing streets, as may be required by the City or other public entity having jurisdiction, indicating all rights-of-way proposed for dedication to the City or other public entity.
g.  Building setback lines, including side yard, rear yard, or proper line setback associated with each proposed platted lot, in accordance with the applicable zoning district classification. For detached single-family or two-family dwelling type lots, building setback lines may be indicated in a typical lot detail.
h.  Identification and delineation of any buffer areas required by Article IV (Zoning Districts and Use Standards), § 26-16 (Standards applicable to all districts), § 26-17 (Standards applicable to specific uses and districts), and/or § 26-18 (Watson Road Overlay Area), and Article V (Site and Landscape Design Standards), § 26-24 (Stream buffer protection).
i.  Identification and delineation of lots, streets, alleys, and easements associated with all adjoining subdivisions, drawn to the same scale in dashed lines (or half-toned) for a distance of 150 feet from the boundaries of tract proposed to be subdivided.
j.  The results of any tests made to ascertain subsurface soil conditions and water table.
k.  The owners of record of land adjoining the area proposed to be subdivided.
l.  The existing zoning district classification(s) of the tract proposed to be subdivided and the adjoining properties, and the proposed zoning of the tract, if different.
m.  Proposed use of each lot within the proposed subdivision.
n.  The location of all existing storm sewer, sanitary sewer, water mains, gas mains, or other underground utilities within the tract to be subdivided, and off-site where proposed connections to the same are proposed.
o.  The location and width of all easements necessary to accommodate utilities serving the proposed subdivision.
p.  Preliminary site drainage system, designed in accordance with the requirements of the MSD and showing any proposed drainage swales, detention or retention areas, storm sewer pipes, culverts, and any other storm drainage improvements (including any off-site improvements).
q.  Preliminary layout of the sanitary sewer collection system, designed in accordance with the requirements of the MSD and showing pipe sizes, manhole locations, approximate flow line elevations, lift stations, and any other pertinent sanitary sewer facilities necessary to service the development.
r.  The delineation of FEMA-designated floodplain and floodway boundaries, if any.
s.  Any proposed alteration, adjustment, or change in the elevation or topography of any floodplain or floodway, as designated on the FEMA Floodplain and Floodway Maps.
t.  Delineation of plat phases and anticipated time schedule, if the subdivision is to be constructed in phases.
u.  The location and identification of all existing trees within the tract proposed to be subdivided having a trunk size of eight inches in diameter or greater, as measured five feet above the ground, indicating which trees are to be removed and preserved.
v.  Other significant natural features, such as rock outcroppings, sinkholes, and any other key natural features of the site.
w.  A certification by a registered engineer or land surveyor who prepared the plat, indicating that the preliminary plat is a correct representation of all existing and proposed land divisions.
x.  Signature blocks.
3.  Supplemental information. The following supplemental information shall/may be required:
a.  The following names and addresses (may be shown on the plat drawings):
(1)  The record owner or owners of the tract;
(2)  The applicant proposing the subdivision, if different than the record owner;
(3)  The party who prepared the plat and the engineer who will design the subdivision improvements, if retained at the preliminary plat stage.
b.  Evidence of the applicant's ownership interest (e.g., title, option contract) of the tract proposed to be subdivided.
4.  Rezoning. When a proposed subdivision would require that the tract or portion thereof be rezoned, a rezoning petition shall be initiated by the applicant simultaneously with the application for preliminary plat approval.

F.  Preliminary plat: review procedure.
1.  Submission by applicant. After the sketch plat review meeting and the Planning Commission work session (if elected by the applicant), the applicant shall submit a preliminary plat and other information required by Subsection E of this section to the Director of Public Services.
2.  Staff review.
a.  Completeness of submittal. Upon receipt of the preliminary plat and associated documents, the Director of Public Services shall review the documents to determine acceptability for submission. If the Director determines the submittal is complete, then the submittal shall be date stamped.
b.  Distribution. As soon as practical after acceptance of the preliminary plat submittal, the Director of Public Services shall distribute copies of the preliminary plat to the Fire Marshal and other City staff, as appropriate.
c.  Staff review. Preliminary plats will be reviewed in accordance with Article III (Applications and Procedures), § 26-8D (Common procedures for all applications). Additionally, the Director of Public Services shall review the preliminary plat and solicit comments from other City staff on such plat with respect to meeting the requirements of this chapter, other applicable City regulations, and with respect to good site planning, both within the tract to be subdivided and its relation to the surrounding area. The Director, with the input of other City staff, shall identify any deficiencies and site planning issues.
d.  Recommendation. Staff shall recommend to the Planning Commission approval or disapproval of the preliminary plat. A recommendation of disapproval shall be accompanied by reasons. In recommending approval of a preliminary plat, staff may recommend conditions to be addressed and resolved.
3.  Planning Commission action.
a.  The Planning Commission shall consider the preliminary plat at the meeting scheduled for review of the subject plat. A vote of disapproval shall be accompanied by reasons for such action in the meeting minutes. In approving a preliminary plat, the Commission may add conditions to be addressed and resolved.
b.  The Planning Commission may approve the plat, with conditions as recommended by staff, if any, or as the Commission may determine, by a majority vote.
c.  If the Planning Commission vote is contrary to the staff recommendation, then such vote shall be by a two-thirds majority.
d.  The Planning Commission shall take action on the preliminary plat within 60 days of its consideration of such plat. Otherwise, the preliminary plat shall be deemed as recommended for approval by the Commission, except that the Commission, with the consent of the applicant, may extend this sixty-day period.

G.  Preliminary plat: effect of approval; period of validity.
1.  Approval of the preliminary plat by the Planning Commission constitutes authorization for the applicant to proceed with preparation of the improvement plans and related documentation.
2.  The preliminary plat shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of Planning Commission approval. In the case of phased developments, the period of validity for the first phase shall be one year. Thereafter, application for final plat approval of subsequent phases shall be submitted to the Director of Public Services within one year after recording the previous phase. In no case shall any portion of a preliminary plat for a phased development be valid for more than three years.
3.  At such time as the period of validity has expired, the Planning Commission approval of the preliminary plat shall become null and void. In this event, a resubmission of the preliminary plat shall be required if the applicant intends to pursue final plat approval. The Planning Commission may grant up to a one-year extension from the date that the period of validity expired. The Commission may deny such extension or reject the reapplication for the same preliminary plat proposal in light of new facts and circumstances relating to the preliminary plat.
4.  In the event that preliminary plat approval has expired, and such plat involved rezoning all or a portion of the property comprising the subdivision plat, the Board of Aldermen may initiate actions to rezone the property to its original or other appropriate zoning district, in accordance with the procedures and requirements of the zoning regulations. [See Article III (Applications and Procedures), § 26-9 (Zoning Map and text amendments) of this chapter.]

H.  Preliminary plat: withdrawal of plat. The applicant may, at any time, withdraw a preliminary plat from consideration. Such withdrawal shall be made in writing to the Director of Public Services or in a public meeting before the Planning Commission. If the applicant desires to resubmit such plat, or a modified version thereof, at a later date, then the entire review and approval procedure required by this section shall apply. Withdrawal of an application for preliminary plat approval shall not entitle the applicant to a refund of any required fees, nor shall any fees paid be credited to a future application for preliminary plat approval.

I.  Preliminary plat: appeal. Appeal of the Planning Commission's decision can be made to the Board of Alderman in accordance with the procedures outlined in Article III (Applications and Procedures), § 26-8H (Common procedures for all applications).

J.  Preliminary plat: power of review. The Board of Alderman may utilize their power of review authority outlined in Article III, § 26-8K for applications in this section.