A subdivision is the division or combination of any parcel, or parcels of land into 1 or more lots, tracts, or parcels for the purpose of transfer of ownership or building development. In effect, any change in a property description is subject to review under the city's subdivision ordinance. No one may subdivide property without following the city's subdivision regulations. You many learn more about the Development Review process & view a flowchart representation here.

Major Subdivision

A major subdivision is the dividing of a previously recorded lots, tract or parcel into 6 or more lots, tracts or parcels, or any division of  unplatted land, or any division of land that creates a new street. Both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council must approve all major subdivisions.

The following steps will guide you through the major subdivision process. Staff is available at any point during the subdivision process to assist you or your representative with any questions or concerns you may have. A no-cost Pre-Development Review  is available as a part of this process.

1st Step: Initial Contact

You are encouraged to contact the Development Review Office of the Planning and Development Department for general information. The staff can inform you of:
  • Any requirements that may be made
  • Any special circumstances that need to be considered
  • The deadlines and processing time involved
Aerial view of a residential subdivision

The staff can also give you an initial impression of what the city's response may be to your plans.

The subdivision regulations containing all the city's regulations on the subdivision of property are available online. You should also contact the Public Works Department and City Utilities at this stage to find out what information they may need, and any requirements they may have. It is recommended, but not required, that you hire a surveyor or engineer to assist you at this stage.

Time Frame

The overall length of time from the sketch plan deadline to the approval of the preliminary plat is 60 to 74 days. Staff review of the final plat takes an average of 2 - 4 weeks. It will take time for you to construct any required improvements before your plat can be recorded. Please keep this time frame in mind and start the process early enough that you will be able to sell lots or get building permits when you need them.

2nd Step: Pre-Development Review

You must submit electronically through eCity a plan showing conceptually how you want to subdivide your property with the completed Pre-Development Review Application form to the Development Review Office. The Pre-Development Review meeting is open to the public. The Development Review Office staff will notify you of the time and date of your meeting with staff. After the meeting, you can access e-plans to review staff's comments, suggestions, requirements, or corrections that must be made to your plat. The application deadline occurs each Monday at 5PM; applications received by the deadline will be reviewed in nine calendar days and discussed with applicants on the resulting Wednesday.

3rd Step: Preliminary Plat

At this point you must hire a surveyor or engineer, if you haven't already done so, to prepare your preliminary plat. The subdivision regulations and the preliminary plat checklist (PDF) will assist your surveyor or engineer in preparing your preliminary plat.

All of the following items must be submitted in e-plans to constitute a complete preliminary plat submittal:

  • Completed preliminary plat application (PDF) signed by the property owner at the time the application is filed (if more than 1 property is involved, you must submit an application from the owner of each property)
  • The application fee (see fee schedule)
  • An electronic version of the Preliminary plat signed and sealed by the surveyor (submitted electronically through e-plans)
  • Request to secure public improvements (if needed)
  • Preliminary Plat Checklist


The Development Review Office staff will prepare a staff report to the Planning and Zoning Commission that will contain the staff recommendation to the commission. The recommendation will contain any conditions of approval that city staff considers appropriate. These conditions typically include:

  • Construction of streets, sidewalks and stormwater detention facilities
  • Limitations of access
  • Requirements for additional right of way

You can receive a copy of the staff report the week prior to the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. You or your representative should attend the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. The commission might not vote on your preliminary plat if they have questions and you are not there to answer them.

Commission Decision

If the Planning and Zoning Commission approves or denies your preliminary plat it will be sent to City Council for their approval. 

City Council Meetings

If approved by the commission or approved with conditions, then the director of planning and development shall forward the preliminary plat to the city council for its approval. Council shall determine if the land or easement proposed to be dedicated by the applicant for public use or if the public improvements shall be accepted by the city. If the city council determines that the location of the land to be dedicated for public use or the location of public improvements is appropriate and complies with applicable ordinances then the city council shall authorize the acceptance of the dedication of the land or easements upon the applicant filing and recording a final plat which substantially conforms to the preliminary plat and shall authorize the acceptance of the public improvements upon the director of public works certifying to the director of planning and development and the city clerk that the public improvements have been made in accordance with city standards and specifications.

4th Step: Final Plat

You must submit engineering plans for all the required public improvements to the Public Works Department prior to this stage. Public works cannot review a final plat without having approved public improvement plans on file.

You may submit a final plat on all or a portion of the area within the preliminary plat. The subdivision regulations and the final plat checklist (PDF) will assist your surveyor or engineer in preparing your final plat. All of the following items must be submitted to constitute a complete final plat submittal:

Final Plat Submittal

The approval of a preliminary plat shall be effective for a period of two years. The application for final plat approval must be submitted to the department of planning and development within the two-year period. Any plat not submitted within the two-year limit shall be null and void. The planning and zoning commission may at its discretion and upon application by the subdivider extend the effective period of preliminary approval by two years, one time. All other submittals shall be considered a new preliminary plat and subject to applicable reviews.

Staff Review

The staff review of the final plat and the improvement plans requires an average of 2 - 4 weeks, but this time frame can be lengthened or shortened by many factors. 

Recording of Final Plat

You must submit an electronic version of the final plat signed and sealed by the surveyor through e-plans then submit 1 mylar of the corrected final plat to the Development Review Office along with the certification of title and other original documents needed to be recorded. These and other documents will be held until a release is received from public works stating that all the public improvements required by city ordinances for your subdivision have been completed. All improvements must either be constructed and accepted by the city or you must provide adequate financial assurances acceptable to the Public Works Department (see request to secure public improvements). Financial assurances are valid for 1 year.

When the release is received from the Public Works Department, staff will record your final plat. You may then sell lots or obtain building permits.