This guide can help you understand if your plans require a Full Plat process, and what's involved.
Your project will require a Full Plat Subdivision process if:
- The parcel has been previously divided using a short or full plat subdivision
- Five or more lots are created
- The parcel is within a Natural Resources Overlay
Your Lot is eligible for subdivision if:
- You can meet minimum lot size and residential density requirements
- There are no legal restrictions on the plat or CCRs which prohibit further subdivision
Full Plat Subdivision is a three part process, with many moving parts and conditional requirements. In general, all large development projects begin with a pre-application conference, in which Planning Staff can tell you about feasibility, how they may apply parts of the code, and what additional studies may be required. Once the pre-app is complete, you'll begin the three steps: Concept Plan, Preliminary Plat, and Final Plat.
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A Concept Plan is a generalized design for the entire subdivision site. It will show existing and proposed conditions, including road layout, utility connections, and number and size of lots.
In this part of the process, design is in the foreground. We will research the opportunities and constraints presented by the site, and do a thorough site evaluation before dovetailing your goals with the design for the subdivision.
At this point we may also initiate additional studies through subcontractors, such as a Natural Resource Analysis, Wildlife Habitat Analysis, Wetlands Delineation, or Nutrient/Pathogen Study.
Once complete, the Concept Plan is submitted to planning staff and reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission at a public meeting. A staff report will indicate recommendations to better comply with the Zoning Code and Subdivision Development Standards, or to make the Plan more amenable to the County's long term goals defined in the Comprehensive Plan. Revisions to the Concept Plan may be necessary before an approval is given.
With Concept Plan approval, you are ready to move on to Preliminary Plat. Your Preliminary Plat application must be submitted within nine months of Concept Plan approval.
This step is the most labor intensive and time consuming step in the process.
To make your Concept Plan into a real subdivision, we'll need to undertake surveying, drafting, and engineering, as well as put all permitting and code requirements together.
The application requirements for preliminary plat are listed below:
- A narrative explaining the project's aims, and outlining compliance with the Land Development Code and Comprehensive Plan
- A plat prepared by a licensed surveyor
- A master plan if the subdivision will be divided into phases
- Draft Development Agreement, which outlines the developers legal responsibilities to comply with the plat approval
- Draft Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions, usually containing provisions required by the County such as no further subdivision of lots, and proper septic maintenance
- Engineered improvements plans for any public infrastructure such as roads, water, and sewer lines
- An engineer's cost estimate for all improvements
- Grading and erosion control plan
- Landscape/revegetation plan
- Approval from Eastern Idaho Public Health if a septic system is proposed, or a 'Will-Serve' letter from the City Council if hooking up to municipal sanitary services
- The results of any additional studies
- A traffic impact study, as determined in the pre-application conference
- Subdivision and road name approval
- Access permits from the County Road & Bridge Department or Idaho Transportation Department
Preliminary Plat Review and Approval
To receive Preliminary Plat approval, the application must be reviewed by Planning Staff, then the Planning & Zoning Commission before being submitted to the Board of County Commissioners for final approval.
After submitting the Preliminary Plat application materials, Planning Staff will do a completeness determination and schedule the project for review by the Planning & Zoning Commission. Staff may request clarification or updated materials before granting a completeness determination. At this time, other agencies will be solicited for review of the application as well, such as the Fire Marshal, the County Engineer, and possibly the School District, among others.
Once the application is scheduled for a hearing at the P&Z Commission, the County will send public notice to all property owners within 300 feet of the project, the local paper, and post the notice on-site. Public comments from anyone are received and recorded on the public record for the project.
At the P&Z Commission meeting, the public is given an opportunity to enter a comment in person.
The Planning & Zoning Commission will hear public testimony, deliberate, and then make a motion on the application. They are responsible for determining if the application meets the criteria for approval outlined in the Land Development Code. Often, the Commission moves to recommend approval of the application with conditions. They also may table or continue, which pushes the application to be reviewed at a later meeting, pending updated information. In rare cases, they may recommend denial of the application.
If the P&Z Commission recommends approval of the application, it will be scheduled for review at the next available agenda of the Board of County Commissioners.
This is also a public hearing, meaning it will be publicly noticed and a public comment period will be held at the meeting. The Board of County Commissioners acts as the final decision making body for Preliminary Plats.
At Final Plat, County Officials make sure everything is constructed and installed as approved, and that legal documents are accurate.
After Preliminary Plat approval, any changes to the improvements plans or cost estimate will be adjusted, and any other conditions required by the Board of County Commissioners will be taken care of. Final stamped versions of these, along with a final version of the plat, will be submitted with a Final Plat application. Final Plat must be applied for within 36 months of Preliminary Plat approval.
At this time a draft letter of credit or surety bond covering 110% of the cost estimate for required improvements must also be submitted. The bond is held for one year after improvements are installed and inspected.
Once a complete Final Plat application is submitted, it will be scheduled for a public meeting at the Board of County Commissioners. A public meeting requires notice to be sent and posted, however no public comments are recorded. The Board of County Commissioners is the final decision making body on Final Plat approval
Recording, Construction, and Inspection
The Final Plat, Development Agreement, and CCRs must be recorded at the County Recorder's office within 6 months. Following this, a pre-construction meeting is set up with the County Engineer to discuss timing and plans for installing improvements.
A construction permit is issued, then the developer has a limited time frame, usually 1 to 2 years as determined in the Development Agreement, in which to complete the improvements. Once complete, the improvements will be inspected and accepted by the County Engineer, who will issue a Certificate of Subdivision Completion.