A Preliminary Plat application is usually comprised of drawings, site studies, and other parcel specific documents. The proposed plat will be based on a survey of the parcel. This survey should show the following: Boundaries, Topography, Trees, Utilities, Existing Structures, and Roadways. If you have Sensitive Areas (a stream, wetlands, or steep slopes) on your parcel, arrange for a certified wetlands specialist or geotechnical engineer to visit the property to provide an evaluation. We often partner with specialists in these professions and can provide a list of qualified candidates for you to consider.

Once the baseline parcel information has been compiled, your consultant will design a preliminary road and lot layout for your parcel, incorporating the various elements necessary for the plat. Some jurisdictions require very detailed road and utility plans, profiles and sections; others do not. At a minimum, you will need to show how you propose to divide the land into lots and provide vehicular and utility access to them.

The minimum documents needed for submittal usually include an Subdivision Application form, a Stormwater Analysis, a current Title Report or Short Plat Certificate, a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) Checklist, Sensitive Areas Reporting, and other issue specific application documents such as a density calculation form. Some jurisdictions require a meeting with the neighbors adjacent to the parcel to be held prior to submittal. The city will review all plans and documents for completeness at the time of submittal. A more thorough analysis will be performed over the next 3 to 4 months. If additional information is requested from the reviewing agency, the process will be put on hold until the information has been supplied. The governing agency usually has a maximum of 120 days to issue an approval.

If all requirements have been met with the submittal plans and documents, the agency will issue a report citing the conditions under which the project will be approved. This is called the “Conditions of Approval” and will serve as the road map for your project during the remainder of the development process.