Subdivision

The subdivision process is required for any division of property within the city limits and ETJ (extra-territorial jurisdiction). The subdivision application(s) that is/are required depends on how many lots are being created, if public infrastructure is being constructed, and how the lots are being created. Subdivision submittals are required by the City if any parcel in the resulting subdivision is 5 acres or less and to plat a lot on which a development permit is or will be filed. If the subdivision is in the ETJ, there is concurrent review by Travis County. Separate submittals to Travis County Emergency Services District 12 (Fire Department) may be necessary for review.

 

Code of Ordinances for Subdivisions

 

Subdivision Processes

 

 

Standard Review

 

Standard review follows the submission calendar below. A pre-development meeting is required before each initial application submission. After the pre-development meeting has occurred the plat or plan can be submitted within six (6) months; if it is not submitted in that time a new pre-development meeting is required. Initial (1st) application submittals must occur within a ten (10) business day period to qualify to be accepted. Applications will be reviewed for completeness, see Completeness Checklists for each associated plat/plan below. Applications deemed complete will be accepted for review. Thirty (30) calendar days from acceptance the Municipal Authority (Planning and Zoning Commission, City Council, or City Engineer) will either approve, approve with conditions or deny the plat/plan. Plats/plans that are denied may re-submit only within a ten (10) business day period to qualify to be accepted. Resubmittals must also occur within six (6) months after the Municipal Authority's denial otherwise the application expires. Resubmittals received during the appropriate time will be deemed complete on the 10th day and action (approval, approval with conditions, denial) on the resubmitted plat/plan will occur in fifteen (15) calendar days by the Municipal Authority. The aforementioned resubmittal cycle continues until the Municipal Authority approves the plat/plan.

 

Plat/plan applications that are part of a series of applications (concept plan, preliminary plat, construction plan, final plat) must have the preceding plat/plan approved by the Municipal Authority before the next in the series can be accepted for review.

 

 

Benefits of Standard Review: 

 

  • Strict submission/action calendar provides exact date(s) actions will occur which may aid in schedule planning
  • Comments provided by the Municipal Authority cannot be changed or added to once provided

 

Drawbacks of Standard Review: 

 

  • Longest approval process due to required pre-development meetings, limited submittal windows and only the Municipal Authority can provide comments on a plat/plan on a specified date

 

Subdivision Standard Review Submission Dates

 

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Alternative Review

 

Alternative review allows for a flexible submission calendar with the intent of limiting overall review times and delays. No pre-development meeting is required prior to application submissions. Initial (1st) applications can be submitted on any day and within ten (10) business days the application will either be deemed complete and accepted for review or returned as incomplete. Within thirty (30) calendar days after an application has been deemed complete the City Engineer will either issue a conformance letter or deny the plat/plan. Plat/plans that are denied can be resubmitted on any day and within ten (10) business days the resubmitted plat/plan will be deemed complete and accepted for review. Resubmitted applications under Alternative Review have a thirty (30) calendar day review cycle, therefore within thirty (30) calendar days the City Engineer with either issue a conformance letter or deny the plat/plan. The resubmittal cycle continues until the City Engineer deems the plat/plan in conformance with city codes and standards at which time the plat/plan will be scheduled for approval with the Municipal Authority. For Amended Plats and Construction Plans where the City Engineer is the Municipal Authority an approval will be issued. 

 

Plat/plan applications that are part of a series of applications (concept plan, preliminary plat, construction plan, final plat) must have the preceding plat/plan approved by the Municipal Authority before the next in the series can be accepted for review.

 

 

Benefits of Alternative Review:

 

  • Faster approval process as applications can be submitted on any day and deemed complete within ten (10) business days of submission significantly reducing the approval process time 
  • No pre-development meetings or resubmittal fees 
  • Applications may not need to meet every requirement of a Completeness Checklist. For example, if extenuating circumstances prevent a Geotechnical Report or Drainage Study from being submitted with a Preliminary Plan application, the City Engineer may waive that requirement and deem the application complete for review
  • Comments generated on the plat/plan will be sent directly from the City Engineer to the Applicant rather than being provided by the Municipal Authority on a set day each month. The City Engineer has thirty (30) calendar days to issue any comments, but if they are completed sooner they'll be sent to the Applicant earlier than the 30th day

 

Drawbacks of Alternative Review: 

 

  • City Engineers have thirty (30) calendar days for each review cycle to issue comments, conformance letters, or approvals

 

Concurrent Review

 

Concurrent subdivision review is only available with a Development Agreement approved by the City Council. Generally if concurrent review is requested the city will seek certain development standard such as, but not limited to, masonry percentages and/or architectural requirements. Concurrent review Development Agreements usually take one (1) to two (2) months to approve.

 

 

Benefits of Concurrent Review: 

 

  • Fastest approval process. Plat/plans can be submitted any day and do not need to be approved by the Municipal Authority before any proceeding plat/plan is submitted.
  • No pre-development meetings required
  • Comments generated on the plat/plan will be sent directly from the City Engineer to the Applicant rather than being provided by the Municipal Authority on a set day each month. The City Engineer has thirty (30) calendar days to issue any comments, but if they are completed sooner they'll be sent to the Applicant earlier than the 30th day

 

Drawbacks of Concurrent Review: 

 

  • Requires City Council approval
  • Applications need to be deemed complete in accordance with that associated plat/plan's Completeness Checklist unless negotiated differently in the Development Agreement. For example, a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) needs to approved before a Preliminary Plat can be submitted, but the Development Agreement may allow for the TIA and Preliminary Plan to be reviewed concurrently.

 

Subdivision Process with 5 or more parcels with or without public improvements:
Concept Plans

Concept plans are used to demonstrate the coordination of improvements within and among individually platted parcels, sections, or phases of a development as well as compatibility of the proposed development with City ordinances. The plans show the layout of the entire development and its relationship to adjacent properties and includes the proposed main roads, number of residential and non-residential lot, and significant drainage and topological features. A TIA determination is required with all Concept Plans. City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments once an application is deemed complete. Under Standard Review comments will be provided by the Planning Commission at their next scheduled meeting, followed by the City Council if approved by the Planning Commission. Under Alternative Review comments will be provided by the City Engineer. On resubmitted applications in response to comments under Standard Review City Engineers have 15 calendar days to issue comments to the Planning Commission once the application is deemed complete. Under Alternative Review, City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments on re-submitted applications in response to comments once the application is deemed complete. Under Alternative Review the plan only goes to the Planning Commission and City Council after a conformance letter is issued by the City Engineer.

 

Preliminary Plats

Preliminary Plats provide detailed graphic information and associated text indicating property boundaries, easements, land use, streets, utilities, drainage, and other information required to evaluate the proposal. If a traffic impact analysis is deemed required during the Concept Plan process, the TIA must be submitted and approved PRIOR to a Preliminary Plat being accepted for submission. City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments once an application is deemed complete. Under Standard Review comments will be provided by the Planning Commission at their next scheduled meeting. Under Alternative Review comments will be provided by the City Engineer. On resubmitted applications in response to comments under Standard Review City Engineers have 15 calendar days to issue comments to the Planning Commission once the application is deemed complete. Under Alternative Review, City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments on re-submitted applications in response to comments once the application is deemed complete. Under Alternative Review the plat only goes to the Planning Commission after a conformance letter is issued by the City Engineer.

 

Construction Plans

Construction Plans consist of detailed specifications and diagrams illustrating the location, design, and composition of all improvements identified in the Preliminary Plat. Additionally, any project that necessitates the construction, reconstruction, or modification of existing City infrastructure shall also be submitted for approval. City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments once an application is deemed complete. Under Standard Review, City Engineers have 15 calendar days to issue comments on re-submitted applications in response to comments once the application is deemed complete. Under Alternative Review, City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments on re-submitted applications in response to comments once the application is deemed complete. Construction plans are approved administratively. 

 

Final Plats

Final Plats provide the property boundaries, easements, streets, utilities, drainage and other information required for the property to be legally subdivided by recordation in the Travis County Official Public Record. Final Plats are also used to provide addresses for the lots through City of Austin 911 Addressing. City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments once an application is deemed complete. Under Standard Review comments will be provided by the Planning Commission at their next scheduled meeting. Under Alternative Review comments will be provided by the City Engineer. On resubmitted applications in response to comments under Standard Review City Engineers have 15 calendar days to issue comments to the Planning Commission once the application is deemed complete. Under Alternative Review, City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments on re-submitted applications in response to comments once the application is deemed complete. Under Alternative Review the plat only goes to the Planning Commission after a conformance letter is issued by the City Engineer.

 

Acceptance of Improvement by the City

After construction of the improvements have been completed the City engineers and public works will perform an initial walk-through of the project to find any defects or variances from the approved plans that must be corrected prior to City acceptance. A 3% of total construction costs fee based on the approved Opinion of Probable Costs is due before City acceptance. Additional support documentation is also required: 

  • Final pay application to establish a final inspection fee
  • Administrative documents
    • Easement documents for offsite drainage 
    • Electronic copy of all public improvements shown on the construction plans (AutoCAD 2016 or earlier format and pdf files)
    • Design engineer's certification of substantial compliance, stating that all improvements have been completed in accordance with the approved plans and approved changes thereto 
    • Copies of all inspection reports, shop drawing and certified test results of construction materials 
    • Copies of all field-testing results including densities, bacteriological and line/manhole testing
    • Copies of the required warrantee and maintenance bond
    • Proof of payment of all applicable fees 
    • Tax Certificates as of date of filing for acceptance 
    • Copies of all bills paid affidavit 
    • Separation of Costs form

Once the project has been accepted by City and the lots have been addressed building permits can be issued for individual lots. 

 

Subdivision Process with 4 or fewer parcels and no public improvements:

Short Form Final Plat

When only 4 or fewer lots are created without public improvements being dedicated to the City (streets, water and wastewater lines, drainage facilities, parks) the City provides for an alternative procedure that is not heavily burdened by supplying information on land use, utility requirements, and traffic impacts. This process is suitable for simple resubdivisions, lot splits, and the platting of existing development and of land proposed for site development where public improvements are not required. City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments once an application is deemed complete. Under Standard Review comments will be provided by the Planning Commission at their next scheduled meeting. Under Alternative Review comments will be provided by the City Engineer. On resubmitted applications in response to comments under Standard Review City Engineers have 15 calendar days to issue comments to the Planning Commission once the application is deemed complete. Under Alternative Review, City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments on re-submitted applications in response to comments once the application is deemed complete. Under Alternative Review the plat only goes to the Planning Commission after a conformance letter is issued by the City Engineer.

 

Amended Plat

The purpose of amended plats is correct an error in any course or distance shown on the preceding plat; add any course or distance that was omitted on the preceding plat; correct an error in the description of the real property shown on the preceding plat; indicate monuments set after death, disability, or retirement from practice of the engineer or surveyor charged with responsibilities for setting monuments; correct any other type of scrivener or clerical error or omission as previously approved by the Commission and Council - such errors and omissions may include, but are not limited to: lot numbers, acreage, street names, and identification of adjacent recorded plats; to correct courses and distances of lot lines between two (2) adjacent lots where lot owners join in the application for an Amended Plat and neither lot is abolished, provided such amendment does not attempt to remove recorded covenants or restrictions and does not have a material adverse effect on the property rights of the owners in the plat; to relocate a lot line in order to cure an inadvertent encroachment of a building or improvement on a lot line or on an easement; and to relocate one (1) or more lot lines between one (1) or more adjacent lots where the owner or owners of all such lots join in the application for the Amended Plat, provided such amendment does not attempt to remove recorded covenants or restrictions, or increase the number of lots. City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments once an application is deemed complete. Under Standard Review, City Engineers have 15 calendar days to issue comments on re-submitted applications in response to comments once the application is deemed complete. Under Alternative Review, City Engineers have 30 calendar days to issue comments on re-submitted applications in response to comments once the application is deemed complete. Amended Plats are approved administratively. 

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