Platting Approval Process company
Houston Planning Commission
Approval by Planning Commission is often the first step required in the development process. The Planning Commission is a 25-member board appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council with responsibility for reviewing and approving subdivision plats and variances in the City and the ETJ. The Commission also reviews development site plan variances within the city limits. The Commission meets every other Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in City Hall annex chambers, 900 Bagboy, unless otherwise posted.
The agenda is posted three days in advance on the Department’s web site at www.houstonplanning.com. Items on the agenda posted as consent are typically considered all in one grouping. Items considered separately include replats requiring a public hearing and variances. Members of the public can sign up to speak on any agenda item at the meeting. Speakers are allowed two minutes and can only speak once per item (if the item is deferred, speakers must choose at which meeting to speak).
A plat provides for the subdivision of land that can be legally defined (i.e. Lot 29, block 19 of the Happy Trails sub division). Subdivision plats are required to show how land will be subdivided. The plat must reflect adequate streets and right-of-way for the project. The plat is checked to assure it abides by all development rules as established by Chapter 42, the City’s land development ordinance. By law, the Commission is required to approve plats that meet the requirements of Chapter 42.
Undeveloped land must be platted before development occurs. If land is platted, it can be replatted to further subdivide the existing subdivision plat or change the use of the property (i.e. from single-family to multi-family). Typically, a replat will make changes to the layout of lots, reserves, building setback lines and easements. Plats must be considered and either approved or disapproved within 30 days or state law mandates that the plat is automatically approved if no action is taken be deferred twice but action must be taken within the 30 days.
Residents who were notified of a public hearing or variance will not receive a second notice if the item is deferred at Planning Commission. The item will automatically come up at the next Planning Commission meeting. The Commission’s authority on platting does not extend to land use and therefore cannot disapprove a plat because of the intended use of the property. Other issues applicable to land development such as adequate water, sewer and drainage are handled by other agencies and are not part of the Commission’s authority regarding plat approval. A plat must be prepared by a licensed surveyor, land planner and/or engineer and a licensed surveyor or engineer must sign the plat. If the property is located within Fort Bend County, a licensed engineer must sign the plat in addition to a licensed surveyor.
The coordination and preparation of the plat application to the governmental agencies. Combining survey information with dedicatory and jurisdictional requirements. (Legal information, ownership information, deeds, lien holders, title reports).
Planning staff along with related agencies review submitted plats. Each city and county have specific requirements for the submission of a surveyed plat. The governmental body will review and provide requested updates or changes to plat submitted prior to final approval
Staff makes recommendations to Planning Commission and takes one of the following actions: The Planning Commission, a 26-member board appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council includes citizens, elected officials and the Director of Planning and Development. The Commission reviews and approves subdivision and development plats.
- Defer – Plat scheduled for next Commission meeting
- Preliminary Approval – Applicant contacts Public Works and Engineering for utilities and then prepares Final Plat
- Final Approval – PWE approves paving and utility plans and Applicant submits final plat for recordation. Applicant applies for permits.
- Disapprove – Applicant can submit revised plans with full fees
Staff notifies the applicant of Commission action. The plat is signed by the appropriate government agencies and sent over to the County Clerk for recording.
Counties We Serve
Harris | Liberty | Chambers | Galveston | Brazoria | Waller | Montgomery | Fort Bend
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Other Land Services We Offer
Land Surveying & Research
Land & Construction Legal Documents
Public Hearings, Variances & Special Exceptions
Frequently Asked Questions
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