Preliminary Subdivision Plans
The administrative preliminary subdivision plan approval process is an established procedure for the preliminary review of subdivisions by city staff to ensure the safe extension of public infrastructure (roads, utilities, etc.) as the City of Raleigh grows and property is subdivided. Subdivision plans are reviewed by the Department of City Planning administratively pursuant to City Code Part 10 Chapter 10 Sections 10-2101, 10-3032, and 10-3071 through 10-3074 for lot size and dimension and for proper access to the new lots for utility lines, services and streets. Most subdivisions of land may be approved administratively using this process without review or approval by public boards or commissions. An exception to this is infill subdivisions, which do require a public hearing at the Planning Commission. Client may not move to the next step toward obtaining permits or recording plat until the approval letter is received and all conditions of approval are met. After approval is received, legal maps may be prepared for recording at the Wake County Register of Deeds, new addresses will be established and the property will then be ready for building permit review.
The Development Services Customer Service Center is responsible for the intake of preliminary subdivision plans. When plans are submitted, they are routed to the Department of City Planning and a coordinating planner will be assigned to manage the review. Plans will be reviewed by a team of staff with expertise in Planning, Transportation, Zoning, Zoning Enforcement, Urban Design, Comprehensive Planning, Transit, Stormwater, Utilities, Fire, Forestry and Greenways. Additional staff may be utilized depending on the type and location of the project.
Upon completion of the review, the coordinating planner will send review comments to the client, designer or project coordinator and the property owner in the form of email correspondence. The client is required to address each of the staff comments in writing and re-submit a set of revised plans for review. Staff will review the plans in accordance with the regulations of City Code Part 10 Chapters 2 and 3 (Planning and Development) as well as the policies, procedures and regulations adopted in the Comprehensive Plan, Public Utilities Handbook, Public Works Streets, Sidewalk and Driveway Access Manual, Stormwater Manual and the Solid Waste Handbook.
When all plan review comments have satisfactorily been addressed by the client, the coordinating planner will prepare a staff report for final review by the Planning Manager of the Current Planning Services Division and final signature by the Planning Director. Upon a decision by the Planning Director, a letter of decision will be sent to the client which will list the official action on the Preliminary Site Plan and any conditions of approval. The Administrative Preliminary Site Plan approval process typically takes 8-10 weeks. If a variance to the City Code standard is made or a request is made that staff cannot approve, the plan may be forwarded to the Planning Commission for their recommendation. This will add approximately 2-4 weeks to the process.
See the City of Raleigh Development Services Glossary for any unfamiliar terms.
Are there any prerequisites to this process?
- If property is on a state road then all NCDOT driveway or encroachment permits must be obtained prior to building permit issuance
- Property within Raleigh's Jurisdiction
- Property must be zoned for allowable use in its zoning district. Check for Permitted Uses and City of Raleigh Zoning Map
- Parcel that the plan is proposed to be built upon must be properly recorded at the Wake County Register of Deeds with an assigned PIN (parcel identification number) and address
How do I start the process?
- Meet all prerequisites above
- Complete submittal package (see below)
- Submit the completed plan submittal package to the Development Services Customer Service Center located at One Exchange Plaza, Suite 400, Raleigh NC
What do I need to submit to the City?
|Required for Submittal||Preliminary Development Plan Application
Fee (see Development Fee Schedule)
|Recommended for a Successful Review||Preliminary Development Plan Checklist|
|Required for Some Projects||Wake County School Form|
Preliminary Plan Acceptance and Routing Schedule:
Preliminary plans may be submitted to the Development Services Customer Service Center (DSCSC) during operating hours Monday through Friday. Upon acceptance, preliminary plans are routed weekly for review among city departments. In order to be reviewed with the current week's schedule, preliminary plans must be accepted no later than 3:00 p.m. Thursday of each week.* Any preliminary plan accepted after 3:00 p.m. Thursday for any reason will be included in the following week's review cycle.
* Exceptions to this schedule occur on weeks with a business holiday. Please contact the DSCSC for more information.
Where can I find detailed information regarding submittals?
- Preliminary Development Plan Checklist
- City Code Part 10 Chapters 2 and 3
- Reference the various design manuals as applicable to your project
Where do I submit my application?
All commercial plans should be submitted to the Development Services Customer Service Center.
What are the keys to success?
- Schedule a Pre-Submittal Conference to review issues that may come up in the formal review process
- Select a single point of contact to represent the client to facilitate correspondence with the coordinating planner
- Thoroughly review and confirm that the plans meet the applicable sections of City Code Part 10 Chapters 2 and 3 and the applicable design manuals listed in the Process Description above
- Provide a thorough response to city staff comments when preparing re-submittals and specifically address each comment in writing
What fees are involved and when do I pay them?
- Payment type accepted is check made payable to: City of Raleigh
- Fee payments are delivered to and processed by the Development Services Customer Service Center located at One Exchange Plaza, Suite 400, Raleigh NC as part of the Submittal Package (see above)
- Initial fee includes two review cycles (original review and one re-review). If additional re-reviews are required, additional fees will be required at the time plans are re-submitted for review
- See Development Fee Schedule
How long will this process take?
- Each review cycle takes approximately 10-15 days (dependent upon complexity of the project and client's accurate and timely response to City plan review comments)
- The typical administrative preliminary subdivision approval process takes approximately 8-10 weeks which includes two review cycles. Add an additional 10-15 days per extra review cycle needed
- If Planning Commission or City Council approval is required, the approval process takes approximately 10-12 weeks