Preliminary Subdivision Plans

Last updated Feb. 13, 2019 - 9:32 am

The preliminary subdivision plan approval process is a review of subdivisions by the city staff to ensure conformance with the Unified Development Ordinance regulations related to lot layout, extension of public infrastructure, such as roads and utilities, and conformance with stormwater control and tree conservation requirements.

The Development Services Department and other city agencies administratively review subdivision plans per the Unified Development Ordinance Section 10.2.5 for conformance to lot size and dimensions and for access for utility lines, services and streets, depending on the zoning district.

Most subdivisions are approved administratively without review or approval by public boards or commissions, unless a site is within a Metro Park Overlay or Historic Overlay Zoning District. Sites in those zoning districts require City Council approval. See UDO Section 10.1.8.


  • Schedule a Pre-Application Conference by filling out the Pre-Application Conference form and send an email to the staff member associated with the process type you are requesting.

Approvals or Permits Issued

Letter of decision signed by the City of Raleigh Planning Director.

Key Steps in the Process

  1. Schedule a Pre-Application Conference by filling out the Pre-Application Conference form and email the form to the appropriate staff member listed in the "Prerequisites" section of this web page.
  2. The applicant submits the plan to the Development Services Customer Service Center.
  3. The Development Services Customer Service Center routes the plan to a coordinating planner who is assigned to manage the review by a team of staff. Members of the team have expertise in planning, transportation, zoning, transit, stormwater, utilities, fire, forestry and greenways. The team reviews the plans in conformance with the Unified Development Ordinance, as well as the policies, procedures and regulations in the Public Utilities Handbook, Street Design Manual, Stormwater Manual and the Solid Waste Handbook.
  4. The coordinating planner emails review comments to the applicant, designer or project coordinator and property owner.
  5. The applicant addresses each staff comment in writing and submits a revised plan for review.
  6. The coordinating planner prepares a staff report for final staff approval.
  7. The applicant receives a letter of decision, which provides the official action on the preliminary subdivision plan and any conditions of approval, at which time a 30 day appeal period begins. During this appeal period, infrastructure construction plans, concurrent plan reviews, and preliminary plats may be submitted for review; however, they cannot be approved until the appeal period expires. An applicant may not obtain permits or record a plat until receiving an approval letter and the applicant has met all conditions of approval.

Submittal Requirements

Required for Submittal
Required for Some Projects
Recommended for a Successful Review

Expected Processing Time for Development Projects


Next Steps

Submit application for a Concurrent Site Review.

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