Subdivision Regulations

A subdivision plat shall be required for every owner of any tract of land (within city limits and in the extraterritorial jurisdiction -ETJ) who may, divide said tract into two or more lots or tracts, or create from said tract one or more lots of record, including an addition to the City of Waco, for the following purposes:

  1. Laying out suburban, building, or other lots; or
  2. Transfer of ownership; or
  3. The laying out streets, alleys, squares, easements, parks, or other parts of the tract intended to be dedicated for public use; or
  4. The use of purchasers or owners of lots fronting on or adjacent to the streets, alleys, squares, parks or other parts of the tract intended to be dedicated for public use.

Definition of a Plat

A plat is a survey of property that describes the dimensions and location of the property, street right-of-way, and easements. A plat also establishes the lot, block, and subdivision name used in real estate transactions. A plat is a legal document complete with a drawing of the property boundaries, a written description of those boundaries, a dedication statement from the property owner, a title block, and approval statements and certifications. Plats must be prepared and sealed by a Registered Professional Land Surveyor.

The Reason for Platting

The platting process ensures that all lots comply with the City of Waco’s standards for development that are intended to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. Plats are reviewed for compliance with regulations regarding minimum lot size, width and depth; street access and width; utility provisions; parks and open space provisions; and drainage and flood plain protection.

Authority to Regulate Platting

The City of Waco regulates subdivision platting within its city limits and ETJ through an adopted subdivision ordinance. A subdivision plat is required to be submitted for processing if there is an anticipated division of a tract of land into two or more parts, and for the purpose of obtaining a building permit or an on-site sewage facility (OSSF).

A property owner may sell or convey a tract of land that is currently not platted in the City of Waco or the ETJ to a prospective buyer. It is recommended, however, that the seller advise the buyer of the need for platting if the buyer intends to obtain a building permit or an on-site sewage facility (OSSF). Please contact Planning Services to discuss your property situation before you sell or purchase property, or begin construction on your new home or business.

Variance Procedures Available During the Platting Process

The City of Waco Subdivision Ordinance allows for a variance procedure to property owners. A property owner who submits a subdivision plat for processing, after receiving the listing of requirements for that application from City staff, may request a variance to any of those requirements or to all platting requirements if they do not desire to submit a plat. If you are interested in this process, please contact Planning Services for further details.

Information Required to Submit a Plat and the Process for Platting in Waco and the ETJ

The platting process begins with a meeting between the property owner and city staff to discuss the type of plat and items needed for processing the subdivision plat. Plats will be submitted by a Registered Professional Land Surveyor online through CSS and will need to include the following:

  • Draft of proposed plat
  • Fee

The submittal of these items on the monthly deadline date will then initiate the process of review by the various city, county, and utility departments. A letter of requirements will follow the review of the subdivision plat and will be sent to the property owner and the surveyor prior to the City Plan Commission and Waco City Council Meetings. The City Plan Commission will conduct a public hearing on the subdivision plat and make a recommendation to the Waco City Council. The Waco City Council will then make the final determination on the subdivision plat.

Minor Plats

A minor plat is approved administratively through the city. A minor plat must

  • Include 4 or fewer lots
  • Involve no extension of municipal facilities
  • Front on an existing street, and
  • Involve no creation of new streets

Minor plats are not referred to the City Plan Commission or the Waco City Council. Plats that qualify as minor plats and are approved by staff may be processed within 21-30 days. These plats are normally recorded several days after completion of the process.

Amended Minor Plat

A plat involving four or fewer lots that will amend a previously recorded plat for one of the following conditions:

  1. Correct an error in any course or distance shown on the prior plat;
  2. Add any course or distance that was omitted on the prior plat;

  3. Correct an error in the description of the real property shown on the prior plat;
  4. Indicate monuments set after death, disability, or retirement from practice of the engineer or surveyor charged with responsibilities for setting monuments;
  5. Show the proper location or character of any monument which has been changed in location or character or which originally was shown at the wrong location or incorrectly as to its character on the prior plat;
  6. Correct any other type of scrivener or clerical error or omission as previously approved by the city council; such errors and omissions may include, but are not limited to, lot numbers, acreage, street names, and identification of adjacent recorded plats;
  7. Correct an error in courses and distances of lot lines between two adjacent lots where both lot owners join in the application for plat amendment and neither lot is abolished, provided that 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 other owners in the plat;
  8. It relocates a lot line in order to cure an inadvertent encroachment of a building or improvement on a lot line or an easement; or
  9. It relocates one or more lot lines between one or more adjacent lots where the owner or owners of all such lots join in the application for the amended plat, providing that such amendment does not attempt to remove recorded covenants or restrictions or increase the number of lots; or
  10. Re-plat one or more existing lots in their entirety fronting on an existing street where the owner or owners of all such lots join in the application for the amended plat, provided that such amendment does not attempt to remove recorded covenants or restrictions, increase the number of lots or create or require the creation of a new street or make necessary the extension of municipal facilities.

Final Standard Plat

The map of a subdivision (and any required accompanying material such as construction plans) which is presented to the city plan commission and the city council for approval, and which, if approved, is recorded in the official public records of McLennan County.

Standard Amended Plat

A recorded subdivision may be amended at the request of the owner or owners of the property. The amended plat is controlling over the preceding plat and approval shall not require notice, a hearing, or approval of other lot owners if the sole purpose is to:

  1. Correct an error in any course or distance shown on the prior plat;
  2. Add any course or distance that was omitted on the prior plat;
  3. Correct an error in the description of the real property shown on the prior plat;
  4. Indicate monuments set after death, disability, or retirement from practice of the engineer or surveyor charged with responsibilities for setting monuments;
  5. Show the proper location or character of any monument which has been changed in location or character or which originally was shown at the wrong location or incorrectly as to its character on the prior plat;
  6. Correct any other type of scrivener or clerical error or omission as previously approved by the city council; such errors and omissions may include, but are not limited to, lot numbers, acreage, street names, and identification of adjacent recorded plats;
  7. Correct an error in courses and distances of lot lines between two adjacent lots where both lot owners join in the application for plat amendment and neither lot is abolished, provided that 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 other owners in the plat;
  8. It relocates a lot line in order to cure an inadvertent encroachment of a building or improvement on a lot line or an easement; or
  9. It relocates one or more lot lines between one or more adjacent lots where the owner or owners of all such lots join in the application for the amended plat, providing that such amendment does not attempt to remove recorded covenants or restrictions or increase the number of lots; or
  10. Re-plat one or more existing lots in their entirety fronting on an existing street where the owner or owners of all such lots join in the application for the amended plat, provided that such amendment does not attempt to remove recorded covenants or restrictions, increase the number of lots or create or require the creation of a new street or make necessary the extension of municipal facilities.
  11. It makes necessary changes to the prior plat to create six or fewer lots in the subdivision or a part of the subdivision covered by the prior plat if the changes do not affect applicable zoning and other regulations of the city, the changes do not attempt to amend or remove any covenants or restrictions; and the area covered by the changes is located in an area that the city plan commission or Waco City Council has approved after a public hearing as a residential improvement area.

Vacated subdivision plat

A recorded instrument approved by the city council nullifying a preceding recorded plat to the preexisting legal description of the property, upon request of the owner.

Re-subdivision plat (Replat)

Any change in the map of an approved or recorded subdivision plat except those covered by the amended plat.

Preliminary Standard Plat

The preliminary maps and plans (drainage, traffic, utility capacity or flood studies) which indicate the proposed layout of the subdivision.The preliminary plat must be submitted and approved before a final plat can be submitted and must show the entire tract of land to be developed.

Timeline for the Platting Process

The standard processing time for subdivision plats in the City of Waco is 45 days. This includes public hearings before the City Plan Commission and Waco City Council. The time frame for recording the plat after these actions are taken is dependent on the owner of the property and the surveyor completing the pending requirements.

Public Hearing Requirement

All preliminary, final, amended, vacated plats and requests for variances are required to have a public hearing, which means that they must be reviewed by the City Plan Commission and the Waco City Council.

Other Requirement for a Public Hearing to Act on Plats

Letters are mailed 12 days prior to the meeting to surrounding property owners within 200 feet of a re-subdivision plat (re-plat) either zoned single-family residential or restricted to residential use by deed. A re-subdivision plat (re-plat) is any change in the map of an approved or recorded subdivision plat.

Fee for Plat Processing

The City of Waco fee for subdivision plat covers the cost of review, noticing, advertising, and recording of the subdivision plat in the Official Public Records of McLennan County.

This information is being provided to increase your awareness of the subdivision platting regulations applicable in the City of Waco. Contact Planning Services to discuss your particular property situation prior to construction or before you sell or purchase your property. If you have any questions concerning these regulations, please schedule an appointment with a planner.

Planning Services
(254) 750-5650
planning@wacotx.gov