Subdivision Regulations in the City of Waco and it's Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ)
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
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.
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.
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 resubdivision plat (replat) either zoned single-family residential or restricted to residential use by deed. A resubdivision plat (replat) 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.