Ordinance Organization

Most land division ordinances contain the following sections:

  • Title, Authority and Purpose. This section identifies the state enabling legislation which empowers the community to adopt land division regulations and describes the ordinance purpose.
  • General Provisions. This section includes definitions of terms and describes the area affected by the ordinance.
  • Land Division Procedures. This section describes procedures and requirements for dividing land.  Depending on the number and size of lots created, communities often distinguish between state subdivisions and major or minor land divisions.  A plat approval process or certified survey map may be required depending on the number and size of lots created.
  • Design and Development Standards. This section describes minimum design standards related to street arrangement, block sizes, lot sizes, lighting, road and drainage gradients, stormwater management, integration of natural features, and similar physical criteria.
  • Public Improvements. As a condition of approval, a local government may require a developer to dedicate land, fees in lieu of land, easements, or public improvements necessary to serve the new development.  Roads, sidewalks, monuments, street signs, public utilities, water lines, sewers, storm drains, landscaping, and other on-site improvements may also be required.
  • Administration, Enforcement and Fees.  This section identifies application and review fees and the process for appealing plat decisions.  Financial guarantees, such as a letter of credit or performance bond may be required to ensure that improvements are completed in a specified time period.


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