Plats (10 or more lots)

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Preliminary Plats

During the Preliminary Plat process, a decision is made as to whether the division of property is allowed;  appropriate access is determined; and development conditions are determined.

SEPA:  Plats of 20 or more lots require a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) Determination as well.  See Tip Sheet P-1200 for details on submitting a SEPA application (Environmental Checklist).

Pre-Application/Scoping Meeting:  A pre-application meeting is required prior to submitting an application for a preliminary plat.  To request a meeting, submit a Pre-Apllication Request via TacomaPermits.org and attach a PDF of your proposed site plan to the Scoping Request Form.  Also, bring at least one print of your proposed surveyed site plan in order to meet with a City Surveyor.

Preliminary Report: A Preliminary Report is issued by the Planning and Development Services Department and transmitted to the Hearing Examiner.  The Report will include development conditions and corrections to the site plan that will need to be made before the final plat can be submitted.

Public Notice and Public Hearing:  A public notice is transmitted to internal City departments and external agencies and is mailed to neighbors within 400 feet of the property in the form of a yellow postcard approximately 20 days before the Public Hearing.  The public may submit comments either before or at the Public Hearing.  The applicant is given a chance to provide a written response to all comments.

Decision: A decision is issued by the Hearings Examiner within approximately 90 days from submittal.

Appeal: Appeals may be filed within 14 days of the decision date.

Submittal Requirements for Preliminary Plat (10 or More Lots)

All application materials must be submitted in electronic PDF format on compact disc (CD) or online at TacomaPermits.org.  See Tip Sheet G-230.

  • Completed Land Use Permit Application Form
  • Free-Consent Statement signed by all owners of the property
  • Current Title Report dated within 90 days of application submittal or plat certificate
  • Lot Closure Report
  • Transit access checklist, including a table showing the location and walking distance in feet to the nearest bus stop(s), the routes served by that stop, and the potential patronage calculated according to the formula and generation rates shown on the checklist (could also be submitted as part of SEPA package, if applicable)
  • Site Plan- should show the following:
    • Existing and proposed contours at intervals of five feet or less
    • Names of all adjacent subdivisions and owners of adjoining parcels
    • Names of all zoning districts
    • Location of all existing and platted streets, pedestrian ways, bike routes, recorded easements, rights-of-ways, and section lines within and adjacent to the plat
    • All public and private open space to be preserved within the plat
    • A table showing the plat area, number of lots, and minimum and average lot size
    • Locations of existing storm and sanitary sewers, water mains, and electric conduits or overheard power lines to be used to serve the property
    • All existing buildings and required setback
  • Preliminary Utility Plan
  • If your site is located within a neighborhood district that has Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions (CC&Rs) associated with it, a copy of the CC&Rs must be provided with the land use application for review.
  • Other information identified by City staff (Including SEPA Environmental Checklist)
  • Application fee

Submittal Requirements for Final Plat (10 or More Lots)

All application materials must be submitted in electronic PDF format on compact disc (CD) or online at TacomaPermits.org.  See Tip Sheet G-230.

  • Site Plan (revised according to Preliminary Short Plat Redlines, if applicable), in accordance with TMC 13.04.090.H.
    • Survey monuments should be placed prior to submission of the final short plat, in accordance with TMC 13.04.090.I unless the City specifies otherwise.  In instances of delayed monumentation, a cash deposit or inclusion of the monumentation value into the performance bond will be required.
    • Final Short Plats shall include the dedicatory language included in TMC 13.04.090.J.
    • Final Short Plat Plans should include signatory lines for approvals from the City Engineer, Director of the Planning and Development Services Department, City Treasurer, City Attorney, the Mayor, and the City Clerk.
  • Copy of Approved Preliminary Plat Decision
  • Copy of SEPA Determination (for 20 or more lots)
  • Title Reports
  • Lot Closure Reports

Submittal of Final Plat:  A second pre-application meeting is required prior to submitting an application for a final plat.  Applications for Final Plats may be submitted within the following timelines:

  • Preliminary plat approved before January 1, 2008 and not within Shoreline jurisdiction: 10 years
  • Preliminary plat approved on or before December 31, 2014 and not within Shoreline jurisdiction: 7 years
  • Preliminary plat approved before January 1, 2015, within Shoreline jurisdiction: 7 years
  • Preliminary plat approved on or after January 1, 2015, regardless of where located: 5 years

At the time of Final Plat submittal, all improvements, easements, covenants, and any other applicable requirements should be completed or bonded for and accepted.  Approval of the final plat shall be indicated by the signatures of the City Engineer, the Director, the City Treasurer, the City Attorney, the Mayor, and the City Clerk on the original reproducible final plat.

Bonding:  In lieu of the construction of the required improvements before approval of the final plat of a subdivision by the Director, the subdivider can post a performance bond, guaranteeing that the required improvements shall be completed in accordance with the requirements of the City of Tacoma and within the specified period of time.  The bond may also secure the successful operation of required improvements for a two-year period after final approval.

All required improvements shall be completed by the subdivider within one year from the date of the approval of the final plat.  If the required improvements are not completed in the specified time, or the required improvements do not operate successfully for two years after completion, the City may use the bond to complete improvements or to make any repairs to constructed improvements which fail to successfully operate for two years after final approval.

Decision: A Final Plat decision is issued by the Planning Director and forwarded, by resolution, to the City Council for approval, unless the decision is appealed to the Hearing Examiner within 14 days of the decision.  In cases where the proposed development is phased, each phase of a plat must receive Final Plat approval.

City Council: Once the Final Plat is forwarded to the City Council for approval, it is put on the City Council’s Consent Agenda and voted on by the Council.  It is not required that the applicant attend the City Council meeting for the City Council’s vote, but the applicant is welcome to attend if desired.

Recording: Approved Final Plats must be recorded within 90 days after the date of approval of the final plat, unless written application for an extension is made and granted.  Prior to submittal of the final plat drawings to the City for recording, the applicant shall obtain the required signatures, ensure that it has been stamped by a licensed surveyor, and pay the associated fees.  Acquiring a legibility form from the Pierce County Auditor prior to submittal is recommended to ensure there are no concerns regarding the clarity of the document at the time of recording.

  • Two separate checks are required during the recording process. One is made payable to the City of Tacoma and the other is made payable to Pierce County.  The fees for recording are stated on the last page of your Decision. Visit www.Tacomapermits.org (Tip Sheet P-000) for the City’s current fee schedule.  Contact the Planning and Development Services Department for questions regarding fees.

Applicable Regulations