February 23, 2018

What is the process a tract map goes through?

After a tract map application has been formally accepted as complete, the map is sent to governmental agencies and utility companies for review and comment. A Notice of Public Hearing is also sent to all of the property owners within 500 to 1,000 feet of the site and is published in the local newspaper. (If an environmental study is required, the map is not circulated for review until the environmental document has been prepared.)

Two (2) meetings are scheduled: the Subdivision Review Committee meeting and a public hearing. The Subdivision Review Committee consists of staff from the following County Departments: Planning and Natural ResourcesEngineering, Surveying and Permit ServicesPublic Health/Environmental Health Services DivisionFireSheriff, and Roads. The Planning and Natural Resources Director acts as chairman of the Subdivision Review Committee. The purpose of the Subdivision Review Committee is to formulate a recommendation for the Planning Commission regarding the tract. This meeting is held so the applicant can discuss the recommendation with the Subdivision Review Committee. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the Subdivision Review Committee meeting and resolve all concerns at that level.
Written comments regarding the tract are made by each of the Subdivision Review Committee departments. These comments are sent to the applicant at least three (3) working days prior to the Subdivision Review Committee meeting. At the Subdivision Review Committee meeting, County Departments review and discuss recommended conditions of approval and a recommendation is formulated. After the Subdivision Review Committee meeting, the Planning and Natural Resources Department compiles all of the comments and prepares a report. The purpose of the report is to present the formal recommendation of the Subdivision Review Committee to the Planning Commission. The report includes recommended conditions of approval and recommended findings for the tract. The Planning Commission is the hearing body that acts as the Advisory Agency authority in these matters. Decisions of the Planning Commission can be appealed to the Board of Supervisors, but if no appeal is submitted, the decision is final after the Planning Commission decision.

The tract map process consists of two (2) distinct phases. The “tentative map” process and the “final map” process. The Planning and Natural Resources Department is responsible for processing the tract map from its initial submittal through to “tentative approval.” The Engineering, Surveying and Permit Services Department is responsible for processing the tract map after “tentative approval” through to the recordation of the final map. Once a tract map is tentatively approved, the applicant works with the Engineering, Surveying and Permit Services Department to comply with the conditions of approval and record the map. Checklists containing requirements for submittal of a final map for checking and of an original for recording are available on the Engineering, Surveying and Permit Services Department web site.

Once the tract map is recorded, the property is officially subdivided. It often will take several weeks for the county’s official maps and computer data bases to be updated to reflect the new subdivision.