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Types of Plats

While the terms vary from city to city, there are basically three types of Plat:

  • Preliminary Plat:  This is a map of a more general nature for large scale development.  This plat will typically only show the approximate areas of the lots and a rough layout of the streets.  This may not be required for all projects.
  • Final Plat:  This becomes the official map filed at the county courthouse.  This map precisely describes the property and gives the exact dimensions of the lots, streets, and easements of the property.  Under state law, only a Registered Professional Land Surveyor can prepare this plat.
  • Re-Plat:  This is a special type of map prepared to change lot lines or other items shown on the original plat.  This type of plat might be used to combine small lots into larger ones, move lot lines, or cut small lots out of larger ones.

While each city is different, the platting process usually follows an outline similar to this:

  1. The property owner retains a Surveyor to survey the land and prepare the plat in accordance with the city's rules.
  2. The plat is submitted to the appropriate authority, usually the Planning & Zoning Department.  
  3. The city staff reviews the plat for compliance with their ordinances and policies and makes a recommendation to the Planning & Zoning Commission.
  4. The Planning & Zoning Commission holds a hearing on the plat and either recommends approval or disapproval to the City Council.
  5. The City Council votes to either approve or disapprove the plat.  Some cities skip this step and allow the Planning & Zoning Commission the final decision.
  6. The plat is signed by the owner and representatives of the city and recorded at the county courthouse.

Before you begin the platting process, you should review our Developer's Checklist.