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SECTION 3: REVIEW PROCEDURES FOR MAJOR SUBDIVISIONS
- Pre-Submittal Meeting
- Pre-Application Plan
- Concurrent Review
- Preliminary Plat Required
- Preliminary Plat Application
- Preliminary Plat Submittal
- Preliminary Plat Approval
- Preliminary Plat Approval Period
- Additional Conditions After Approval
- Final Plat Required
- Final Plat Review
- Final Plat Approval
- General. Subdivisions containing
six or more lots, and subdivisions containing five or fewer lots that
do not qualify as first minor subdivisions, shall be reviewed under
the procedures of this Section. This procedure is a four step process:
pre-submittal meeting, pre-application plan, preliminary plat and final
- Pre-Submittal Meeting. The subdivider
shall meet with the Planning Department prior to submitting a plan or
plat. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss these Regulations and
standards, to familiarize the subdivider with the goals and objectives
of applicable plans, regulations and ordinances, and to discuss the
proposed subdivision as it relates to these matters.
- Pre-Application Plan. After the requirement
for a pre-submittal meeting has been satisfied and prior to submittal
of a preliminary plat, the subdivider shall submit an application for
pre-application review, the appropriate fee, and all required pre-application
information as set forth in these Regulations.
- Planning Department Review: Six copies of the pre-application
materials are required.
- Time for Review. The Planning Department shall review the
pre-application plan and within 15 working days advise the subdivider
as to whether the plans and data meet the goals and objectives
of applicable City approved plans and these Regulations.
- Optional Planning Board Review: The subdivider may request in
writing that the planning board review pre-application plans. The
letter of request and 14 copies of the pre-application materials
- Time for Review. The request should be received at least
18 days prior to the Planning Board meeting at which it is to
be considered. A copy of the approved minutes of the Planning
Board meeting will be forwarded to the subdivider.
- Concurrent Review. The subdivider
has the option of submitting a MDEQ/Local Government Joint Application
Form in the place of a Preliminary Plat Application Form, and to request
concurrent subdivision review by the MDEQ and the City of Belgrade (76-4-129,
- Preliminary Plat Required. After
the requirement for pre-application review has been satisfied, the subdivider
shall submit a preliminary plat. Preliminary plats are submitted to
a planning department and must conform to the requirements of these
Regulations. The preliminary plat shall be prepared by a surveyor licensed
to practice in Montana.
- Time for Review: The Council shall approve, conditionally approve,
or disapprove the preliminary plat within 60 days of the submission
of a completed application, unless the subdivider consents in writing
to an extension of the review period.
- Preliminary Plat Application.
- Application: The subdivider shall submit an application for preliminary
plat review, the appropriate fee, and all required preliminary plat
information and supplementary information as set forth in these
- Within the jurisdictional area of a Planning Board: 15 copies.
- Affected Agencies: The Planning Department may submit copies
of the preliminary plat and supplementary information to the affected
utilities and public agencies for review and comment. Review by
public agencies or utilities shall not delay the Council's consideration
of the preliminary plat beyond the statutory 60-day review period.
- Preliminary Plat Submittal. All applications
should be submitted to the appropriate planning department at least
31 days prior to the next available Planning Board meeting. The Planning
Department shall review the application within three working days to
determine if it is complete. The review period shall begin on the date
that the Planning Department determines the application is complete.
An application is complete only if it contains all of the information
required by these Regulations. If the application is incomplete; the
application, review fee and a written deficiency notice will be returned
to the subdivider.
- Public Hearing Notice: Notice of the time and date of the preliminary
plat public hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general
circulation in the City not less than 15 days prior to the date
of the hearing. The subdivider, each property owner of record, and
each recorded purchaser under contract for deed immediately adjoining
the land included in the plat shall be notified of the hearing by
certified mail not less than 15 days prior to the hearing.
- Planning Board Review: The Planning Board shall conduct a public
hearing and review the proposed subdivision.
- The Planning Board shall consider:
(1) Relevant evidence relating to the public health, safety,
(2) The environmental assessment.
(3) Other regulations in effect in the area of the proposed
(4) Whether the preliminary plat conforms to the provisions
a) Any officially
adopted comprehensive plan for the area involved.
b) Applicable zoning
c) The Montana Subdivision
and Platting Act.
d) Subdivision Regulations.
- Within 10 days of the public hearing and Planning Board review,
the planning board shall submit in writing to the Council:
(1) Its advice regarding the items under subsection (a) above.
(2) A recommendation for approval, conditional approval, or
disapproval of the plat, or no official recommendation.
- Preliminary Plat Approval. The Council
shall conduct a public hearing and review the proposed subdivision.
The Council shall approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the
preliminary plat within 60 days of determination that the application
is complete, unless there is a written extension from the subdivider.
- Basis for Decision: The basis for the Council’s decision
shall be whether the preliminary plat, environmental assessment,
planning board advice and recommendation, and additional information
demonstrate that development of the subdivision would meet the requirements
of the Act. The Council may not deny approval of a subdivision based
solely on the subdivision’s impact on educational services.
- Findings of Fact: The Council shall issue a written findings
of fact that discusses and weighs the following criteria (pursuant
to 76-3-608, MCA):
- Effect on agriculture, agricultural water user facilities,
local services, the natural environment, wildlife and wildlife
habitat, and the public health and safety.
- Compliance with the survey requirements of the Act.
- Compliance with these local subdivision Regulations and the
review process of these Regulations.
- The provision of easements for the location and installation
of any necessary utilities.
- The provision of legal and physical access to each parcel
within the subdivision and the notation of that access on the
applicable plat and any instrument transferring the parcel.
The written findings of fact shall include:
- The reason for the denial or condition imposition.
- The evidence that justifies the denial or condition imposition.
- Information regarding the appeal process for the denial or
- Mitigation: The Council may require the subdivider to design
the subdivision to reasonably minimize potentially significant adverse
impacts identified through the review required by these Regulations.
The City Council shall issue written findings to justify the reasonable
mitigation required by these Regulations.
- In reviewing a subdivision under this Section and when requiring
mitigation under this subsection, the Council may not unreasonably
restrict a landowner’s ability to develop land, but it
is recognized that in some instances the unmitigated impacts
of a proposed development may be unacceptable and will preclude
approval of the plat.
- When requiring mitigation under this subsection, the Council
shall consult with the subdivider and shall give due weight
and consideration to the expressed preference of the subdivider.
- Subdivision Proposed in Master Plan Area: When a subdivision
is proposed in an area where a master plan has been adopted pursuant
to Section 76-1-101, et seq., MCA, and the proposed subdivision
will comply with the master plan, the subdivision is exempt from
the review criteria contained in these Regulations but is subject
to applicable zoning regulations.
- In order for a master plan to serve as the basis for the
exemption provided in this subsection, the plan must, at a minimum,
(1) Housing, transportation, and land use elements sufficient
for the Council to protect public health, safety and welfare.
(2) A discussion of physical constraints on development that
exist within the area encompassed by the proposed subdivision.
- Preliminary Plat Approval Period. Upon
approving or conditionally approving a preliminary plat, the Council
shall provide the subdivider with a dated and signed statement of approval.
This approval shall be in force for not more than three calendar years
or less than one calendar year. At the end of this period the Council
may, at the request of the subdivider, extend its approval for no more
than one calendar year, except that the Council may extend its approval
for a period of more than one year if that approval period is included
as a specific condition of a written subdivision improvements agreement
between the City and the subdivider.
- Additional Conditions After Approval.
After the preliminary plat is approved, the Council may not impose any
additional conditions as a prerequisite to final plat approval, providing
said approval is obtained within the original or extended approval period
as provided in these Regulations.
- Final Plat Required. After the conditions
of preliminary approval and the requirements for the installation of
improvements have been satisfied, the subdivider shall cause to be prepared
a final plat.
- The final plat shall conform to the Uniform Standards for Final
- All certificates, with the exception of Council and Clerk and
Recorder, shall be complied with, signed and notorized. This shall
include the Treasurer’s Certification that all real property
taxes and special assessments assessed and levied on the land to
be subdivided have been paid.
- Plans and data shall be prepared under the supervision of a registered
surveyor as licensing laws allow.
- One signed cloth-backed copy, one signed reproducible copy on
a stable base polyester film or equivalent, one digital copy of
the survey on 3-1/2” DS/DD disk, and six copies shall be submitted.
- The horizontal scale shall not be less than 200 feet (200’)
to the inch, and the lengths of all lines shall be shown to at least
tenths of a foot and all angles and bearings to at least the nearest
- Final Plat Review.
- Review of Abstract and Covenants: The certificate of a licensed
title abstractor a copy of the covenants, and the conditions of
preliminary approval shall be submitted to the City Attorney's office
at least 30 days prior to scheduling a hearing for final plat approval.
- Final Plat Submittal: The final plat and all supplementary documents
shall be submitted to the Planning Department at least 30 days prior
to the expiration of preliminary plat approval or any extension
there to, and no less than 10 days prior to the date of the final
plat shall be presented to the Council for approval. The submittal
shall include; an application for final review, the appropriate
fee, and all required information, and a written explanation of
how each of the conditions of preliminary plat approval has been
- Review by the Planning Department: The Planning Department shall
then review the final plat to ascertain that all other conditions
and requirements for final approval have been met.
- Final Plat Approval.
- Approval by the Council: The Council shall examine every final
plat and within 30 days of the date of submission to the Planning
Department shall approve it if it conforms to the conditions of
preliminary approval and the terms of these Regulations.
- If the final plat is approved, the Council shall so certify
in a printed certificate on the plat.
- If the final plat is disapproved, the Council shall write
the subdivider a letter stating the reasons therefore.
- Filing: The subdivider shall file the approved, signed final
plat and all other required certificates and documents with the
Clerk and Recorder within 60 days of the date of final approval.