Frequently Asked Questions: Short Plats
What is a Short Subdivision?
A Short Subdivision, also called a Short Plat, is the division of the property into 4 (or fewer) lots in a rural area, and the division of the property into 9 (or fewer) lots in urban areas.
Do I need to get the County's approval for a Short Subdivision?
Can I divide my property into more than 4 rural lots or into more than 9 urban lots?
Yes. However, the process is termed a Subdivision. A Subdivision requires a public hearing and a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) determination.
What is the Short Subdivision approval process?
Most Short Subdivisions are processed through Chapter 30.41B SCC. If the parcel being divided was created within the last 5 years or if a new public road is being established, then the project must be processed as a formal subdivision under Chapter 30.41A SCC.
What steps are involved in the Short Subdivision process?
Any land division is a legal process that establishes new lots. It is beyond the capabilities of most laymen to undertake the process. Anyone considering any division of land is strongly encouraged to contact a professional land use consultant that is familiar with Snohomish County regulations.
The basic process is:
- Contact a professional land use consultant. Through that consultation, determine if it is feasible and cost effective to pursue a Short Subdivision on the property.
- The land use consultant will develop the required submittal materials. (see below)
- When all of the submittal materials are prepared, call (425) 388-3311 ext. 2790 to schedule a submittal appointment.
- Upon submittal, the project materials will be routed to relevant state and county agencies for review and comment. The project also will be reviewed by Planning and Development Services for compliance with the zoning, critical areas, land disturbing activities, and traffic regulations.
- After the project has been determined to meet the regulatory requirements, the project is granted Preliminary Approval.
- The next phase of development is the Construction Plan review and approval. After construction plans have been submitted and approved, the physical construction of the project begins. This is the phase when the roads, drainage facilities, and utilities are installed.
- Upon completion of construction, and approval of the As-Builts (the drawings of what was actually constructed on the land) the project moves into the Final Plat process. This is the legal process of establishing legal lots. The end of the final plat process is recordation of the final Short Plat.
- After recordation of the Final Short Plat, the lots are legally established and ready to be sold.
Rural and urban properties have different submittal requirements and different development standards:
What are the submittal requirements?
For rural Short Subdivisions, the choices are to do a traditional Short Subdivision or to do a Rural Cluster Subdivision. For either process use:
In addition for a Rural Cluster Short Subdivision use:
For urban Short Subdivisions use:
In addition, a landscape plan, an administrative site plan, and the architectural design elements are required. For these components use:
How long does the process take?
If the applicant has provided all of the required materials, and the submitted materials satisfy the regulatory requirements, then the process may be as short as 6 - 9 months. A typical Short Subdivision takes 12 - 18 months to final recordation.