What is a Subdivision?

A subdivision is the division of property into 2 or more lots. The same subdivision process is used for the elimination of property lines or the adjustment of property lines.  A minor subdivision is the division of property into not more than 5 lots. These lots must be located along an existing public road and must not create a new street or extend an existing street.  A major subdivision is the division of property into 6 or more lots or any division which creates a new street or extends existing streets.

Approval Requirements

You must provide:
  • A properly completed and signed application form and correct review fee. Contact the Planning Division at 757-253-6685 for a current application and fee schedule.
  • A copy of the previously approved conceptual plan.
  • A surveyed plat of the parcel to be subdivided showing the proposed subdivision, boundary line adjustment or lot line extinguishment.
  • 2 unfolded (rolled) paper copies of signed plats, or alternatively one reproducible copy (mylar), plus 6 folded paper copies for final approval.
If you are submitting construction plans for a major subdivision, surveyed plans including the following items will be required:
  • Drainage and erosion control plans
  • Drainage calculation data
  • Landscape plans
  • Lighting plans
  • Site layout
  • Traffic, roadway, and parking data
  • Utility plans
  • Water demand calculations
  • Water/Sewer data sheets
The James City Service Authority (JCSA) Standards & Specifications for Water & Sewer Systems and Regulations Governing Utility Services outline the standards for submitting utility plans.

Development Plan Checklists

The Development Review Committee (DRC) will review plans that propose any of the following:
  • A multifamily development of 10 or more units which is not subject to a binding legislatively approved master plan
  • A shopping center
  • A single building or group of buildings with a total floor area exceeding 30,000 square feet which are not predominately to be used as a warehouse, distribution center, office, or for other industrial or manufacturing purpose. Predominately is defined as 85% or more of the total square feet of the building
- OR -
  • If there are any unresolved problems between the applicant, adjacent property owners, or any departmental reviewing agency
  • If a conceptual plan has not been submitted in accordance with County requirements
  • If the site plan varies significantly from an approved conceptual or master plan
  • There are requests for exceptions and waivers to the zoning and subdivision ordinances
  1. DRC Review
  2. Administrative Review


If your plan qualifies for DRC review, you will need to submit 14 sets of plans to the Planning Division at least 5 weeks prior to the DRC meeting date. Please contact Planning staff to find out the DRC meeting schedule. Staff will schedule your request on the DRC agenda. Prior to the DRC meeting, staff will review your application by making a site inspection and verifying the information on your application for compliance with County codes and ordinances. 

Staff will consider the impact of the site plan on surrounding land uses and public welfare. Additional County and State agencies will review and comment on the plan. When all comments are received, staff will incorporate them into a report for the DRC. You will receive a copy of the staff report in advance of the DRC meeting. At the DRC meeting, staff will present your request to the DRC. You or your representative should attend the meeting. The DRC will recommend preliminary approval, deny, or defer your request, and identify issues you need to address before the Zoning Administrator can sign and approve the plan.

Next, the DRC will present a summary of your case to the Planning Commission and make a recommendation. The Commission may discuss items and ask additional questions, so you or your representative should attend the Planning Commission meeting. The Planning Commission will vote to grant preliminary approval, deny, or defer your request. After the meeting, staff will write you a letter noting what action was taken on your case and what deficiencies need to be addressed before final approval can be granted.
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