§ 23-223. Land subdivision.  


Effective on Tuesday, December 6, 2016
  • Sec. 23-223.1 Applicability.

    a. The recording of a final subdivision plat approved as set forth in these land development regulations is required prior to the subdivision of property. For the purposes of these regulations, "subdivision" is defined as:

    1. The division of a parcel of land (which in this context is defined to mean the totality of contiguous land holdings by a single owner regardless of how described, recorded or zoned) into three (3) or more lots or parcels of land less than five (5) acres each, for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer of ownership or building development;

    2. Any division of land, regardless of the size of the parcels where the applicant proposes to create a street, right-of-way, or easement that joins or connects to an existing public street.

    3. Exception for minor subdivisions. Where property abuts an existing street and no new improvements for water, sewer or drainage are required and where the proposed subdivision contains four (4) or fewer commercial lots having common access to existing public roads or seven (7) or fewer residential lots, the administrative official with the concurrence of the development review committee, may waive preliminary subdivision review and permit a final plat to be presented to the city commission for approval in accordance with this section.

    b. In accordance with authority granted by F.S. § 498.025, it shall be unlawful for any owner of land, or agent of any owner, to transfer, sell or negotiate to sell such land by reference to or exhibition of a plat, or by other use of said plat without having first submitted such plat to the city for approval. If unlawful use is made of a plat before it is properly approved and recorded, the owner or agent of the owner shall be subject to the penalties provided in section 23-109. The governing body, or any appropriate official of the governing body, shall also enjoin such transfer, sale or agreement. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall not impair the title of land so transferred or affect the validity of the title conveyed. However, a purchaser of land sold in violation of this section shall, within two (2) years from the date of purchase thereof, be entitled to bring appropriate action to avoid such sale or to bring action against the seller for any damages which he suffers as a result of the seller's unlawful act or both.

    c. The provisions of the subdivision plan requirements found in this section are applicable to all single-family residential development projects and multi-family residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, or any other non-residential development project where the subdivision of land, subdivision infrastructure improvements, and plat recording will precede individual site development. Where multi-family residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, or any other non single-family residential site development will occur within the subdivision concurrent with or after plat recording, the developer of said site must also adhere to the requirements provided in section 23-222 for site plans.

    d. A resubdivision will be required if a proposed change to an approved or recorded subdivision plat affects any street layout or any lot line so as to increase residential density or involves the establishment of a new street or a change in any street line or easement.

    e. Property subdivided prior to the effective date of this ordinance shall comply with all requirements of this ordinance unless such property fully complied with the terms of all requirements in effect at the time such property was subdivided. Where a final plat has not been recorded, owner(s) of all or part of undeveloped or partially developed plats shall have one (1) year from the effective date of this ordinance to apply to the city for a determination of vested rights. Failure to so apply shall result in all such plats being vacated for purposes of this section.

    f. Plats may also be filed for streets, rights-of-way, or easements. All plats filed shall meet all requirements and follow all procedures as herein set forth.

    Sec. 23-223.2 Preliminary subdivision plat application. The purpose of the preliminary subdivision plat is to provide for the initial review of the proposed subdivision. An executed utility capacity queue agreement, if required per section 23-731, shall be submitted prior to commencement of review for any project.

    a. Pre-application conference. Prior to the preparation of a preliminary subdivision plat, the developer of a subdivision shall meet with the administrative official and the director of public works to discuss the concept of the proposed subdivision and the requirements of these land development regulations. The pre-application conference and informal review is designed to prevent costly and avoidable revisions in the layout. The developer shall provide a sketch plan showing the tract of land, its relationship to the surrounding properties and general development scheme. Information sufficient to identify natural features of the property shall be provided by the applicant, such as aerial photographs, topographic maps, flood maps, vegetation surveys, and wetlands maps.

    b. Preliminary subdivision plat application. Plats must be prepared by a registered surveyor. Application forms, deadlines for submission, and the number of copies of documents required shall be as set forth in the procedures manual maintained by the administrative official. The fee shall be as required per section 23-242

    The preliminary subdivision plat shall constitute the totality of land the applicant plans to develop. When a subdivision is being developed in phases, the preliminary subdivision plan shall indicate phasing lines and connecting roadways, and a phasing schedule shall be submitted for subdivision development. Phased subdivision development plans must meet all requirements of a stand-alone subdivision development plan providing for adequate utilities and infrastructure.

    The preliminary plat shall demonstrate compliance with the land development requirements of article III, as applicable, and the district regulations of article IV applicable to the zoning district in which the property is located.

    All submittals shall be as outlined below:

    1. Application form. The application form for a preliminary subdivision plat, provided by the administrative official, shall be submitted with the review fee as set forth in section 23-242

    2. Preliminary subdivision plat.

    A. Scale and size of drawings. The preliminary plat shall be at a scale adequate to show details clearly and adequately. Sheet sizes shall not exceed twenty-four (24) inches by thirty-six (36) inches. If multiple sheets are used, they shall be accompanied by an index sheet showing the entire development and on each sheet there shall be a properly oriented and labeled key plan and a title box.

    B. Title block. A title block shall be included that indicates the title or name of the proposed subdivision in large bold letters, the name and address of the owner of the tract proposed for development, the name of the applicant, if different from the owner, and the name, address, and telephone number of the engineer and surveyor engaged to prepare the design and the preliminary development plans.

    C. Legend. A legend shall be included on each sheet that indicates the date (including the date of any revisions), scale, and north arrow. The first sheet shall show the current zoning of site and abutting properties, total number of lots, lot dimensions, lot size ranges, and minimum lot size.

    D. Legal description. A full and detailed legal description of the tract to be platted and its approximate acreage shall be included. Boundaries of the property with bearings and distances shall be shown. All existing covenants, private restrictions, easements and rights-of-way affecting the use and development of the property shall be stated on the plat.

    E. Surrounding properties. All contiguous properties shall be identified by the Polk County Appraiser's property identification number, and by the subdivision title, plat book and page, or, if unplatted, land shall be so designated.

    F. Vicinity map. A vicinity map or inset shall be included that shows the relationship between the area proposed for development and surrounding properties, streets and public facilities at a scale of not less than one (1) inch equals two thousand (2,000) feet.

    G. Existing streets. The name, location, and right-of-way and pavement widths of all existing streets which abut the proposed subdivision shall be shown. Locations of all median openings in the vicinity and access points on both sides of all abutting roadways must also be shown.

    H. Other natural features. All lakes, wetlands, water courses, stands of trees and areas of other vegetation, and other pertinent features will be indicated. An aerial photograph at a scale sufficient to identify natural features may be required by the administrative official. Tree cover will be compared with road locations. Natural features, including trees, to be preserved shall be indicated.

    I. Limits of floodplain. Flood elevation of 100-year flood as established by the Federal Flood Insurance Administration and as supplemented by the current flood insurance rate map shall be indicated on the site plan. The actual acreage above the 100-year flood elevation, plus that area below the antecedent water level shall be listed numerically. Usable lot area shall be clearly delineated.

    J. Topography. Existing and proposed contour lines shall be shown at a minimum of five-foot intervals.

    K. Dedications and reservations. All parcels of land proposed to be dedicated or reserved for public use such as roads, easements, parks, sidewalks, and bike or pedestrian trails shall be indicated on the plan. Proposed rights-of-way and street names shall be indicated. Mini-parks and neighborhood parks required under section 23-310 shall be shown with proposed facilities. Specific information on plantings need not be provided.

    L. Proposed development.

    i. Lot lines and lot numbers. The proposed lot lines, with appropriate dimensions and lot numbers, shall be shown. Lots shall be numbered in consecutive order starting with the numeral one (1) for the first lot in each block, or other manner as approved by the city.

    ii. Proposed building and setback lines. Proposed building setback lines from side, front and rear lot lines shall be shown.

    iii. Proposed streets and sidewalks or walkways. Proposed rights-of-way, easements, and common areas shall be shown. Typical cross-sections of proposed streets shall be provided.

    iv. Buffers along exterior streets. Location and width of buffers proposed along exterior streets required in residential subdivisions under section 23-307.2 to screen the rear yards of lots fronting on interior streets shall be shown. Location and type of wall, if proposed, shall be shown. Specific details of plantings need not be provided.

    v. Entrance features. Medians, landscaped areas, sign locations, and other entrance features shall be shown. Specific details of plantings need not be provided.

    vi. Right-of-way and street cross sections. Right-of-way widths, pavement widths, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, and sidewalks shall be shown for each classification of street proposed in the subdivision.

    vii. Parks. Locations and size of proposed parks. Calculations showing compliance with recreation requirements per section 23-310

    3. Development impact data. Data required for concurrrency review under subsection 23-704.4(a) shall be provided.

    (Ord. No. 2007-14, § 1, 6-5-07)

    Sec. 23-223.3 Preliminary subdivision plat review.

    a. Development review committee.

    1. All preliminary subdivision plats shall be reviewed by the administrative official to determine that the preliminary subdivision plat application is complete in accordance with the requirements of this section. Completed applications will be distributed to the development review committee members.

    2. The development review committee shall review all preliminary subdivision plats for compliance with the purpose and intent of the subdivision requirements of this section and land development requirements of article III, division 1, district regulations of article IV, concurrency requirements of article VII, div. 1, and other applicable sections of this chapter to determine if any problems exist and to determine any adverse impact which bears upon the public interest. The applicant or his designee may meet with the development review committee in their review of the preliminary subdivision plat.

    3. After completion of review by the development review committee and based upon the findings of the development review committee, the administrative official may approve transmittal of the preliminary subdivision plat to the planning board or require resubmittal by the developer with modifications or corrections.

    4. The administrative official shall inform the applicant in writing of the final review comments which were received from the development review committee.

    5. If the administrative official approves transmittal of the preliminary subdivision plat to the planning board, the developer will provide twelve (12) additional sets of the plan and plat (or the number as determined to be adequate by the administrative official). The administrative official shall prepare a report indicating the recommendations of the development review committee and submit the report to the planning board at its next scheduled meeting.

    6. The following instances shall be considered new applications and shall require payment of an additional fee:

    A. Any review beyond an initial submittal and two (2) resubmittals, including review for minor technical corrections required by the development review committee.

    B. Any submission requiring corrections that is not resubmitted within sixty (60) days shall be considered expired.

    C. If during the review process, the development review committee determines that the preliminary subdivision plan and plat do not meet preliminary subdivision plan and plat submittal requirements or substantially fails to meet the design standards and other criteria of these regulations, the preliminary subdivision plan and plat will be rejected on that basis and resubmittal will not be accepted until the next deadline for applications, at which time a new processing fee and application will be required.

    D. Any formal approval by the planning board or city commission which is conditioned on or subject to correction or modification of plans.

    b. Planning board review. At its regularly scheduled meeting, the planning board shall review the preliminary subdivision plat for compliance with the land development requirements of article III, including the street right-of-way and design standards, the district regulations of article IV, and the concurrency requirements of article VII. The planning board shall recommend to the city commission to approve, approve with stated conditions or stipulations, or deny with specific reference to specific requirements of this chapter.

    c. City commission action. After receiving the recommendation of the planning board, the city commission shall approve, approve with stated conditions or stipulations, or deny with specific reference to the requirements of this chapter.

    1. Concurrency. A preliminary subdivision plat shall not be approved unless the concurrency requirements of this chapter have been met. (See section 23-704.4.c.)

    2. Time limit on approval. Approval of the preliminary subdivision plat shall be valid for two years. An extension of time may be applied for(and granted in one-year increments) by the developer by submitting a letter of request to the city commission through the administrative official and a fee per section 23-242

    (Ord. No. 2007-14, § 1, 6-5-07;Ord. No. 2016-21, § 3, 12-06-16)

    Sec. 23-223.4 Final subdivision plat and supplementary information. Plats must be prepared by a registered surveyor and shall comply with the requirements of F.S. ch. 177. Application forms, deadlines for submission, and the number of copies of documents required shall be as set forth in the procedures manual maintained by the administrative official. The fee shall be as required per section 23-242.

    a. Pre-requisites. Unless the proposed subdivision is exempt pursuant to subsection 23-223.1(a)3, a final plat application shall not be accepted for review unless a preliminary plat has been approved by the city commission under section 23-223.2, and site improvements have been completed pursuant to a site development permit under section 23-217. The City of Lake Wales will not accept a performance bond, letter of credit or other surety in lieu of constructing street improvements, drainage improvements, water, sanitary or storm sewer facilities, street lights or traffic signs prior to the approval and recording of the final subdivision plat. A bond, letter of credit or other surety acceptable to the city attorney may be accepted in lieu of constructing sidewalks or installing landscaping prior to the approval and recording of the final subdivision plat.

    b. Administrative review. The administrative official shall review the application and plat for completeness, compliance with the approved preliminary plat and conditions of approval, as applicable. Any significant changes to the plat from the approved preliminary plat shall require approval by the City Commission with a recommendation from the planning board. The administrative official shall consult with the planning board chairman to determine whether a proposed change is significant. The application and plat shall be returned to the applicant within ten (10) days of receipt for correction of any deficiencies.

    c. Submittals. Required submittals for an application for final plat approval are:

    1. Application form and fee. A completed application form, provided by the administrative official, and a filing fee as set forth in section 23-242 are required.

    2. Final subdivision plat. The final subdivision plat shall constitute the totality of land the applicant plans to develop. When a subdivision is being developed in phases, the final subdivision plat shall constitute only that portion of the approved development plan which the applicant proposes to record and develop at the time, provided, however, that such portion conforms to the phasing schedule approved with the preliminary subdivision plan and all requirements of these regulations. The final subdivision plat shall be consistent with the preliminary plat approved by the city commission and shall conform with all requirements of these regulations. The number of reproducible plats and copies shall be as set forth in the procedures manual maintained by the administrative official.

    A. The final subdivision plat shall conform to the requirements of F.S. ch. 177.

    B. An executed dedication of public improvements to the city shall be made on the title page.

    C. The title page shall provide a signature block for the city's surveyor to certify that the plat has been reviewed for conformity with the requirements of F.S. ch. 177.

    3. Required supplementary documents.

    A. Covenants. Any protective deed covenants to be placed on the property shall be notarized and in a form suitable for recording.

    B. Homeowners' association documents or evidence of maintenance of private facilities. Where infrastructure such as roads or lift stations will remain private, evidence of an established homeowners association or other legal entity responsible for continued operation and maintenance shall be provided. Following the recording of the plat and prior to the issuance of building permits for structures within the subdivision, the homeowners' association documents shall be recorded.

    C. Title certification. Original and four (4) copies of a title opinion of an attorney-at-law licensed in Florida or a certification by an abstractor or title company, in a form acceptable to the City Attorney and showing that apparent record title to the land as described and shown on the plat coincides with the names shown on the dedication (parties executing plat are owners of the land embraced by the plat). The title certification shall also show all mortgages not satisfied or released of record not otherwise terminated by law, show that all city taxes and assessments are paid to date, that the description of the plat is correct, and that no conflicting rights-of-way, easements, or plats exist. Four (4) copies of all referenced documents shall be provided with title certification.

    D. Dedicated public facilities. Dedications executed by the owner on the plat shall be accepted by the city through the process outlined in sec. 23-226 at such time as the city commission determines appropriate. The city may undertake re-inspection of such facilities and if necessary require corrective action by the owner prior to accepting the dedication(s). An itemized list with costs of all improvements to be dedicated shall be provided by the applicant at the time of platting. 

    d. Review and certification process. Each final-subdivision plat shall be subjected to a standard review and certification process as follows.

    1. All final subdivision plats shall be reviewed by the development review committee for consistency with the preliminary subdivision plat and conditions approved by the city commission. Plats found not to be in compliance shall be returned to the applicant for corrections.

    2. Prior to forwarding the final plat to the city commission for approval, a Surveyor's Certificate of Approval must be obtained certifying that the plat has been reviewed for conformity with the requirements of F.S. ch. 177. Certification will be made by an independent surveyor approved by the city.

    3. Prior to forwarding the final plat to city commission for approval, the public works director must certify that all improvements have been completed satisfactorily and in conformance with the applicable standards of the city and may be accepted by the city. The public works director may require a maintenance bond to cover the cost of cleaning of all catch basins within the development and to correct damage caused to infrastructure during construction of buildings in the development.

    e. Action of the city commission.

    1. If the final subdivision plat is substantially in accord with the approved preliminary subdivision plat, fulfills all attached conditions and stipulations, is complete and contains all of the required certifications, the city commission shall approve the plat, and the mayor shall indicate such approval on the final subdivision plat by signing the certification of approval for recording.

    2. If the final plat is disapproved, the grounds for disapproval shall be stated in the records of the city commission and in writing to the applicant.

    f. Recording of the final plat.

    1. No plat of lands in the city subject to these regulations shall be recorded, whether as an independent instrument or by attachment to another instrument entitled to record, unless and until such plat has been approved by the city commission and fees required for recording have been received by the city clerk.

    2. The city clerk shall record the plat with the clerk of circuit court as an official plat of record. A second reproducible and fully certified copy shall be filed with the administrative official for permanent record.

    Sec. 23-223.5 Vacating of plats.

    a. Eligibility.

    1. The owner of any land subdivided into lots may petition the city under the provisions of F.S. ch. 177, to remove (vacate and annul) the existing plat, or portion of a plat, from the official records of Polk County.

    2. The city commission may, upon its own motion or recommendation by the planning board, order the vacation and reversion to acreage of all or any part of a subdivision within its jurisdiction. This includes the vacation of streets and/or other parcels as permitted in section 23-221

    b. Application. The applicant for vacating of a plat, or a part of a plat, shall file with the administrative official a letter of petition for plat vacation, proof of publication of notice of intent, certificate of title, statement of taxes and resolution, and fees established by the city commission. Following review of the development review committee and recommendation of the planning board, the petition shall be acted upon by the city commission following a public hearing. The applicant shall be responsible for recording the petition and the proof of publication with the clerk of the circuit court.

    c. Action by city commission.

    1. The city commission may order the vacation and annulment of all or any part of a subdivision within its jurisdiction, provided that:

    A. The subdivision plat was lawfully recorded not less than five (5) years before the date of such action by the city commission; and

    B. No more than ten (10) percent of the total subdivision or part thereof has been sold as lots by the original subdivider or his successor in title.

    2. Such action shall be based on a finding by the city commission that:

    A. The proposed vacation and annulment of the plat will result in greater conformity with the comprehensive plan of the area; and

    B. The public health, safety and welfare will be promoted thereby.

    3. Before acting on a proposal for vacation and annulment of subdivided land, the city commission shall hold a hearing with due public notice (notice of intent).

    d. Access to individually owned parcels. No owner of any parcel of land in a subdivision shall be deprived by the vacation and annulment of a plat, or portion of a plat, of reasonable access to such parcel nor of reasonable access therefrom to facilities to which such parcel has access. Such access remaining or provided after such vacation need not be the same as that theretofore existing.

    e. Correction of county records. If a subdivision plat is vacated by the city commission, the city clerk shall correct the records of the clerk of the circuit court accordingly.

    Sec. 23-223.6 Replat and resubdivision.

    a. Substantially similar plats. If a platted area is proposed to be replatted and if the proposed plat is substantially similar in design, layout, and concept to the original plat, as determined by the administrative official, and, if all lots, roads, and easements are in conformance, without variance, to these land development regulations or other appropriate standards, only a final plat complying with the requirements of these regulations needs to be filed. The fact of its being a replat shall be stated in the same size lettering and type following the subdivision name as a title to the dedication and wherever it appears on the plat. Submittal and approval procedures shall be the same as in section 23-223.3.

    b. Substantially dissimilar plats. If a platted area is proposed to be replatted and if the proposed plat is not substantially similar in design, layout, and concept to the original plat, as determined by the administrative official, the procedures required by section 23-223.2 and 23-223.3 will apply.

    Sec. 23-223.7 Corrective plats.

    In the event that an appreciable error or omission in the data shown on any plat duly recorded under the provisions of these regulations and F.S. ch. 177, is detected by subsequent examination or revealed by a retracement of the lines during the original survey of lands shown on such recorded plat, the land surveyor who was responsible for the survey and the preparation of the plat as recorded may file an affidavit confirming that such error or omission was made. However, the affidavit must state that he has made a resurvey of the subject property in the recorded subdivision within the last ten (10) days and that no evidence existed on the ground that would conflict with the corrections as stated in the affidavit. The affidavit shall describe the nature and extent of such error or omission and the appropriate correction that, in his opinion, should be substituted for the erroneous data shown on such plat or added to the data on such plat. Said affidavit shall be filed and recorded in accordance with F.S. ch. 177.

(Ord. No. 2015-04, § 5, 7-7-15;Ord. No. 2016-21, § 3, 12-06-16)