Subdivision Regulations

The Subdivision Regulations are designed to provide for the harmonious development of the City of Columbia and govern the subdivision of land within the City. Land subdivision is the first step in the process of community development. 

Once land has been divided into streets, lots, and blocks and publicly recorded, the correction of defects is costly and difficult. Subdivision of land sooner or later becomes a public responsibility, in that streets must be maintained and various public services must be provided. The public health, safety and welfare is thereby affected in many important respects. Therefore, it is in the interest of the public, the developer, and the future owners that subdivisions be conceived, designed, and developed in accordance with the ordinances and regulations governing the subdivision of land within the City.


Subdivision Approval Steps

Pre-application conference

The pre-application conference is intended to introduce the developer to the city staff and outline the development process, identify time frames for submittal and review, determine if the development requires annexation or zoning changes, coordinate the proposed development with existing City plans, and provide preliminary evaluation of the development. 

Preliminary Plat 

A preliminary plat is intended to propose a layout for subdividing land, present detailed engineering information concerning design and the ultimate operation of the proposed development, and ensure compliance with all applicable standards and regulations. Subdivisions may also require a Traffic Impact Study or other engineering studies prior to a Preliminary Plat being added to the CMPC agenda.

Final Plat

A final plat is intended to finalize the layout for subdividing land for recording with the County Register, finalize minor changes to lots that shift lot lines, consolidate lots, create easements, dedicate rights-of-way, or record other minor changes that do not involve the creation of new lots, and ensure compliance with all applicable standards and regulations.

Minor Subdivisions

Minor subdivisions are subdivisions of land that meet all the following conditions:

  1. Divides a tract into no more than two (2) lots;
  2. Does not involve any new or improved public way, the extension of public facilities, or the creation of any public improvements;
  3. Does not conflict with any provision of the adopted Comprehensive Plan; and,
  4. Does not request a variance to these Subdivision Regulations.

Minor Subdivisions may be certified by staff without the approval of the CMPC. Minor Subdivisions do not require a Preliminary Plat approval.