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SUBDIVISIONS FAQ


WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS?

The subdivision review process insures that new development areas will conform to city of Pinole and State of California regulations and policies for the division of land. These regulations and policies are necessary to insure that new development takes place in an orderly manner, that open space is conserved and protected, and that adequate traffic circulation, utilities, and other services are provided throughout the City.


WHEN IS SUBDIVISION APPROVAL REQUIRED?

All projects that involve the division of one or more parcels of land into a greater number of parcels, or that create condominium units for individual sale, require subdivision approval by the City. Subdivision review can take place concurrently with other discretionary permit applications.  Generally speaking, there are two main types of subdivision applications:

  • Tentative Parcel Maps: Subdivisions which create four or fewer lots (or four or fewer airspace condominiums), as well as certain types of commercial or industrial subdivisions which create more than four lots.

  • Tentative Maps: Subdivisions which create more than four lots or airspace condominiums.

The Planning Commission is responsible for review of all tentative parcel map and tentative map applications. The City Council is responsible for review of final maps.


HOW DO I OBTAIN A PRE-APPLICATION REVIEW?

Subdivision review consists of two steps. The first is pre-application review between the project sponsor and City staff to discuss the subdivision design and to identify the types of public improvements or other requirements that may be applicable to the site and use. The second step is actual review of the project with a decision made by the Planning Commission. Applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with members of the Public Works and Fire Departments during the pre-application process to identify pertinent issues. The Planning staff will work with the applicant to set up a combined meeting with members of the other City departments to discuss the project application. By meeting with staff early in the review process, many issues can be resolved which would otherwise cause later delays. The staff can also determine what additional permits may be required (such as a variance or design review) at this time. Information on pre-application review can be obtained from the Planning Division secretary or the City Planner.


HOW DO I APPLY FOR SUBDIVISION APPROVAL?

Both the State Map Act and the City’s Subdivision Ordinance require the submittal of certain information as part of a tentative map application. The requirements for submittal are listed on this form.  All of the sets of plans should be prefolded to 8 1/2" x 14." Once submitted, the plans will be reviewed for completeness. You will be contacted within 30 days if additional information or map copies are required. After staff has determined that the map and application materials are complete the application will be scheduled for a hearing before the Planning Commission.  If you have any questions regarding a submittal, contact the Planning Division for assistance.


WHEN IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW NECESSARY?

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that certain subdivision applications undergo environmental review. Generally, subdivisions of four or fewer lots are exempt form environmental review. However, under certain circumstances, environmental review may be required. You will be informed if such review is required for your application. Please refer to the separate 'Environmental Review' handout concerning additional submittal requirements.


HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A SUBDIVISION APPROVAL?

Once an application is determined to be complete it is formally accepted. Copies of the application are sent to review agencies and departments for comments. The application is then scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Commission.  A separate schedule of hearing dates and submittal deadlines may be obtained from the Planning Division.  It should be emphasized that submittal on a given date does not guarantee scheduling for a particular meeting. Hearing dates can only be confirmed following acceptance of the application. As part of the staff review of the application a staff report is prepared prior to the hearing date which contains the staff recommendation on the project. A copy of the report is provided to the applicant 72 hours prior to the meeting.


HOW DOES A SUBDIVISION GET APPROVED?

The Planning Commission holds a public hearing on the subdivision application and either approves, conditionally approves, or disapproves the plans. The Commission's decision is based on criteria contained in the Subdivision Ordinance, the Zoning Ordinance, the General Plan, the City staff recommendations, and on any testimony received at the hearing. A copy of the Commission’s action is mailed to the applicant following the meeting. The Planning Commission's decision on a tentative parcel map or tentative map is final unless appealed to the City Council within 10 calendar days of the date of action.   Information on appeals may be found in a separate information sheet.  A parcel map may not be filed until the close of the appeal period, and until any other needed permits or approvals have been obtained.  A final map may not be filed until after the City Council has approved the map and the conditions met.  Requirements for related permits or licenses should be discussed with the following departments:

Building permit -- Building Division
Business license -- Public Works Department
Grading Permit -- Public Works Department


WHAT ARE THE SUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS?

To file a subdivision application, the following items must be submitted:

  1. A completed application form (original only). Please note that the form must be signed by the property owner.
  2. An Environmental Checklist (unless the project is determined to be exempt from CEQA)
  3. Eighteen (18) copies of the tentative parcel map, which has been prepared by a registered civil engineer or licensed land surveyor, and which contains the following information (taken from Sections 16.12 and 16.16 of the Pinole Subdivision Ordinance):
    1. A title which contains the subdivision number, name, and type of subdivision.
    2. The name and address of the legal owner, subdivider, and person preparing the map, including registration or license number.
    3. Sufficient legal description to define the boundary of the proposed subdivision.
    4. The names and numbers of adjacent subdivisions, and the names of owners of adjacent unplatted land.
    5. The date, north arrow, scale, contour interval, and source and date of existing contours.
    6. A statement of the present zoning on the site, and the existing and proposed uses of the property, as well as any proposed zoning changes, either now or in the future.
    7. A vicinity map showing roads, adjoining subdivisions, and other data sufficient to locate the proposed subdivision in relation to the community.
    8. The existing topography of the proposed site and at least 100 feet beyond its boundary, and proposed changes in topography. If necessary, a separate grading plan may be attached. The contours shall be shown at intervals of not more than 5 feet, and, if the slope of the land is less than 10 percent, at intervals of not more than 2 feet.
    9. The type, circumference, and dripline of existing trees with a trunk diameter of 6 inches or more, as measured at 24 inches above existing grade. Any trees to be removed shall be noted on the map.
    10. The location and outline of existing structures identified by type. Structures to be removed shall be noted on the map.
    11. The approximate location of all areas subject to inundation or storm water overflow, and the location, width, and direction of flow of each watercourse.
    12. The location, pavement, and right-of-way width, grade, and name of existing streets, alleys, or highways.
    13. The widths, location, and identity of all existing easements.
    14. The location and size of existing sanitary sewers, fire hydrants, water mains, and storm drains.  The approximate slope of existing sewers and storm drains shall be indicated. The location of existing overhead utility lines on peripheral streets shall be shown.
    15. If the site will be developed in phases, the proposed units and the sequence of construction shall be shown.
    16. All proposed improvements shall be shown, including but not limited to:
      1. The location, grade, centerline radius, and arc length of curves, pavement, right-of-way width, and name of all streets. Typical sections of all streets shall be shown, and proposed private streets shall be clearly indicated.
      2. The location and radius of all curb returns and cul-de-sacs.
      3. The location, width, and purpose of all easements.
      4. The angle of intersecting streets, ff the angle deviates from a right angle by more than four degrees.
      5. The proposed use of each lot, approximate lot layout, and the approximate dimensions of each lot and each building site. Engineering data shall show the approximate finished grading of each lot, the preliminary design of all grading, the elevation of proposed building pads, the top and toe of cut and fill slopes to scale, and the number of each lot.
      6. Any proposed recreation sites, trails, and parks for private or public use.
      7. Any proposed common areas and areas to be dedicated to public open space.
      8. The location and size of sanitary sewers, fire hydrants, water mains, and storm drains.  The proposed slope and approximate elevations of sanitary sewers and storm drains shall be indicated on the map.
      9. A planting plan for slopes, erosion control, street trees, any other landscaping, and fencing.
      10. The name or names of any geologist or soils engineer whose services were required in the preparation of the design of the tentative map.

  4. A list of potential street names for any unnamed streets in the subdivision.
  5. Two copies of a preliminary soils report and engineering geology report.
  6. One copy of a preliminary title report, not more than six months old, showing the legal owners at the time of the filing of the application.
  7. Any other drawings, reports or data determined by the Planning Division to be necessary to undertake the review of the application.
  8. Filing fee (see Planning Division fee schedule). Checks should be made payable to 'City of Pinole’.

Please note that some of the above requirements may be waived by the Planning Division, in consultation with the Public Works Department, a determination is made that, due to the particular circumstances of the subdivision, the requirement does not apply. A request for a waiver of any requirement must be made by the applicant In writing as part of the application submittal.


WHERE DO I GO FOR ADDITIONAL PERMITS AND INFORMATION?

Visit Business Info for other important business information, including Business Licenses and Startup Resources.


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