Article XI - Review Processes and Procedures
Subpart C. Subdivision Review and Approval
§42-336.
General 
All subdivision applications, plans and plats shall contain all applicable information as required in this Subpart and
shall adhere to the applicable review and approval process.
§42-337.
Review for Minor and Nonstandard Subdivisions
A.
Approval Authority. Subdivision Administrator
B.
Application.
1.
Application. Each applicant shall submit an application to the Subdivision Administrator.
Applications may be modified by the Subdivision Administrator as necessary, who may require
the applicant to supply additional information. Development plans are required for minor or
phased minor subdivisions where six (6) to ten (10) lots and new right-of-way are proposed.
Development plans must be submitted to the Subdivision Administrator pursuant to §42-112
(Minor Subdivisions). Where development plan review is not required the applicant shall submit a
final plat in Mylar form and a blue line copy of the final plat along with all application materials
(see Article III (Subdivision Regulations)). The final plat must be prepared in conformance with
the final plat requirements provided by the Planning Department, (§42-343 (Final Plat Review))
and provisions of this Chapter.
2.
Fees. Any application fee established by the Board of Commissioners shall be submitted with the
application.
C.
Staff Review. The Subdivision Administrator shall review all minor subdivisions and nonstandard
subdivisions and development plans (when applicable) in conformance with Article III (Subdivision
Regulations). The Subdivision Administrator may refer any minor subdivision or nonstandard subdivision
for review by the Planning Board in accordance with this Chapter. 
§42-338.
Review for Major Residential Subdivisions and Conservation Subdivisions of Eleven (11) to
Thirty-Four (34) Lots and any Commercial, Office Institutional, Industrial or Mixed-Use
Subdivisions of Thirty-Four (34) or Fewer Lots
A.
Approval Authority. Technical Review Committee (TRC). 
B.
Application. 
1.
Pre-application Conference. Each applicant shall meet with the Subdivision Administrator in a
pre-application conference at least 15 days prior to the submission of any subdivision reviewed in
accordance with this section. The purposes of the conference are to: (1) acquaint the applicant
with the application process, (2) review the sketch of the proposed development, (3) allow for the
free exchange of information between the applicant and the Subdivision Administrator, (4) explore
how the applicant intends to design the development, and (5) identify contemplated density levels,
areas proposed for preservation and existing nature features on the property to be subdivided. The
applicant should be prepared to discuss the development plans for the entire tract and any adjacent
property under the same ownership. Each applicant shall bring to the pre-application conference a
site analysis sketch which shall:
a.
Be prepared based on aerial photography, visual observations and an on-site inspection of
the tract and which may be prepared (at the applicant’s request) with the general
guidance of Planning Staff or professionally (although neither is required);
b.
Be at a scale which is clearly legible and provides sufficient detail to describe the general
location of proposed development and the stated features for discussion purposes; and
c.
Identify (for the entire tract) the following features: streams, creeks, ponds, reservoirs,
floodplains, wetlands, steep slopes (those greater than 60 percent), unique natural areas,
rock outcroppings, farmland, pastureland and wooded/forested areas.
2.
Applications. Applications, including all application materials, master plan(s) (see §42-341
(Master Plans)) and/or development plan(s) (see §42-342 (Development Plans)) shall be submitted
on or before the deadline date required by the Planning Department for review at the TRC
meeting. In the opinion of the Subdivision Administrator, if an application is incomplete, the
Subdivision Administrator may return the application to the applicant identifying the specific
  
omissions, without invoking the review time requirement. The applicant shall have the automatic
right to withdraw the application at any time until the applicant has concluded comments
regarding the project before the TRC.
3.
Fees. Any review fee established by the Board of Commissioners shall be submitted with the
application.
C.
Staff Review. The Subdivision Administrator shall preliminarily review the application and schedule the
matter for consideration by the TRC and notify (in writing) the applicant of that time. Formal review of the
subdivision shall not begin until the Subdivision Administrator has verified that the application is complete.
Such verification should, when possible, be made within three (3) business days of its receipt.
D.
Formal Review. The Subdivision Administrator shall prepare a recommendation on the application and
supply a copy of the recommendation to the applicant before review by the TRC. All members of the TRC
shall sign off on the application for approval. Any approval or denial of the request must be in writing and
be permanently filed in the office of the TRC as a public record. The TRC shall take action within 30 days
of reviewing the application. The Subdivision Administrator shall notify the applicant (in writing) of the
decision by the TRC and any conditions imposed on the development within ten (10) business days of the
decision. The TRC may refer any subdivision reviewed in accordance with this section for review by the
Planning Board in accordance with this Chapter. The TRC may take the following action when reviewing
an application:
1.
Approval. The proposal meets all requirements of this Chapter and other statutes, ordinances and
regulations of the County as submitted and is approved.
2.
Conditional Approval. The proposal exhibits only minor deficiencies with regard to County
regulations and other statutes, and is approved subject to the completion of certain conditions. If
the plan is approved with conditions the Planning Staff is given administrative responsibility to
grant formal approval upon satisfaction of imposed conditions. The Subdivision Administrator has
the right to resubmit any revised master plan and/or development plan and subdivision application
to the TRC for complete review if deemed necessary. If the application is granted conditional
approval by the TRC, then said conditions must be met before a final plat can be approved, unless
specified otherwise. If the master plan and/or development plan is not revised to meet the approval
conditions, or the applicant notified the Planning Department of unwillingness to meet the
conditions, it shall be deemed denied and a final plat cannot be approved. 
3.
Denial. The proposal cannot be approved as it exhibits deficiencies and/or is not in compliance
with this Chapter or other statutes, ordinances and regulations of the County. If the TRC denies the
application, reasons for the denial shall be provided (in writing) to the applicant.
§42-339.
Review for Major Subdivisions and Conservation Subdivisions of Thirty-Five (35) to Two
Hundred Ninety-Nine (299) Lots
A.
Approval Authority. Planning Board. 
B.
Application. 
1.
Pre-application Conference. Each applicant shall meet with the Subdivision Administrator in a
pre-application conference at least 15 days prior to the submission of any major subdivision
application of 35 to 299 lots. The purposes of the conference are to: (1) acquaint the applicant
with the application process, (2) review the sketch of the proposed development, (3) allow for the
free exchange of information between the applicant and the Subdivision Administrator, (4) explore
how the applicant intends to design the development, and (5) identify contemplated density levels,
areas proposed for preservation and existing nature features on the property to be subdivided. The
applicant should be prepared to discuss the development plans for the entire tract and any adjacent
property under the same ownership. Each applicant shall bring to the pre-application conference a
site analysis sketch which shall:
a.
Be prepared based on aerial photography, visual observations and an on-site inspection of
the tract and which may be prepared (at the applicant’s request) with the general
guidance of Planning Staff or professionally (although neither is required);
b.
Be at a scale which is clearly legible and provides sufficient detail to describe the general
location of proposed development and the stated features for discussion purposes; and
c.
Identify (for the entire tract) the following features: streams, creeks, ponds, reservoirs,
floodplains, wetlands, steep slopes (those greater than 60 percent), unique natural areas,
rock outcroppings, farmland, pastureland and wooded/forested areas.
  
2.
Application. Applications, including all application materials, master plan(s) (see §42-341 (Master
Plans)) and/or development plan(s) (see §42-342 (Development Plans)) shall be submitted on or
before the date required by the Planning Department for review at the next Planning Board
meeting. In the opinion of the Subdivision Administrator if an application is incomplete, the
Subdivision Administrator may return the application to the applicant identifying the specific
omissions, without invoking the review time requirement.
3.
Fees. Any review fee established by the Board of Commissioners shall be submitted with the
application.
C.
Staff Review. The Subdivision Administrator shall preliminarily review all application materials, master
plan and/or development plan(s) and schedule the matter for consideration by the Planning Board and
notify the applicant (in writing) of that time. The Subdivision Administrator shall schedule the matter for
consideration by the TRC and notify (in writing) the applicant of that time. Formal review of the
subdivision shall not begin until the Subdivision Administrator has verified that the application is complete.
Such verification should, when possible, be made within three (3) business days of its receipt.
D.
Formal Review. Major subdivisions of 35 to 299 lots that do not meet the conservation subdivision
standards (see §42-88 Conservation Subdivisions (Option)) shall follow the procedures of §42-340 (Review
for Major Subdivisions and Conservation Subdivisions of Three Hundred (300) or More Lots) or seek
development agreement approval through the Board of Commissioners.
The Subdivision Administrator shall prepare a recommendation on the application and supply a copy of this
recommendation and the recommendation of the TRC to the applicant before review by the Planning
Board. The Planning Board shall take action within 90 days from the date of its first consideration of the
application. The Subdivision Administrator shall notify the applicant (in writing) of the decision by the
Planning Board and any conditions imposed on the development within ten (10) business days of the
decision. The Planning Board may refer any subdivision to the Board of Commissioners for review after
giving due notice to the applicant. Reasons for such referral may include, but are not limited to, the size of
the subdivision, location within the County, impact on the community, impact on infrastructure, or
particular environmental features that make this subdivision substantially unique form other proposed
subdivisions. The Planning Board may take the following action when reviewing an application: 
1.
Approval. The proposal meets all requirements of this Chapter and other statutes, ordinances and
regulations of the County as submitted and is approved. 
2.
Conditional Approval. The proposal exhibits only minor deficiencies with regard to County
regulations and other statutes, and is approved subject to the completion of certain conditions. If
the plan is approved with conditions the Planning Staff is given administrative responsibility to
grant formal approval upon satisfaction of imposed conditions. The Subdivision Administrator has
the right to resubmit the revised plan(s) to the Planning Board for complete review if deemed
necessary. If the application is granted conditional approval by the Planning Board, then said
conditions must be met before a final plat can be approved, unless specified otherwise. If the
master plan and/or development plan are not revised to meet the approval conditions or the
applicant notified the Planning Department of unwillingness to meet the conditions, it shall be
deemed denied and a final plat cannot be approved.
3.
Denial. The proposal cannot be approved as it exhibits deficiencies and/or is not in compliance
with this Chapter or other statutes, ordinances and regulations of the County.
E.
Public Notification. Public notification of the Planning Board meeting shall comply with the provisions
outlined in §42-370 (Legislative Process Standards) B (5) (Posted Notice), for posted notices. Planning
Staff shall be responsible for all necessary public notifications.
§42-340.
Review for Major Subdivisions and Conservation Subdivisions of Three Hundred (300) or
More Lots
A.
Approval Authority. Board of Commissioners. 
B.
Approval Type. Map Amendment approval as a Conditional Zoning District.
C.
Application. 
(1)
Pre-application Conference. Each applicant shall meet with the Planning Director in a pre-
application conference at least 15 days prior to the submission of any application for a major
subdivision of 300 or more lots and accompanying map amendment application. The purposes of
the conference are to: (1) acquaint the applicant with the application process, (2) review the sketch
of the proposed development, (3) allow for the free exchange of information between the
  
applicant and the Planning Director, (4) explore how the applicant intends to design the
development, and (5) identify contemplated density levels, areas proposed for preservation and
existing nature features on the property to be subdivided. The applicant should be prepared to
discuss the development plans for the entire tract and any adjacent property under the same
ownership. Each applicant shall bring to the pre-application conference a site analysis sketch
which shall:
a.
Be prepared based on aerial photography, visual observations and an on-site inspection of
the tract and which may be prepared (at the applicant’s request) with the general
guidance of Planning Staff or professionally (although neither is required);
b.
Be at a scale which is clearly legible and provides sufficient detail to describe the general
location of proposed development and the stated features for discussion purposes; and
c.
Identify (for the entire tract) the following features: streams, creeks, ponds, reservoirs,
floodplains, wetlands, steep slopes (those greater than 60 percent), unique natural areas,
rock outcroppings, farmland, pastureland and wooded/forested areas.
(2)
Application. Applications, including all application materials (subdivision and map amendment),
master plan(s) (see §42-341 (Master Plans)) and/or development plan(s) (see §42-342
(Development Plans)) shall be submitted on or before the date required by the Planning
Department for review at the next Planning Board meeting. The map amendment application shall
also include: (1) the name(s) and address(es) of the owner(s) of the property in question; (2) the
location of the property; (3) the PIN as shown on the County tax listing; (4) a
description/statement of the present and proposed district; (5) a description of the property in
question sufficient to unequivocally describe and identify said property (such description may take
the form of a property survey, a legal description or a legible copy of a County cadastral or
composite tax map clearly annotated with district lines which follow political boundaries,
geographical features or property lines); and where an applicant chooses to appoint an agent to
speak on their behalf, (6) an agent form. In the opinion of the Planning Director if an application
is incomplete, the Planning Director may return the application to the applicant identifying the
specific omissions, without invoking the review time requirement. The Planning Director may
modify applications as necessary. Incomplete applications must be resubmitted on or before the
date required by the Planning Department for review at the next Planning Board meeting.
(3)
Review Schedule. Applications for major subdivisions of 300 or more lots shall have a minimum
45 day processing period for review by the Planning Director before the first consideration by the
Planning Board. Applications involving more than one (1) parcel not under common ownership by
the applicant shall be forwarded to the Board of Commissioners at its first regularly scheduled
monthly meeting. (The Board of Commissioners will review the application and determine if it
should proceed or, due to the size of the area, number of parcels or number of property owners, if
the scope of the application will require a Small Area Zoning Study. If the Board of
Commissioners agrees that the application calls for a Small Area Zoning Study, a directive for
such will be issued by the Commissioners and direction will be provided as to how to proceed
with the amendment application).
(4)
Withdrawal of Application. Each application for a major subdivision of 300 or more lots which is
withdrawn by the applicant after the first newspaper notice appears shall not be considered for a
map amendment within the following six (6) months.
(5)
Application Resubmittal. The Planning Board and the Board of Commissioners will not consider
an application (by a property owner or owner’s agent) when, within the previous 12 months, the
map amendment request was denied by the Commissioners.
(6)
Fees. Any review fee established by the Board of Commissioners shall be submitted with the
application.
D.
Staff Review. The Planning Director shall: (1) process and review the subdivision application, master
plan and/or development plan(s), and map amendment request; (2) present the application to the TRC for its
comments and recommendations; (3) schedule the matter for consideration by the Planning Board and
notify the applicant (in writing) of that time; (4) forward a copy to any review agency for information
purposes or for comment; and (5) prepare a recommendation on the proposed amendment. Formal review
of the major subdivision of 300 or more lots shall not begin until the Planning Director has verified that the
application is complete. Such verification should, when possible, be made within three (3) business days of
its receipt.
  
E.
Formal Review. The Planning Director shall prepare a recommendation on the application and supply
a copy of the recommendation to the applicant before review by the Planning Board. Prior to amending the
Official Zoning Map, the Commissioners shall consider the Planning Board’s recommendation which must
be in writing and must address consistency with the Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Board shall have
45 days after the first consideration of an application for a major subdivision of 300 or more lots to submit
its written recommendation to the Commissioners. Failure of the Planning Board to submit a written
recommendation within the 45 day period shall constitute a favorable recommendation, except that, if by
agreement of the Planning Board and the applicant that 45 days is insufficient due to the size of the area,
the complexity of the request or similar circumstances, the Planning Board shall have 60 days to submit its
written recommendations.
F.
Public Hearing. Prior to amending the zoning map the Commissioners shall hold a public hearing on
the amendment in accordance with NCGS §153A-323, as amended (See §42-370 (Legislative Process
Standards)).
G.
Public Notification. Public notification of the Planning Board meeting shall comply with the provisions
outlined in §42-370 (Legislative Process Standards) B (5) (Posted Notice), for posted notices. Public
notification of the Commissioners public hearing shall comply with the provisions of NCGS §153A-323
and §153A-343, as amended (See §42-370 (Legislative Process Standards)). Planning Staff shall be
responsible for all necessary public notifications.
H.
Amendment Validity. The amendment is effective immediately following the decision of the
Commissioners. The Commissioners shall issue a written statement on all map amendment decisions (both
adoptions and rejections) addressing reasonableness, consistency with the Comprehensive Plan, and public
interests furthered. Subsequent development plans shall be reviewed and approved by the Board of
Commissioners. However, the Commissioners may delegate this approval authority, on a project by project
basis, to the Planning Board or Subdivision Administrator provided all conditions of approval are met and
the development plan is consistent with the approved master plan. Development plans shall meet all
requirements of this Chapter. Final plats shall be reviewed following the processes and procedures outlined
in §42-76 (Approval for Subdivision Plats) and §42-343 (Final Plat Review).
§42-341.
Master Plans
A.
Plan Preparation. Master plans must be prepared in conformance with this subpart and master plan
requirements provided by the Planning Department. A master plan is required during review of all major
subdivisions. The applicant shall submit four (4) full-sized copies and one (1) reduced-sized copy of the
master plan, at a scale appropriate to clearly depict the proposed project. Reduced size copies should be
legible and reproducible. If a reduced size copy of the plan (no larger than 11 inches by 17 inches in size)
cannot be provided, at least 30 large copies shall be submitted in its place. The master plan may consist of
multiple sheets, if needed. Applicants proposing single section or phased subdivisions may submit a
combined master plan and development plan (“master/development plan”) that shall be prepared in
conformance with this subpart and the requirements of a development plan provided by the Planning
Department and §42-342 (Development Plans).
B.
Purpose of the Plan. The master plan is intended to provide general information about the proposed
development to allow for an assessment of its impact on the orderly growth and development of the
County, environmental quality, land values, natural features identified on the site analysis sketch and the
County’s roads and governmental services. 
C.
Review of the Plan. During review of the master plan for a major subdivision application, the reviewing
agency shall take into consideration: (1) applicable recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan, (2) the
potential use of the land to be subdivided and (3) the impact of the subdivision and proposed use whether
residential, commercial or industrial. 
D.
Revisions to the Plan. If during the development of the project, the master plan is revised to affect any of
the following: increase the number of lots to be created or units to be constructed; create a substantive
change in the subdivision configuration, road layout, etc.; substantially change the use of any portion of the
tract; develop or build in areas that were identified as features in the site analysis sketch (see Article III
(Subdivision Regulations) and Article XI (Review Processes and Procedures) Subpart C (Subdivision
Review and Approval)) and that were identified in the master plan as open spaces or protected areas, the
applicant shall then submit a revised master plan for the reviewing agency to review in accordance with
Article III (Subdivision Regulations) and the applicable review process as outlined in this Article XI
(Review Process and Procedures) Subpart C (Subdivision Review and Approval). 
  
E.
Land Disturbing and Improvement Activities. The applicant may only proceed with the establishment of
erosion and sedimentation control measures, clearing and other land-disturbing activities and improvement
activities associated with the project upon receipt of approval of the development plan (See §42-342
(Development Plans).
F.
Approval Validity. Master plan approval is valid for two (2) years and shall be annotated on the plan. If, at
the completion of the two-year period, no development plan has been submitted, the applicant must reapply
under the current applicable requirements. Upon completion of a development plan, where no new
development plan had been submitted for a period of four (4) years, the applicant must reapply under the
current applicable requirements for the remainder of the project.
§42-342.
Development Plans
A.
Plan Preparation. Development plans must be prepared in conformance with this subpart and development
plan requirements provided by the Planning Department. Development plan(s) are required during review
of all major subdivisions. The development plan may be submitted for the entire subdivision or any section
thereof. The applicant shall submit four (4) full-sized copies and one (1) reduced-sized copy of the
development plan, at a scale appropriate to clearly depict the proposed project. Reduced size copies should
be legible and reproducible. If a reduced size copy of the plan (no larger than 11 inches by 17 inches in
size) cannot be provided, at least 30 large copies shall be submitted in its place. The development plan may
consist of multiple sheets, if needed.
B.
Purpose of the Plan. A development plan is a graphic representation or map of the tract of land to be
developed indicating all proposed divisions of land, their uses, improvements and other information as may
be required to fully disclose the applicant's intentions. The purpose of the plan is to provide general and
specific information and is not intended to be a recordable document.
C.
Review of the Plan. Upon approval of the master plan and the development plan of the first section of a
subdivision by the reviewing agency, if successive sections are submitted for review (and (1) each
substantially conforms with the master plan, (2) no new lots are created, and (3) all technical requirements
and development standards have been met) the Subdivision Administrator may approve the development
plans for all major subdivisions for successive sections administratively. Under such review, the action
deadlines for the reviewing agency shall be the same for the Subdivision Administrator
D.
Land Disturbing and Improvement Activities. The applicant may, only upon receipt of approval of the
development plan proceed with the establishment of erosion and sedimentation control measures, clearing
and other land-disturbing activities and improvement activities associated with the project. 
E.
Approval Validity. Development plan approval is valid for two (2) years and shall be annotated on the plan.
The approving agency may, for just cause, grant up to two (2) one-year extensions for development plan
approval. If, at the completion of the first one-year extension period, less than 50 percent of improvements
are complete, the applicant must reapply under the current applicable requirements. If more than 50 percent
of improvements are complete after the one-year extension period, the applicant may apply for a single
additional one-year extension and thereafter must reapply under current applicable requirements.
§42-343.
Final Plat Review
A.
Final Plat Review for Minor and Nonstandard Subdivisions.
(1)
Approval Authority. Subdivision Administrator.
(2)
Purpose. A final plat must be prepared and approved pursuant to this subpart and final plat
requirements provided by the Planning Department, whenever a subdivision of land occurs.
(3)
Staff Review. If the subdivision complies with the standards set forth herein the Subdivision
Administrator shall provide approval in writing on the face of the final plat and shall retain a "blue
line" copy for departmental records. Once the plat has been approved, the final plat must be
recorded in a timely manner.
B.
Final Plat Review for All Major Subdivisions.
(1)
Approval Authority. Subdivision Administrator.
(2)
Purpose. A final plat must be prepared and approved pursuant to this subpart and final plat
requirements provided by the Planning Department, whenever a subdivision of land occurs.
Staff Review. The Subdivision Administrator shall review the final plat and determine its completeness, finding that
the regulations of this Chapter that set forth specific standards have been met for final plats. The Subdivision
Administrator shall review the final plat for conformance with all applicable standards and conformance to any
  
associated master plans and development plans. The final plat may be approved administratively if the plat meets all
requirements of the Chapter and satisfies all conditions imposed by the reviewing agency. Upon approval, and
before any lots are transferred, the applicant shall record the final plat at the office of the Register of Deeds.
Incidental changes to the final plat, which do not in any way affect the character of the development, may be
submitted prior to, or after, recordation and may be approved for re-recordation by the Subdivision Administrator.
No lots governed by this Chapter may be conveyed until a final plat is approved and recorded in the office of the
Register of Deeds of Henderson County