The manner in which land is subdivided, how streets are designed and how the lots are laid out have a lasting effect on the physical character of the city. Streets, water, sewage and drainage systems must be of a safe, effective design and construction. Streets must be adequately sized to accommodate the maneuvering of emergency vehicles, and the future property owner must be guaranteed a parcel with facilities suited to its intended use.
Plat approval is divided into three (3) distinct phases: development concept plan, preliminary plat and final plat. A development concept plan is required when large pieces of property are developed in phases, or in areas under common ownership where comprehensive planning issues are identified. Preliminary plats provide a detailed layout of the subdivision with existing and proposed features. The preliminary plat is mutually beneficial to both the developer and the City in that it provides an opportunity for the developer to explore the feasibility of the project while allowing the City to provide initial direction on the availability of City services. Final plats are the final documents that are filed at the Bell County Courthouse.
Both the preliminary plat and final plat processes consist of five (5) major steps. The first is the submission of plats and Engineering Documents. Second is the review by the City of Harker Heights Site Development Review Committee. Third, City staff, the Planning & Zoning Commission, or City Council approves or conditionally approves the plat. Fourth is the construction of any required infrastructure after approval of a preliminary plat and prior to submission of a final plat. Fifth is the filing of the final plat at the Bell County Courthouse. Building permits for vertical construction can only be issued after filing of the final plat at the Bell County Courthouse.
Platting Process FAQs
The following addresses the most frequently asked questions regarding the platting process:
What is the first step in the platting process?
Prior to any application submittal, a pre-application meeting with Planning and Development staff is required to discuss the procedures, policies, specifications, and standards required by the City for the proposed development area. The submission of a sketch plan, or concept plan, can save the subdivider time and expense during the approval process.
When is a Development Concept Plan required?
It is required when large pieces of property are developed in phases, or in areas under common ownership.
Do all plats require the Planning & Zoning Commission's (P&Z) approval?
No, P&Z approval is not necessary for amending or minor plats. These types of plats are subdivisions of 4 lots or less, and no new streets or other new public infrastructure is required. These plats are approved in-house by the Planning and Development Director if all code requirements are met prior to the P&Z meeting.
How do I get a plat prepared?
You will need to enlist the services of a licensed professional surveyor. A licensed professional engineer will also be needed if you have public infrastructure required. You can locate a professional engineer or surveyor by contacting the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, via your preferred search engine, or by looking in your local phone directory. See the three plat checklists below for a summary of major requirements as outlined in the City’s Code of Ordinances Chapter 154 (https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/harkerhts/latest/harker_tx/0-0-0-5900#JD_Chapter154).