Article 4 - Preliminary Plat Review Process


ARTICLE 4. PRELIMINARY PLAT REVIEW PROCESS

Section 4.1. Preliminary Plat Submittal
4.1.1 Preliminary Plat Required
Preliminary plats shall be submitted for Type One, Type Two, certain Type Three, and all Type Four subdivisions. Certain Type Three and all Type Five subdivisions shall be reviewed under the summary procedure set forth in Article 6 of these Regulations.

4.1.2 Application/Fee
Preliminary plat submittal is initiated by completing an application on the prescribed form available from the Subdivision Review Officer, and upon payment of the required administrative fee.

4.1.3 Plat Deemed Complete
On receipt of the application, fee, preliminary plat, and supporting documentation (see Section 4.5 and Article 8, herein), the Subdivision Review Officer shall review all materials in order to determine if the preliminary plat is ready to begin the review process. If there are no deficiencies, the preliminary plat shall be deemed complete for review and written notice to the subdivider provided. The initial review should be complete within fifteen (15) days of the date of application. If the preliminary plat is incomplete or does not comply with the requirements herein, the Subdivider shall be notified. The Subdivider shall have one hundred eighty (180) days to correct the deficiencies and return the preliminary plat for consideration. The Subdivision Review Officer may extend the time period for good cause shown. If the deficiencies are not corrected within 180 days plus any extension granted by the Subdivision Review Officer, the plat shall expire.

Section 4.2. Agency Review
4.2.1 Plat Transmittals
Within ten (10) days after the date that the preliminary plat is deemed complete, the County shall forward a copy of the preliminary plat and supporting documentation to the following State and local agencies by certified mail "return receipt requested" with a request for review and opinions:

a. the New Mexico State Engineer Office;

b. the New Mexico Environment Department;

c. the New Mexico Highway and Transportation Department;

d. the Soil and Water Conservation District in which the proposed subdivision is located; e. the Public Works Department of the County;

f. the County Fire Marshal; g. any irrigation ditch association whose irrigation ditch, lateral or tailwater passes through the proposed subdivision or within one hundred (100) feet of any exterior boundary of the proposed subdivision; and

h. any other public agencies the County considers necessary to determine whether there are adequate facilities to accommodate the proposed subdivision.

4.2.2 Agency Response
The State and local agencies shall have thirty (30) calendar days from receipt to review and return an opinion regarding the preliminary plat. The County shall obtain receipts or other proof showing the date the opinion request was received by each State or local agency.

4.2.3 Hearing Deadlines
If the opinions received from each agency are favorable, the County shall schedule a public hearing on the preliminary plat within thirty (30) days following the receipt of the last such favorable opinion. If the County does not receive a requested opinion within the specified thirty (30) days, it shall proceed with the required public hearing.

4.2.4 Adverse Opinion
If any opinion from a public agency is adverse, or if an agency requests additional information, the County shall forward a copy of the adverse opinion or request for additional information to the Subdivider and request that additional information be provided to the County within thirty (30) days to respond to the concerns of the appropriate agency. The County shall forward such additional information upon receipt to the appropriate agency, which shall have thirty (30) days after the date the Subdivider submits the additional information to revise its opinion, or issue an opinion if one was withheld because of insufficient information.

4.2.5 Revised Opinion
The County shall schedule the public hearing within thirty (30) days after the receipt of a revised opinion from the appropriate agency. If the County does not receive a revised opinion within thirty (30) days after the date the Subdivider submits additional information, it shall proceed with the public hearing.

Section 4.3. Public Hearing on Preliminary Plats
4.3.1 Scheduling
The County shall conduct a public hearing on the preliminary plat within the time periods specified in these Regulations. Notice of the hearing shall be given at least twenty-one (21) days before the hearing date. The public hearing shall be conducted by a designated hearing officer, and may or may not be held at a regular County Commission Meeting or Workshop. The County shall endeavor to conduct its public hearing as soon as practicable, consistent with the time periods set forth herein.

4.3.2 Notice
The Subdivision Review Officer shall publish a notice of public hearing. Notice of public hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county and shall contain the following information:

a. the subject of the hearing;

b. the time and place of the hearing;

c. the manner for interested persons to present their views; and d. the place and manner for interested persons or lienor to obtain copies of any favorable or adverse opinion and of the Subdivider's proposal.

4.3.3 Notification
Copies of the notice of public hearing shall be transmitted to the following:

a. the Subdivider filing the application for approval;

b. those public agencies which initially received copies of the preliminary plat and supporting documentation with a request for opinion; and

c. any person who previously requested such notice and provided a self-addressed envelope for such purpose.

4.3.4 Participation/Record
At the public hearing, the County shall allow all interested persons a reasonable opportunity to submit data, views or arguments, orally or in writing, and to examine witnesses testifying at the hearing. A record of the public hearing shall be kept. The opinions of the public agencies shall be made a part of the record.

4.3.5 Action
Within thirty (30) days after the public hearing, the Board of County Commissioners shall approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the preliminary plat at a public meeting, the date, time, and place of which shall be announced publicly at the conclusion of the public hearing; provided, however, where a proposed subdivision proposed for preliminary plat approval lies within the concurrent platting jurisdiction of a municipality as set forth in N.M.S.A. 1978, § 3-20-9, no further action shall be taken on the application for preliminary plat approval until such time as the municipality has given its preliminary approval. If the public hearing was held previous to the approval of a municipality, the Board of County Commissioners shall take action on the request within thirty (30) days of the date upon which it receives notice of the action of the municipality. The County shall inform the Subdivider in writing of the decision of the Board of County Commissioners.

4.3.6 Approval
Approval or conditional approval of a preliminary plat shall constitute approval of the proposed subdivision design and layout submitted on the preliminary plat, and shall be used as a guide in the preparation of the final plat.

Section 4.4. Expiration of Preliminary Plat
4.4.1 Expiration
An approved or conditionally approved preliminary plat shall expire twenty-four (24) months after its approval or conditional approval. Upon request by the Subdivider, an additional period of no more than twelve (12) months may be added to the expiration date by the Board of County Commissioners.

4.4.2 Phased Development
If the preliminary plat was approved for phased development, the Subdivider may record final plats for portions of the development, and the expiration date of the preliminary plat shall be extended for an additional thirty-six (36) months after the date of the filing of each final plat. The number of phased final plats shall be determined by the Board of County Commissioners at the time of the approval or conditional approval of the preliminary plat.

4.4.3 Extension
Before the expiration date of the approved or conditionally approved preliminary plat, the Subdivider may submit to the Board of County Commissioners an application for extension of the preliminary plat for a period of time not exceeding a total of thirty-six (36) months.

4.4.4 Effect of Expiration
The expiration of the approved or conditionally approved preliminary plat shall terminate all proceedings on the subdivision, and no final plat shall be filed without first processing a new preliminary plat.

Section 4.5. Preliminary Plat Data Requirements
4.5.1 Required Documentation
At a minimum, supporting documentation required for the preliminary plat review must provide sufficient information for the County to determine that:

a. water in sufficient quantity to fulfill the maximum annual water requirements of the subdivision is provided, including water for indoor and outdoor domestic uses (a minimum of 0.3 acre feet/parcel per annum is required, unless mitigating circumstances such as supplemental irrigation, xeriscaping, mandatory water conservation or other mitigating circumstances exist);

b. water is of an acceptable quality for human consumption and measures are taken to protect the water supply from contamination;

c. there is a means of liquid waste disposal for the subdivision;

d. there is a means of solid waste disposal for the subdivision;

e. there are satisfactory roads to each parcel, including entry and exit for emergency vehicles, and there are appropriate utility easements to each parcel;

f. there is terrain management which protects against flooding, inadequate drainage and erosion;

g. there is protection for cultural properties, archaeological sites and unmarked burials that may be directly affected by the subdivision;

h. the Subdivider can fulfill the proposals contained in the disclosure statement for the subdivision; and

i. the subdivision will conform with the New Mexico Subdivision Act and these Regulations.

4.5.2 Filing Specifications
The Subdivider shall submit ten (10) copies of the preliminary plat and supporting documentation for local review and distribution to public agencies. Preliminary plat maps shall be prepared at a scale of two-hundred (200) feet to one (1) inch or larger and printed on sheets no larger than twenty-four by thirty-six (24 x 36) inches. Sheets shall be numbered in sequence if more than one sheet is used.

4.5.3 Map Specifications
The preliminary plat map shall show the following:

a. title, scale, north arrow, date, and type of subdivision;

b. existing topography and any regrading plans, indicating contour intervals sufficient for planning purposes;

c. existing and proposed boundary lines, in bearings and distances, for the subdivision;

d. proposed lot lines, with lot and block numbers, and approximate acreage of each lot;

e. the location, dimensions, and purpose of existing and proposed work on easements;

f. names and right-of-way widths of existing and proposed streets on and adjacent to the subdivision and pertaining to the development;

g. location, dimension, and purpose of any land to be dedicated to the public use including any improvements to be made to that land;

h. location of the subdivision in relation to well-known landmarks;

i. location of archaeological, historical, or culturally significant features on the site if required by the Cultural Properties Act;

j. delineation of any serious flood hazards and of the 100-year flood plain as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency;

k. names and addresses of owner or owners of land to be subdivided, the Subdivider if other than the owner, land surveyor, and engineer; l. legal description indicating the range, township, and section within which the subdivision is located sufficient to define and describe the property being subdivided;

m. existing and proposed utilities on and adjacent to the site; and

n. the location of any irrigation ditch, lateral or tailwater ditch or slough which passes through the proposed subdivision or within one hundred (100) feet of any exterior boundary of the proposed subdivision.

4.5.4 Phased Subdivisions
Subdivisions which are proposed to be phased and filed in multiple final plats shall include an anticipated phasing schedule for the final plats and a schedule of improvements.

4.5.5 Disclosure Statement
The preliminary plat shall be accompanied by a draft disclosure statement in accordance with the standardized format provided in Appendix A of these Regulations. A disclosure statement shall be required for all subdivisions. The purpose of the disclosure statement is to permit the prospective purchaser, lessee, or other person acquiring an interest in subdivided land to make an informed decision about the purchase, lease, or other conveyance of the land.

4.5.6 Road Development Schedule
Roads within a subdivision shall be constructed only on a schedule approved by the Board of County Commissioners, whether or not such roads are to be dedicated to the County. The subdivider shall submit such a schedule for approval during the preliminary plat approval process. In approving or disapproving a subdivider's road construction schedule, the Board of County Commissioners shall consider the proposed use of the subdivision, the period of time before the roads will receive substantial use, the period of time before construction of homes will commence on the portion of the subdivision serviced by the road, the County regulations governing phased development, and the needs of prospective purchasers, lessees and other persons acquiring an interest in subdivided land in viewing the land within the subdivision. All dedicated roads shall conform to minimum County standards as set forth in Article 8 of these Regulations. The Board of County Commissioners shall not approve the grading or construction of roads unless and until the subdivider can reasonably demonstrate that the roads to be constructed will receive use and that the roads are required to provide access to parcels or improvements within twenty-four (24) months from the date of construction of the road
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Larry Hathaway
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