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Subdivision Regulations

Subdivision Regulations control the division of land by requiring development according to design standards and procedures adopted by the Portland Municipal-Regional Planning Commission.

Subdivisions can be both residential or non-residential. In accordance with state law (TCA § 13-4-301 (4) (B):

(i)  “Subdivision” means, in all counties except those in subdivision (4)(A), the division of a tract or parcel of land into two (2) or more lots, sites, or other divisions requiring new street or utility construction, or any division of less than five (5) acres, for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale or building development, and includes resubdivision and when appropriate to the context, relates to the process of resubdividing or to the land or area subdivided.

(ii)  As used in subdivision (4)(B)(i), “utility construction” does not include the mere extension of individual service pipes or lines for the purpose of directly connecting a single lot, site or other division to existing utility mains.

Any division of land that requires one of the items in the following list is considered a subdivision under State Law.

  • Any Division with New Lots Being Less than 5 Acres (Regardless of Infrastructure).
  • Any Division Requiring New Roads (Regardless of Lot Size).
  • Any Division Requiring New Utilities.
  • Resubdivision of Lots where Planning Commission has granted Approval previously.

The City of Portland Subdivision Regulations were adopted May 12, 2003 and have been amended and updated as needed. Information regarding general requirements and minimum standards of design, standard drawings, and road construction criteria are found in the Subdivision Regulations.

Major or Minor Subdivision

A Major Subdivision is any subdivision of 3 lots or more or a subdivision of any size requiring a new or improvement to a road, utility (water, sewer, gas, or stormwater), or development in a flood prone area.

A Major Subdivision requires the approval of multiple documents in process. The following submittals and approvals will take place for a Major Subdivision prior to a final plat approval. The items are shown in the order approvals are required to be sought.

  1. Concept Plan – Rough sketch of how the property layout will be for the subdivision.
  2. Preliminary Plat – Shows how the property will be served with street and utilities.
  3. Construction Plans – Shows how the street and utility improvements will be built.
  4. Final Plat – Legal document that will be recorded with County Registrar of Deeds and legally creates the parcel.
  5. Dedication of Improvements – The City accepts the improvements and takes responsibility for the improvements at the expiration of the warranty period.

A Minor Subdivision is any subdivision of 4 lots or less that does not require a new or improvement to a road, utility (water, sewer, gas, or stormwater), or development in a flood prone area.

A Minor Subdivision only requires the approval of a final plat

These regulations will go into effect September 8th, 2020