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Subdivision and Development Review

Planning and Development staff review subdivision plats, Development Plans and Improvement Plans in coordination with Pima County Development Services. Examples of projects that we review include single-family and industrial subdivisions, multi-family development, commercial development, and improvement plans. Our guidelines and requirements for reviews and submittals are outlined below. 

Subdivision Plats, Development Plans and Improvement Plans

Multi-Lot and Commercial Permitting are coordinated by the Development Services Department.  Submittals involve an Arizona professional registrant.  Development Review staff at the District review site plans, improvement plans and drainage reports for compliance with the Floodplain and Erosion Hazard Management Ordinance, Pima County Grading Standards and Pima County Subdivision Street Standards.  Both regulatory and non-regulatory flows that impact project sites should remain in natural drainage patterns as much as possible.  When drainage patterns are altered or contained, appropriate engineering design is required.  Drainage from structures and paved surfaces must be directed to appropriate drainage structures.  The design of the structures and the capacity of paved surfaces to carry on-site flows are reviewed by District staff.  The overall drainage design must accommodate flows coming onto the project site from upstream, and flows from the development must discharge at the downstream boundary of the site in a manner which approximates existing conditions and does not cause any adverse impact to adjacent properties.

Owners, developers, engineers and landscape architects work with the District to create a site plan which protects property and people from negative impacts that could result from site design, grading and removal of riparian habitat. 

The tabs below outline the review process and provide useful guidance to increase the likelihood of a smooth and efficient project review.  Please see the Resources page for forms, checklists, guidelines, manuals, software and other tools to assist with the design process.

Step 1:

The first step in getting your project to the District's Development Review staff is to submit site plans and supporting materials to the Development Services Department, Building and Site Review Division.  Procedures for submitting all materials in electronic format have been established.  Submittal procedure questions should be directed to the Development Services Departments Building and Site Development Group.

The District is only one of several reviewing departments. The applicant should provide the materials described in the Development Services Department requirements for site permitting.

A Drainage Report is required for all projects.  Off-site and on-site drainage conditions should be described in accordance with the District’s Technical Policy 114.  Checklists for specific projects are available below:

Development Review staff also reviews the project site for the presence of mapped, regulated riparian habitat relative to proposed disturbance. For projects that do not have mapped, regulated riparian habitat, there are no submittal requirements. For projects that do have and/or impact mapped, regulated riparian habitat, including off-site impacts (roadways, utilities, etc.), the District requires information be provided as outlined in the requirements for site permitting.  For Riparian Habitat review, please use the following additional riparian requirements for site permits.  If impacts to regulated riparian habitat exceed 1/3 acre, a Riparian Habitat Mitigation Plan is required.  For projects requiring a Riparian Habitat Mitigation Plan, follow requirements outlined in the Regulated Riparian Habitat Mitigation Standards and Implementation Guidelines.

Policies, design and mitigation standards may be found in the following links:

Regulated Riparian Habitat requirements may be found at the "Riparian Habitat" tab located on the Rules and Procedures page.

Step 2:

After Development Review staff complete reviews of the site plan, Hydrologic and Hydraulic Analysis and/or Riparian Habitat Mitigation Plan, reviewers notify the Development Services Department site review division whether a project can be approved or whether additional information or corrections are required. If additional information is required, reviewers upload comments and requests for corrections to the Development Services database. The Development Services project manager notifies the applicant of project status and requested additional information, if applicable.

Step 3:

If the submittal is approved by the District, no additional information needs to be submitted to the District prior to permit issuance. If additional information has been requested through the Development Services coordinated response letter, the applicant shall submit the requested material to the Development Services department.  When the project plan and drainage report have been approved, the site permit can be issued when all other reviewing departments approve the project as well.   The District may place conditions specific to the project site characteristics which must be fulfilled following site  construction.  For example, the majority of projects require submittal of an as-built certification of drainage infrastructure prior to final release of the project.  In the case of multi-lot subdivisions, additional permit requirements for lots impacted by  floodplains, erosion hazard setbacks and regulated riparian habitat may need to be fulfilled at the time of construction of structures on individual lots.  These permits will be issued by  the Floodplain Management staff.