Both the City Charter and State legislation charge the City Planning Commission (CPC) with establishing and administering regulations governing the subdivision of land within the city. Subdivision requests often involve combining multiple lots into a single new lot or dividing an existing lot into multiple new lots. Any shifting of an existing lot line and any change to a street or right-of-way line also necessitates a subdivision request.
The CPC has adopted subdivision regulations that classify all subdivision requests as either minor or major. Minor subdivisions are those that create 5 or fewer lots; major subdivisions are those that create more than 5 lots or involve the dedication or revocation of a street. Minor subdivisions that meet the criteria of the policies in the subdivision regulations may be approved administratively, while some that fall under special policies must be approved by the CPC. The CPC makes a decision on all major subdivisions following a public hearing. Decisions of the CPC are final, but they may be appealed to the City Council.
To begin processing a major subdivision request, the following items must be submitted to the CPC staff. The staff will not accept or process incomplete applications. The applicant shall submit the following items as a formal request for subdivision approval.
- LETTER OF REQUEST, using forms prescribed for this purpose and furnished by the staff and signed by all property owners (as they appear on the title to the properties) of the existing lots of record. If the property is owned by a corporation, a resolution authorizing the subdivision or authorizing an individual to request such approval shall be submitted. If the property is owned by a partnership, a copy of the Articles of Partnership shall be submitted, indicating who is authorized to make such a request on the behalf of the partnership. Proper ownership verification information is also required for partnerships and successions.
- SUBMITTAL PROTOCOL: One electronic copy of the tentative plan for the creation of more than 5 lots and/or the dedication or revocation of streets to CPCinfo@nola.gov, AND a list of all adjoining property owners. This plan is an actual survey prepared specifically for the purpose of resubdivision by a land surveyor registered in the State of Louisiana bearing his or her official stamp. The plan should show:
- a current date (within 60 days prior to the date of submission),
- existing and proposed property lines,
- existing and proposed lot designations,
- square number or tract identification,
- the municipal district (and address, if applicable),
- bounding streets, servitudes, easements, existing improvements, existing sewer and water lines, house connections, and complete details of any encroachments onto the public right-of-way. This includes but not limited to trees, steps, porches, overhangs, roofs, buildings, fences, etc. Any existing servitudes must also be shown on the plan. An instrument number must be noted for all recorded servitudes.
- FEES FOR PROCESSING SUBDIVISION APPLICATIONS: All required fees are set by Chapter 118, Article II, Section 118-43 or Ordinance 828 M.C.S. known as the Code of the City of New Orleans and are available at the City Planning Commissions office. The cost of advertising for public hearings and the cost of the State required registered mail shall be borne by the property owner(s). Overpayments will be refunded and full refunds may be obtained if a written request for the withdrawal of an application for a subdivision is received before the staff has notified other agencies or sent public hearings (see attachment for required fees for all subdivisions).
Processing the Subdivision Request
Upon determination that an application is complete, the Commission staff shall review the plan for compliance with subdivision regulations and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. The application shall then be assigned a docket number.
Copies of the plan will be distributed to various City/State/Federal agencies for review and written comments with respect to compliance with each department’s regulations. Revisions to the submitted plan may be required for further review and final approval. Reviewing agencies include Sewerage and Water Board, Departments of Public Works, Entergy, Health, Safety and Permits, Real Estate and Records, Historic District Landmarks Commission, and Vieux Carre Commission, Corps of Engineers and Department of Natural Resources when wetlands may be involved.
Public Hearing Requirement
Any subdivision creating more than five (5) lots or the dedication /revocation of a street requires a public hearing, according the State law. Upon submission, the applicant shall provide a list bearing the names, addresses, lot, and square number of all abutting or adjacent properties of the parcel being subdivided so that a public hearing can be scheduled. As previously noted, the cost of advertising for public hearings and the cost of the State required registered mail shall be borne by the property owners. Please note that the Planning Commission may call for a public hearing on any subdivision if deemed necessary and in the best interest of the public. The same public hearing requirements shall be followed.
Planning Advisory Committee Review
Major subdivision must be reviewed by the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) which is made up of representatives from various City departments. This committee will review the subdivision request and make suggestions/recommendations to the developer and to the City Planning Commission. The PAC usually meets at once a month in the Conference Room of the City Planning Commission. The deadline for submitting proposals is noon Wednesday, a week prior to the meeting. Click here to view the PAC docketing schedule.
Planning Commission Meetings
The Planning Commission meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. The subdivision should be submitted in proper form at least four (4) weeks prior to an expected meeting day, if required. However, the Commission staff as sixty (60) days to act upon a request. Please note that certain types of subdivisions require more staff preparation time before being presented to the Commission and additional time of two (2) weeks or more may be required. Once the Commission has granted tentative approval to a resubdivision request, the applicant has the responsibility to complete all conditions and provisos as set forth by the Commission before the request can considered for final approval.
Prior To Final Approval
Prior to final approval the applicant shall obtain and submit the following items to the staff to complete the applicant’s file:
- A reproducible copy (tracing, film or sepia) and two (2) prints of the Final Plan to which approval my be signed. A digital copy of the survey (CD) shall be provided by the applicant’s surveyor and shall be submitted as part of the final approval process.
- Mortgage Certificate, available from Bayou Title, bearing a date within sixty (60) days of the date of Tentative Approval. In order to apply for a mortgage certificate, please complete the Mortgage Certificate Request Form and send it to Bayou Title:
1820 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130
1700 Belle Chasse Hwy.
Gretna, LA 70056
For questions related to obtaining the mortgage certificate, please contact Tony Dalmado at (504) 393-0315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: If the applicant does not meet all of the criteria, conditions, and provisos required for final approval within the sixty (60) days after notification of Tentative Approval and has already submitted a mortgage certificate, that certificate will be considered void, and an updated mortgage certificate shall be required before Final Approval.
Note: Any mortgages on the existing property shall require a consent letter from the mortgage holder, in addition, any liens will also require a consent letter from the lien holder. If a judgment exists, the applicant shall provide City Planning with a consent letter from the judgment holder authorizing the proposed subdivision. If the judgment does not apply to applicant, the applicant shall provide a statement as such in an affidavit from an attorney. A signature of the City Attorney for the succession is acceptable.
- A City Tax Statement (for each existing lot) can be downloaded from the City web site. All city taxes must be paid prior to final approval.
Once all of these conditions and provisos have been met, final approval will be granted. The applicant will be notified that the subdivision has been approved and is ready for Recordation. See Process for Recording a Subdivision attached.
The decision of the City Planning Commission to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the Tentative or Final Subdivision Plan may be appealed to the City Council within 30 days following the decision. Appeals shall be made by filing a Notice of Appeal with the Clerk of Council with a copy to the Planning Commission and shall state specifically how the City Planning Commission failed to properly evaluate the proposed subdivision plan (see fee form for cost of appeal).