Short Plats (9 lots or less)

Click here to open a PDF version of this tip sheet. 

Preliminary Short Plat Process and Submittal Requirements

During the Preliminary Short Plat (9 lots or less) process a decision is made as to whether the division of property is allowed.  Appropriate access to the site and development conditions are determined.

Pre-Application/Scoping Review:  A pre-application review is required prior to submitting an application for a preliminary short plat.  Generally, reviews for preliminary short plats can be done by Electronic Review. For more complex sites, however, a scoping or coaching meeting may be desired.

Attach a PDF of your surveyed site plan to the Pre-Application Request Form when making the request online.

Pre-application meetings are requested online using your Tacoma Permits (ACA) account.

Departmental Review:  All applications for preliminary short plats are reviewed by various City Departments prior to issuance to ensure that appropriate improvements are required.

Public Notice (for 5-9 Lots):  Public notice of an application is not required for short plat applications of 1-4 lots.  For preliminary short plat proposals of 5-9 lots a public notice is mailed to neighbors within 400 feet of the property in the form of a yellow postcard.  The public is given 14 days to submit comments.  The applicant is given a chance to provide a written response to all comments.

Decision: After review a preliminary plat decision is issued by the Planning and Development Services Director.  The decision will includes development conditions, advisory notes, and corrections to the site plan that will need to be made by the applicant’s surveyor prior to submittal for the final short plat.

All application materials must be submitted in electronic PDF format on compact disc (CD), USB, or online at  See Electronic File Standards Tip Sheet.

  • The Land Use Application form is only available online and can be accessed using your Tacoma Permits (ACA) account
  • Owner’s Authorization Form(s) signed by all owners of the property (Available in the Resource Library on the Tacoma Permits (ACA) website)
  • Current Title Report(s) dated within 90 days of application submittal or plat certificate
  • Lot Closure Reports
  • Transit Access Checklist, including a table showing the location and walking distance in feet to the nearest bus stop(s), the routes served by that stop, and the potential patronage calculated according to the formula and generation rates shown on the checklist (this can be submitted as part of SEPA package, if applicable)
  • Site Plan – shall show the following:
    • Existing and proposed contours at intervals of five feet or less
    • Names of all adjacent subdivisions and owners of adjoining parcels
    • Names of all zoning districts
    • Location of all existing and platted streets, pedestrian ways, bike routes, recorded easements, rights-of-ways, and section lines within and adjacent to the plat
    • All public and private open space to be preserved within the plat
    • A table showing the plat area, number of lots, and minimum and average lot size
    • Locations of existing storm and sanitary sewers, water mains, and electric conduits or overheard power lines to be used to serve the property
    • All existing buildings and required setbacks
  • Preliminary Utility Plan if required by staff
  • If your site is located within a neighborhood district that has Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions (CC&Rs) associated with it, a copy of the CC&Rs must be provided with the land use application for review.
  • Other information identified by City staff
  • Application fee

Final Short Plat Process and Submittal Requirements

The Final Short Plat process ensures that all conditions of the Preliminary Short Plat have been met prior to recording.

Prior to Final Plat Application:  Ideally, if site improvements requiring a Work Order have been included as conditions of the preliminary plat decision, the Work Order should be submitted and approved prior to application for the Final Plat.  If there are other conditions of preliminary plat that also need to be addressed prior to recording (i.e. required easements, etc.) it is recommended to have those items resolved prior to Final Plat application as well.

Bonding:  In lieu of the construction of the required improvements before approval of the final short plat of a subdivision by the Director, the subdivider can post a performance bond, guaranteeing that the required improvements shall be completed in accordance with the requirements of the City of Tacoma and within the specified period of time.  The bond may also secure the successful operation of required improvements for a two-year period after final approval.  All required improvements shall be either bonded for or installed by the subdivider before the final short plat can be recorded. 

Submittal of Final Short Plat:  When ready to submit for the Final Short Plat contact the Planner listed on the Preliminary Short Plat decision.  If the Planner that processed the Preliminary Short Plat is not available another Pre-Application Review will need to be requested online using your Tacoma Permits (ACA) account.

Departmental Review:  The Planner assigned to the project will contact reviewers within the departments that requested conditions of approval to ensure that all conditions listed in the Preliminary Plat decision have been met.  If the conditions have not been met, the Final Plat will be placed on hold until the applicable requirements are satisfied.

Decision: The Final Short Plat decision is the official document from the City stating that all necessary improvements of the Preliminary Plat decision have been satisfied and also includes any language regarding conditions of approval that should be marked on the title page of the site plan prior to recording.

Submittal Requirements:

All application materials must be submitted in electronic PDF format on compact disc (CD), USB, or online at Tacoma’s Permitting Portal (ACA).  See Electronic File Standards Tip Sheet.

  • Site Plan (revised according to Preliminary Short Plat Redlines, if applicable).
  • Survey monuments should be placed prior to submission of the final short plat, in accordance with TMC04.090.I unless the City specifies otherwise.
  • Copy of Preliminary Short Plat decision (with redlines)
  • Current Title Report(s) dated within 90 days of application submittal or plat certificate
  • Lot Closure Reports
  • Application Fee

Recording: After issuance of the Final Short Plat decision, the approved plat must be recorded within 90 days unless written application for an extension is made and granted.  The Final Short Plat decision will include directions for recording and will list the applicable recording fees.  Acquiring a legibility form from the Pierce County Auditor prior to submittal of the site plan for recording is recommended to ensure there are no concerns regarding the clarity of the document to be recorded.

Summary of Steps for Successful Short Plat:

Step 1: Preliminary Plat Submittal and Approval

Step 2: Work Order Submittal and Approval

Step 3: Construction of required improvements or payment of performance bond

Step 4: Final Plat Submittal and Approval

Step 5: Recording

Applicable Regulations


Translate »