Platting in the City of Dallas: Preliminary Plat

May 9, 2016 by Talmage Hansen

Development in the City of Dallas is notoriously challenging and the route to a building permit can be pretty convoluted. As owners and developers well know, one thing that you will often need is a plat.

What is a Plat?

A plat is a graphic presentation of one or more lots of land and establishes a legal building site. It is generally required before a building permit or certificate of occupancy can be issued (source).

City of Dallas Preliminary Plat
Preliminary Plat Prepared by JPH Surveying

Do I Need a Plat?

The specific reasons that trigger the need for a plat are many and include creation of a building site, subdividing property, combining properties, amending older plats to suit new land uses, and even requirements to correct errors on previously approved and recorded plats! Whatever your reason and whatever type of plat (e.g. major, minor, administrative, amending just to name a few) they all must go through a process which starts with a preliminary plat.

How Do I Get Started?

First, you’ll want to talk with a real, living person at the City (this can be harder than it sounds) and have a pre-application meeting. In this meeting a senior planner with the City will give you the down-low on what you can expect in the process. Things change all the time at the City and talking with an actual staff member is your best bet for understanding current expectations, review time lines, and other nuances not spelled out in code.

At this point you can begin preparing to submit a formal application. If you haven’t already, you will want to get a knowledgeable Civil Engineer and/or Surveyor on board to help create the plat and prepare the application, which includes:

  • Application Form including Preliminary Plat Checklist
  • Many copies of both 24” x 36” and 11” x 17” plats. Make you sure you fold them correctly!
  • Zoning Map and Ordinance (if in PD, Conservation District or Historic District)
  • Fee: In most cases (not including small, individual single-family lots) it’s going to cost $1,548 for a commercial site, plus $70 for any lot over 3 acres. However, you’ll want to get this amount correct to avoid submittal rejections.
Folding Instructions
While seemingly trivial, failure to follow this one-of-a-kind Dallas fold could result in the rejection of an otherwise complete submittal

You’ll want to submit this about a month before the City Plan Commission (CPC) hearing that you’d like your plat to be reviewed at, per the most recent Plat Submittal Calendar.

At BIG RED DOG Engineering we’ve done this before having worked on countless projects that required platting and can make sure that the process is expedited. Reach out to a member of our team in Dallas for your next project.

Written by Talmage Hansen

Talmage Hansen

Talmage Hansen is a Graduate Engineer in the Dallas office of BIG RED DOG. Talmage has a passion for creating a sustainable built environment. His professional experience includes land surveying, municipal engineering, and infrastructure management with a focus on land development engineering and permitting. Talmage is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas (PE). He is also a licensed Surveyor in Training (SIT), and Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP).