Plat and Subdivision Review Requirements

A subdivision is more specifically defined by State Statute as the division of a tract, parcel, or lot into two or more lots or building sites, or other divisions of land for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale, legacy, or building development, and includes all division of land involving a new street or a change in existing streets and includes the re-subdivision of land.  The information below describes how each type of plat or subdivision, as defined in the County’s Subdivision Regulations, will be reviewed by the Planning and Development staff.

Note:  Properties located within municipal limits are not subject to review by the Spartanburg County Planning and Development Department.  A subdivision located within a municipality must first be approved by the municipality in order to be recorded in the Register of Deeds Office.  

Refer to the following table for a list of plat and subdivision types. 

Plat and Subdivision Types
Counter PlatFinal Plat
Minor SubdivisionSurety Plat
Sketch PlanPrivate Road Subdivision
Preliminary PlatSite Plan 

Review the description of each type and required applications and documents under each heading below. If you are unsure of the type of plat of subdivision type, contact the Planning and Development staff.

Counter Plat:

Counter plats include the following: Reference Plats, For Recordation Purposes Only Plats, Exempt Plats, and Land Division with No Public Road and No Development (Authorized to be Recorded). These plats are typically processed within a 24-hour period and stamped in our office prior to recording.  

  • Reference Plat - Includes historical plats or those plats needed on record for reference purposes, but does not create new lots or roads or change property lines.
  • For Recordation Purposes Only Plat - Not a division of land, but could be a resurvey of an existion property, etc. that needs to be recorded. Parcel boundaries have not changed significantly.
  • Exempt Plat - Plat as shown exempt from the subdivision approval process pursuant to the SC Code of Laws Section 6-29-1110 (4). All lots must be 5 or more acres with no new public infrastructure required, the combination or recombination of portions of previous platted lots where the total number of lots is not increased and the resultant lots meet County ordinances, or the combination or recombination of entire lots of record where no new street or change in existing streets is involved.
  • Land Division with No Public Road and No Development (Authorized to be Recorded) - In most cases, a plat showing divisions of land that do not meet the County’s definition of a subdivision, but do meet requirements found in  Sections 7.30 and 7.45 of the Subdivision Regulations, may be reviewing as a simple over-the-counter plat if not more than one single family home is being built/developed on the resulting parcels and Certification stating so signed by the owner. In order to have the plat authorized for recording, the following shall be reviewed by County Staff:

Access - A plat of a lot/parcel must show access to a publicly maintained road, which meets the requirements of the Sections 7.44 (Sight Distance) and 7.45 (Minimum Road Frontage for Access) of the Subdivision Regulations or the Planning Commission’s Road Access Policy.  

There must be no deed restrictions or restrictive covenants that prevent the lot’s division.  The owner must sign a statement declaring so.  

In order for a lot/parcel to be accessed from a private road, approval by the Planning Commission is required. Generally, the subdividing of a lot on a privately maintained road cannot be approved as a simple over-the-counter plat. 

Applications and Required Documents for Counter Plats

Minor Subdivision:

Minor Subdivisions are plats for lots being developed with no new roads (must be located on an existing State or County road), but that will be graded and subject to storm water regulations. Planning Staff will not hold the plats, but will stamp them for recording if they meet the following requirements. For more information regarding Minor Subdivisions and Road Dedication Procedures, see Subdivision Regulations Administrative Policies and Procedures.

  • Fire
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • SCDOT (if on a state road and will send comments to applicant)
  • Digital of plat and memo to PW for storm water/engineering
  • Addressing/911
  • DHEC for Septic
  • Review for zoning requirements

Applications and Required Documents for Minor Subdivisions

Sketch Plan:

A Sketch Plan includes all information required to confirm that the Subdivision Ordinance and any applicable Zoning elements are met. The staff will determine whether the Sketch Plan meets the requirements of the Ordinance and will issue a letter stating that the Sketch Plan is approvable. The main reason for this step in the process is to give the developer reasonable assurance that engineering designs may be started and that no new requirements will be added, unless the plan changes. The Sketch Plan must include all elements that both the Planning and Public Works Departments must have in order to determine whether the Plan is approvable under Spartanburg County Ordinances.

After a Collaborative Development Review Meeting, the applicant will be given correspondence regarding the status of the presented conceptual layout that includes comments from the attending departments/agencies.  Once the Sketch Plan meets the requirements of all land development ordinances, the applicant will be given reasonable assurance that barring any changes by him/her, the County will approve the plan.  

All Sketch Plans will attend a Collaborative Development Review Meeting. Contact Planning Staff to schedule.

Applications and Required Documents for Sketch Plans

Preliminary Plat:

A Subdivision Plat showing a plan for a proposed subdivision of land that includes new roads or other public infrastructure and which must connect to a state- or county-maintained road.

The Preliminary Plat process involves review and approvals from outside agencies.  The time frame for approvals varies depending on the complexity of the proposed subdivision.  For more information regarding Preliminary Plats and Road Dedication Procedures, see Subdivision Regulations Administrative Policies and Procedures.

All Preliminary Plats are encouraged to attend a Collaborative Development Review Meeting. Contact Planning Staff to schedule.

Applications and Required Documents for Preliminary Plats

Final Plat:

After all infrastructure has been installed and approved, a Final Plat which incorporates all revisions or corrections deemed necessary by the Planning and Development Staff (at the Preliminary Plat stage) may be recorded in the Register of Deeds Office at which time the Planning Staff will release lots for Building Permits and Certificates of Occupancy.  

The Final Plat process involves review and approvals from outside agencies. Time frame for approvals vary depending on the proposed subdivision. For more information regarding Final Plats and Road Dedication Procedures, see Subdivision Regulations Administrative Policies and Procedures.

Applications and Required Documents for Final Plats

Surety Plat:

An applicant/developer who wishes to acquire building permits or sell lots before Final Plat Approval may do so through a Surety Plat (formerly known as a Letter of Credit Plat) and Agreement or other surety as outlined in the Subdivision Regulations.  However, occupancy of a dwelling or building may not occur until all required improvements covered by the Letter of Credit are in place and approved by the County. For additional information, please contact our office.  A Surety Plat will include all the elements required for a Final Plat.  A Surety Plat may be approved prior to the completion of the required infrastructures (water, sewer, storm water facilities, roads, etc.) with acceptance of surety as set forth in the Subdivision Regulations.  For more information regarding Surety Plats see Subdivision Regulations Administrative Policies and Procedures.

Applications and Required Documents for Surety Plats

Private Road Subdivision Plat:

Subdivisions utilizing private roads shall follow the same submission and platting procedures as outlined in the Spartanburg County Subdivision Regulations for standard subdivisions. However, since the roads are proposed as privately maintained, the review process is altered slightly. The Spartanburg County Planning Commission is authorized by the Subdivision Regulations to approve such a project only upon its satisfaction as to the physical and legal provisions for maintenance of the roads in the subdivision. 

The Commission requires a review by Spartanburg County staff of the preliminary plat drawings and documents required herein to determine compliance with the following guidelines. The road(s) and storm water drainage system(s) shall be maintained by a homeowner’s association in a manner described in a Restrictive Covenants for Road and Storm Water System Maintenance which shall be approved by County staff and then recorded in the Register of Deeds Office along with the subdivision plat. See Private Road Policy for more information regarding Private Road Subdivision Plats.

See Preliminary Plat and Final Plat Requirement for appropriate forms and information.

Site Plan:

For residential purposes, Attached Multi-Plex Dwelling Projects under Section 3.02 of the Unified Land Management Ordinance include townhouse, condominium, and apartment developments. A site plan includes all proposed development and site improvements.

The Site Plan process involves review and approvals from outside agencies. Time frame for approvals vary depending on the proposed development in addition to review and approval by the Planning and Development Commission.

For Planning and Development Commission deadline dates, needed applications, and calendar, please refer to the Planning and Development Commission page.

All Site Plans are encouraged to attend a Collaborative Development Review Meeting. Contact Planning Staff to schedule.

Applications and Required Documents for Private Road Subdivision Plats