Map & Plan Review Procedures & Guidelines
Map refers to a final subdivision or parcel map, subdivision tentative or vesting tentative map
Plans refer to improvement plans, civil plans, construction and grading plans, etc.
Inspection refers to inspections made by the Construction Inspector
Subdivision Tentative Map
A Subdivision Tentative Map is a map or plan required to be prepared for the division of a parcel into smaller parcels usually with the intent to sell homes, which will be built on the subdivided lots. The map depicts the proposed subdivision and the existing conditions in and around it including all natural features such as trees, rock outcroppings, creeks, etc. This map shall be drawn to scale, however it need not be based on a detailed survey. The map is prepared by the subdivision applicant (developer/property owner) and filed with the Planning Division (PD). The PD will distribute the map to the appropriate City personnel including the Community and Economic Development Department, and other agencies for review.
For a Major Subdivision, a tentative map is required. Prior to the initial submittal of the tentative map application or package to PD, the developer must contact the County Planning Department to receive a major subdivision tentative map number. When this process has been completed the PD will hold a subdivision conference and a Planning Commission hearing to evaluate the map. The Planning Commission will conditionally approve or disapprove the map. The PD receives twenty-eight (28) copies of the tentative map, a copy of the preliminary title report and any other documents required to be submitted from the developer. Planning will then agendize the map for a Planning Commission meeting according to the yearly Planning Commission schedule adopted by the PD.
For a Minor Subdivision, a Tentative Parcel Map is required. Evaluation of this map is done by the PD, Community and Economic Development Department and other appropriate public and private agencies. Approval or disapproval may be granted by the Zoning Administration in Planning. Planning Commission review and approval is not required.
The PD determines whether an environmental impact study is required for the proposed development, and handles and process through completion. The environmental process must be complete before the City will proceed with the tentative map process.
The Community and Economic Development Department's major role in the tentative map process is to review the map and determine any conditions of approval, provide comments and return the map to the PD.
The developer submits four (4) copies of the tentative parcel map to PD. Planning then issues the tentative map number. A tentative soils and geologic hazards report shall be submitted for tentative maps for subdivisions located in hazardous areas depicted on the City storm drain and sanitary sewer base maps, which can be viewed at the Permit Center's Engineering's Current Development Section, located at 1950 Parkside Dr., Building D.
Approval of a tentative map expires at the end of the time period specified in the Subdivision Map Act (SMA), which is referenced under "Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California (CELSOC)", website: www.celsoc.org. In general, a tentative map expires 24 months after it has been approved or conditionally approved, or after any additional period of time prescribed by local ordinance, not to exceed an additional 12 months.
See the Planning Division's Major/Minor Subdivision Application & Checklist
The PD distributes copies of the map to:
- Community and Economic Development Department acting on behalf of the City Engineer
- Contra Costa County Consolidated Fire Protection District
- United States Postal Service
- Contra Costa County Flood Control District
- Mt. Diablo Unified School District
- Public Utilities
- Contra Costa Water District
- Contra Costa County Planning Commission
- Contra Costa County Transit Authority
- City of Clayton (if applicable)
- Concord Redevelopment Agency Information Systems
- City of Walnut Creek Community Development (if applicable)
Tentative Parcel Map
- Community and Economic Development Department acting on behalf of the City Engineer
- Contra Costa County Flood Control District
- Contra Costa Water District
- Public Utilities
- Contra Costa County Consolidated Fire Protection District
- Contra Costa County Transit Authority
Tentative Map Fees (Major/Minor): Refer to Fees and Charges.
Community and Economic Development Department Design Review
The Community and Economic Development Department is responsible to review the tentative map and accompanying documents, and provide comments to PD. In addition, Community and Economic Development Department determines the requirements imposed as a condition of development. An applicant may appeal the conditions of approval set by the City Engineer.
Vesting Tentative Map
A vesting tentative map may be submitted by a developer in lieu of a standard tentative map if the developer makes a request to do so, in conjunction with residential developments only.
A vesting tentative map, when approved or conditionally approved by the City, guarantees that the requirements and conditions in effect at the time of vesting tentative map was submitted to the City, will govern throughout the approval process. This guarantee does not apply to fees.
Whenever a provision of the SMA, as implemented and supplemented by the provisions of The Concord Municipal Code Article IV, Chapter 4, requires the filing of a tentative map or tentative parcel map for a residential development, a vesting tentative map may instead be filed in accordance with the provisions herein.
A vesting tentative map shall be filed in the same form and have the same contents, accompanying data, and reports and shall be processed in the same manner as set forth above for other tentative maps, except as stated below:
- At the time a vesting tentative map is filed, it shall have printed conspicuously on its face the words "vesting tentative map".
- At the time a vesting tentative map is files, a subdivider shall also supply the following information:
- Height, size, and location of buildings;
- Sewer, water, storm drains, and road details;
- Information on the uses to which the buildings will be put
- Detailed grading plans;
- Geological studies;
- Flood control information; and
- Architectural plans.
All submittals and resubmittals of Maps and Improvement Plans shall be to:
City of Concord
Building, Engineering, & Neighborhood Services Department
1950 Parkside Dr. , M/S 52
Concord , CA 94519
All submittals and resubmittals shall include:
- Completed Map and Improvement Plan Review Submittal Sheet for 1 st time submittal
- Letter of Transmittal stating the purpose and the information included in the submittal
- Applicable information listed on the Map and Improvement Plan Review Submittal Sheet
Incomplete submittals for review shall be returned to the applicant.
Map and Plan reviews will be returned to the engineer/surveyor listed on the submittal sheet unless otherwise requested.
Applicants are responsible for coordinating and obtaining approvals from other agencies as appropriate.
The Community and Economic Development Department will coordinate all internal reviews and comments with the PD and Public Works Maintenance Services Department.
A copy of a checklist, guidelines and required certificates may be requested for your use in preparation of the map and plans.
Map review fees: Refer to Fees and Charges. Map review will not commence until this fee has been received.
A subdivision is the division of any improved or unimproved land, shown on the Equalized County Assessment Role as a unit or as contiguous units. Property shall be considered contiguous units even if it is separated by roads, streets, utility easements, or railroad rights-of-way. A major subdivision (final map) is any land, described above, which is divided or proposed to be divided into five (5) or more lots; whereas a minor subdivision (parcel map) is four (4) lots or less.
After a tentative map has been approved by the Planning Commission, the developer or engineer may proceed with the major subdivision, and produce a final map and improvement plans. The final map and plans will be submitted directly to the Community and Economic Development Department, acting on behalf of the City Engineer.
The role of the Community and Economic Development Department is to work directly with the developer to ensure complete and correct improvement plans and a final map in conformance with the Subdivision Map Act (SMA) Section 66445, the Subdivision Ordinance of the City of Concord, the approved tentative map and the conditions of approval. Community and Economic Development Department is responsible for review and comment.
The Community and Economic Development Department will enter into an agreement (Improvement Agreement) with the developer to guarantee construction of any public improvements associated with the subdivision (to be executed by City Council), verify that all fees have been paid and that the appropriate construction bonds are provided.
After incorporation of all comments and completion of the improvement plans and final map to the satisfaction of the Community and Economic Development Department, PD and Building Department, Community and Economic Development Department schedules acceptance of the final map by the City Council on the Council agenda.
When the final map has been approved, the developer picks up the executed map at the City Clerk's office and records it at the County Office's in Martinez . After recordation the Developer submits the required number of copies of the plans to Community and Economic Development Department, who distributes them accordingly (see distribution list).
After a tentative parcel map has been approved by the Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission, the developer or engineer may proceed with the minor subdivision, and produce a parcel map and improvement plans with supporting documentation. The parcel map and plans will be submitted directly to the Community and Economic Development Department, acting on behalf of the City Engineer.
The role of the Community and Economic Development Department is to work directly with the developer to ensure complete and correct improvement plans and a parcel map in conformance with the Subdivision Map Act (SMA), the Subdivision Ordinance of the City of Concord and the approved tentative parcel map. Community and Economic Development Department is responsible for reviewing the map and plans. They are not reviewed by other divisions or outside agencies. Community and Economic Development Department has ultimate responsibility for approval of minor subdivision, in that they are not submitted to City Council.
The Community and Economic Development Department will enter into an Improvement Agreement with the developer, verify that all fees have been paid and that the appropriate security bonds are provided.
After incorporation of all comments and completion of the plans and parcel map to the satisfaction of Community and Economic Development Department, the developer shall have the parcel map recorded, and submit a reproducible copy of the map, along with the recordation information to Community and Economic Development Department. Community and Economic Development Department shall distribute the documents accordingly (see distribution list).
Major/Minor Subdivision Process and Requirements
Design Review Process
The City has Fifty (50) working days from filing of the map to City Council approval, exclusive of outside agency review time. This working day time limit is also exclusive of the days the developer or engineer has the map/plans for revision.
The Community and Economic Development Department is responsible for reviewing all improvements within the City right-of-way, and the on-site improvements with the respect to grading, drainage, utilities connecting to City facilities, etc. Community and Economic Development Department does not review any on-site improvements such as buildings or landscaping. The right-of-way improvements are reviewed to ensure sound engineering design, conformance with City requirements and conditions of approval, the tentative map, and applicable section of the Concord Municipal Code.
Community and Economic Development Department reviews the improvement plans for conformance with the City of Concord Guidelines for Preparation of Subdivision Maps and Plans, and to ensure sound engineering judgement.
Payment of the plan check and inspection fee, and approval signature by the Fire Protection District are required prior to signature approval by the City Engineer.
After the plans have been approved provide the City with one (1) set of photo-mylars and three (3) sets of prints.
After the improvement plans have been approved, but prior to commencement of any work:
- A grading permit is required for any grading activity which is not in the Public right-of-way (see grading section).
- An encroachment permit is required for any work within the City right-of-way, City easement or Town owned property (see encroachment section).
Improvement Plans shall show:
- The proposed locations of joint utility trenches and surface or subsurface mounted transformers.
- Locations of gang or curbside mailboxes.
- "Call-outs" to standard drawings shall include a description of the improvement including the size and material of the improvement unless the standard allows only one size and material and the entire standard is to be placed.
- Grades, details and calculations showing how drainage will be handled at all locations where conforming to existing ground features and at all property lines. Lot-to-lot surface drainage is not permitted if any alternative exists.
- Signal, lighting, signing, striping, fencing, irrigation, erosion control and landscaping plans shall be included and submitted as part of the initial Improvement Plan submittal and shall be included in the sheet index on the first sheet of the Improvement Plans.
The Improvement Plans shall be approved prior to City Council approval of the map.
The following shall be received, no less than ten working days prior to the Council meeting, fully executed and in final form, in order to schedule for City Council approval:
- Map - two (2) sets of mylars both with wet signatures and seals. If applicant or applicant's surveyor, wish to have an original include an additional cover sheet or set.
- Subdivision Improvement Agreement - two (2) copies
- Agreement and Covenant: Lighting and Landscaping Maintenance Assessment District - two (2) copies
- Security - one (1) copy each: Performance and Labor and Materials Bonds for the period stated in the agreement (not more than 24-months) Performance for Monumentation (separate from those for civil improvements)
- Insurance Certificates as required per the Subdivision Improvement Agreement - one (1) copy each
- Any other document(s) required by the Resolution of Approval
Council meetings are regularly scheduled for the 1 st , 3 rd , and 4 th Tuesdays of the month. After Council approval and all maps and documents have been signed by City representatives, the map and documents shall be transmitted to the County for certification and recordation via the applicant's title company. No Council meeting's scheduled in the month of August.
Once the map has recorded the City shall be provided with three (3) sets of paper prints.
Acceptance of Improvements
Upon completion of improvements one (1) copy of the security to guarantee the improvements throughout a one-year warranty period, 10% of the estimated improvements, is required prior to City Council acceptance of those improvements.
Record Drawings (at one time referred to as "As-Built" plans) - The applicant's engineer shall borrow the City mylars and make all necessary changes, clearly indicating the record drawing changes.
A preliminary soils and geologic report, prepared by a Registered Civil Engineer and engineering geologist, based upon adequate test borings, shall be submitted to the City Engineer for every subdivision for which a final map is required. The report shall indicate the presence of any critically expansive soils or any other soils problems which, if not corrected, may lead to structural defects.
If the City has knowledge of, or the preliminary soils report indicates the presence of, critically expansive soils or other soils problems, which if not corrected would lead to structural defects, a soils investigation of each lot in the subdivision may be required by the City Engineer. Such soils investigation shall be done by a Civil Engineer registered in this State, who shall recommend the corrective action which is likely to prevent structural damage to each structure proposed to be constructed in the area where such soils problems exist. The City may approve the subdivision or portion thereof where such soils problems exist, if it determines that the recommended action is likely to prevent structural damage to each structure to be constructed. A condition to the issuance of any building permit may require that the approved recommended action be incorporated in the construction of each structure (see Improvement Plan Review Check List).
A preliminary soils report may be required for minor subdivisions, if the City Engineer finds that, due to the knowledge the City has as to the qualities of the soils in the subdivision, a preliminary analysis is necessary. No waiver is required for a minor subdivision if the City Engineer finds that a preliminary analysis is unnecessary.
The Final/Parcel map check prints must be accompanied by a preliminary title report covering the entire lands encompassed within the boundary line of the final/parcel map, and showing the current property owner.
Traverse Closure Calculations
A set of traverse closure calculations from the property owner survey must be submitted with the final/parcel map. These calculations must be signed by a Registered Land Surveyor or Civil Engineer. All survey work to be Second Order, Class II.
A cost estimate for the proposed public improvements shall be submitted with the improvements plans. The engineer's estimate is utilized by the City to set the security amounts and to calculate the inspection fee.
The estimate shall include a description of each item, the quantity, unit cost, extension and total cost. The Concord Municipal Code, Article IV, Chapter 4, Section 4458 and 4467, requires that a security be provided for all "public improvements". This can be expanded to include private improvements that are required for the new development to be serviceable. This would include such things as utility company facilities (PG&E, telephones); a private storm drainage system; and private street improvements. The cost of these improvements must be included in the engineer's estimate for the purpose of calculating the security amounts. These improvements are also to be included in the total for calculating the inspection fee, if they are actually inspected by the City (i.e. PG&E would not be included). Verify that the cost of erosion control and signing and striping are included in the estimate.
In the event the contractor posts a security with a utility company, ensuring installation of those facilities, the corresponding construction costs would not be included in the engineer's estimate. In this case the utility company must submit a confirmation letter to the City, which must indicate that they will enforce the security, if required (refer to Fee's & Charges).
The engineer's estimate shall identify the developer/engineer, the submittal date and the subdivision number.
The unit costs shown on the engineer's estimate shall be verified against the current edition of the Current Construciton Costs manual.
Sanitary Sewer Calculations
Calculations for design of the sanitary sewers shall be submitted with the improvement plans. These calculations shall identify contributing area, the design flows, pipe size, slope calculations, velocities, and cover requirement checks. The type of pipe selected shall also be justified.
The hydrology and hydraulic calculations for the storm drain system design shall be submitted with the improvement plans. The hydrology study must contain the hydrologic data source, a map identifying the tributary area and all other calculations for determining the peak design flows. The hydraulics calculations must identify the sign flows, pipe sizes, slopes, velocities and cover requirement checks.
Pavement design backup documentation must be submitted with the improvement plans. The design engineer can either design the pavement section or use the State or Contra Costa County standard charts for pavement design. The design shall be prepared by a Registered Civil Engineer, and is to be based on an assumed R value equal to 5, unless actual value is known, and the TI value established by the Traffic Engineering Section of the Transportation Division.
All offers of dedication, required by the Concord Municipal Code, Article IV, Chapter 4, Section 4412, shall be shown on the final/parcel map.
Flood Hazard Zones
Reference: Flood Zone
Hillside Development Area
The City of Concord has established an ordinance and general plan policy regulating development in hillside areas. The ordinance 85-45, which is Article X, Chapter 7 (4) of the Concord Municipal Code, and the General Plan Hillside Development Policy and Procedure. The purpose of the ordinance and policy are to minimize negative impacts to the surrounding area from landslides, erosion, storm water run-off, etc., and to protect existing views from both private development and public open space.
The hillside areas, which are subject to these regulations are shown on Exhibit A to the General Plan Hillside Development Policy. In addition, any parcel or area of a parcel with a slope of 15% or more is subject to the policy.
For each proposed subdivision, the Community and Economic Development Department determines whether all or any area of the subdivision is subject to the hillside area regulations. The above referenced ordinance outlines the procedure followed by the City and the developer, and general development criteria. The Hillside Development Policy contains more specific design criteria.
In summary, the Planning Commission has authority over hillside area development. To initiate any hillside development area project, the developer must submit a hillside development plan to Planning, which describes the proposed development. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and act on approval or disapproval. After approval of the plan, the developer may proceed with the subdivision process. (Refer to Hillside Development Plan Application)
Geological Hazard Zone
The subdivider shall provide evidence that the proposed subdivision is not subject to geologic hazards such as active faults or landslides. For subdivisions that are located in hazardous areas, shown on the City storm drain and sanitary sewer base maps, a tentative soils and geologic report shall be submitted with the tentative maps, for review by the PD and Community and Economic Development Department.
Subdivision Agreement and Deferred Improvement Agreement
In essentially all cases, the final/parcel map is filed prior to completing construction of the required improvements. In this case, the subdivider must enter into a written agreement with the City agreeing to complete the improvements within the time specified in the agreement.
The Subdivision Agreement is used when the improvements are to be constructed immediately after filing of the final/parcel map. It has two (2) year time limit. The Deferred Improvement Agreement is used when construction of the improvements is to be deferred until a later date, subsequent to a written request from the City. The type of agreement required is determined by the Senior Civil Engineer in Community and Economic Development Department as a condition of approval of the tentative map.
The agreements are completed by the City, signed by the subdivider, executed by the City Manager, and recorded by the City after approval by the City Engineer, and City Attorney.
When the Community and Economic Development Department and the PD are satisfied that the final/parcel map is complete and the developer has completed and submitted the necessary bonds (2), fees, agreements (3 copies), and insurance certificates, then the final/parcel map is placed on the City Council agenda by Community and Economic Development Department for approval and execution by the Council. The improvement plans must be complete and signed by a Registered Civil Engineer before the final/parcel map is accepted. Community and Economic Development Department will not issue an encroachment permit to the developer to begin construction of the public improvements until the improvement plans have been signed by or for the City Engineer.
NOTE: Subdivison agreements do not have to be signed by the current property owner. They are usually signed by the developer. All other agreements must be signed by the current property owner (i.e. deferred improvement agreements, two year agreement for minor subs, RMA's, etc.).
Security Deposit & Fees
Local Drainage Area Fee
Purpose: The continual development of property in the City of Concord has placed a serious demand upon its existing storm drain facilities. In order to provide an equitable manner of apportionment of the cost of future development of such facilities, the City of Concord has determined that local drainage areas be established in the City of Concord, and that, where applicable, fees be collected on per acre bases in order to defray the cost of future storm drain facilities.
The City has established drainage plans entitled "Drainage Area Boundary Improvements" which are part of the General Plan Drainage Element. These plans depict the improvements to be made. In addition the city is broken up into drainage fee districts, each with a unit fee per acre, shown on the Drainage Element.
This fee is assessed one time only for each parcel, regardless of the number of times the parcel may be developed. It is assessed for residential, commercial and retail development. Tow of the fee districts lie within County Drainage Districts No. 1 and 22. The fees from these districts are forwarded to the County. All other fees are retained by the City.
For a subdivision the City may accept cash or actual construction of the corresponding drainage facilities.
Drainage Improvement Map
Offsite Street Improvement Program (OSIP)
Purpose: The Transportation Element of the City's General Plan, and studies of future development potential, have identified major street system improvements which need to be constructed between 1982 and 1997, to accommodate traffic generated by new development. In order to ensure that all new development contributes toward offsetting the burden it imposes on the City's traffic system, the OSIP fee program has been established.
The PD determines whether an environmental impact study is required, when the developer makes his initial contact with Planning.
If a traffic study is required in conjunction with an environmental impact report or mitigated negative declaration, the OSIP fee will be the cost of the mitigation measures identified by the study.
If a traffic study is not required, the OSIP fee is based on the number of residential units, square feet of the commercial buildings, etc.
The Building Division collects the OSIP fee prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy, which occurs after final inspection.
Reference: OSIP Zone Map
Park Land Fee
The SMA enables the City to require either dedication of land, payment of fees in lieu of dedication, or a combination, for a park or recreational purposes, as a condition of approval of a residential subdivision development.
All monies collected under this act are deposited into the City's Park Land Fund, which has been established to fund recreational purposes development of City parks or park land acquisition.
Park Land in-lieu fees are collected prior to final/parcel map approval.
Reference: Park Services Area Map
Bonds, Letter of Credit, Certificate of Deposit
Prior to execution of the subdivision agreement, the subdivider is required to deposit a faithful performance and maintenance security in the amount equal to the estimate cost of the public improvements. The security shall consist of a $1000.00 cash deposit, which can be in the form of cash, certified check or surety bond that total the engineer's estimate.
The Subdivider is also required to deposit a labor and materials security in the amount equal to the engineer's estimate. The security can be in the form of cash deposit, certified check or surety bond.
The subdivision agreement requires that the subdivider provide insurance in the amounts listed. At the time of execution of the agreement, the insurance carrier shall issue to the City, a certificate showing the policy coverages and a separate endorsement certificate naming the City as additional insured.
Deferred Improvement Agreement (DIA)
The DIA is to be used when it is mutually advantageous to the developer and the City to postpone the construction of all or portion of the public improvements until a later date. DIA's are normally used with improvements required as a condition of approval for minor subdivisions, use permits and design reviews. They can be used in conjunction with a subdivision agreement for a major subdivision. The improvements to be constructed are described in section three (3) of the agreement. The City may require the subdivider to complete the plans prior to execution of the agreement or defer their preparation until the City issues a written request to do so.
Reference: Deferred Improvement Agreement
Bonds, Letter of Credit, Certificate of Deposit
After the developer has received notice to proceed with the design of the deferred improvements by the City, he shall deposit two (2) securities with the City. These securities are due prior to the commencement of the required construction work, and are usually submitted prior to issuance of the encroachment permit.
- Faithful Performance : Developer shall deposit not less than $500 cash, plus a certified or cashiers check, surety bond, cash or instrument of credit, which total the estimated cost of the improvements.
- Labor and Materials : Developer shall deposit security in the form of cash, a certified check or cashiers check, surety bond or instrument of credit for the total estimated cost of the improvements.
See additional requirements as stated in the Subdivision Agreement.
Private Road Maintenance Agreement
This agreement is prepared by the City attorney, and entered into between the City and private property owner(s). It is needed when two (2) or more parcels are served by a single private road. It describes how the maintenance responsibilities for the road are shared by the property owners.
In some cases it is necessary or desirable for a developer to have the storm drainage from his subdivision, flow across another privately owned parcel, before entering the City storm drainage system. Before the City will allow this to occur, the developer and the affected property owner must execute a drainage release, whereby the developer releases the City of all liability associated with the storm water drainage, and the property owner accepts the flow of storm water across his property. This release is in lieu of a storm drainage easement.
Land Dedications & Easements
As a condition of approval of a subdivision map, the subdivider is required to make an irrevocable offer of dedication of all parcels of land within the subdivision that are needed for streets, alleys, including access rights, and abutters rights, drainage, public utility easements and other easements.
For major subdivisions, the dedications are identified in the owner's certificate on the final map, which is executed by Council and recorded with the County.
The SMA requires that a City of Concord Certificate of Dedication Form, be filed with each dedication. This document reconveys the property back to the subdivider or his successor, in the event the City determines the property is not needed for public use.
Dedications are accepted by the City after the one year warranty on the constructed improvements has passed, and the City has accepted the improvements.
Reference: Dedication/Easement Form
City Council Approval Process
The final step in approving a Major Subdivision is approval by City Council with subsequent recordation by the County. The subdivision is submitted to Council by the Community and Economic Development Department. Following a list of the major items which must be complete before placing the subdivision on the agenda for approval:
- Final map and improvement plans approved and signed by the City Engineer, and others with signature blocks on the map.
- Bonds (2) submitted to the City of Concord.
- Fees paid
- Insurance certificates submitted to the City of Concord.
- Agreement signed by the City Attorney and developer (3 copies).
- Offers of dedication complete on the final map.
Improvement plans must be substantially complete and signed by the City Engineer prior to issuance of the encroachment and/or grading permit.