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What is a Subdivision?

A subdivision is:

A. Division of any parcel of land shown as a unit or as contiguous units on the last preceding tax roll into two or more parcels for immediate or future transfer of ownership, when:

  1. Any one of such parcels is less than five acres after division

  2. The parcels created by the division are five acres or more and involve new streets or easements of access to an existing public street

  3. The parcel(s) created involve a sale or exchange between adjoining owners and result in the creation of an additional building site


B. The improvement of any one or more parcels of land for residential, commercial, or industrial structures involving the division or allocation of land for opening, widening, or extending any public street serving industrial structures.

C. A division or allocation of land as open spaces for common use to owners, occupants, or leaseholders, or as easements for the extension and maintenance of public sewer, water, storm drainage, or other public facilities. There are two types of subdivisions: minor and major.

Wish to create a subdivision?


The Richland County Regional Planning Commission administers the subdivision regulations for Richland County. These regulations shall be applicable to all subdivision of land within the unincorporated area of Richland County except land within three miles of the corporation limits of cities that hold jurisdiction over platting. A jurisdiction map can be viewed here. Use these subdivision regulations and simple flow chart to help you start the process. Determine which type of subdivision fits your situation and follow the steps below.

 Fee Schedule for Subdivision Process 

Minor Subdivision


A minor subdivision is any parcel along an existing street that ends with no more than five lots and doesn’t involve opening, widening, or extending any public streets. The subdivision must not be contrary to applicable platting, subdividing, zoning, health, sanitary, or household sewage regulations.

  1. An “original tract” is a contiguous quantity of land held in common ownership which has not been platted by the current owner(s)

  2. “Completely subdivided” means a tract divided into the full number of lots that the subdivider intends

  3. To divide an original tract that had previously been divided into five lots requires the original plat to be reevaluated

For a complete description of the minor subdivision process, please refer to the Subdivision Regulations for Richland County, Ohio; Article III, Section 300.1 or click here to view a minor subdivision checklist.

Major Subdivision


Any subdivision that does not meet the definition of a minor subdivision is a major subdivision. Major subdivisions are approved in two stages—the preliminary plan stage at the final plat stage. To create a major subdivision, follow these steps:

Preliminary Stage

​The subdivider must submit 2 copies of the Application for Preliminary Plan Approval and 7 copies of the preliminary plan prepared by a qualified, professional engineer or surveyor, along with a reproducible tracing. For specific required contents of the preliminary plan, see Subdivision Regulations for Richland County, OH; Article III, Section 300.3. The RCRPC will determine the plan’s adherence to procedures and transmit it to members of the Zoning and Subdivision Review Committee for their review and recommendation. This process occurs within 15 days of the transmission.​

Final Stage

After the Preliminary Plan has been approved, the subdivider will submit a final plat of the proposed subdivision, with drawings and specifications of all improvements required therein.

The following shall be submitted to the RCRPC for Final Subdivision Plat Approval:

  • 2 copies of the Application for Final Plat Approval

  • 6 copies of the final subdivision plat and reproducible tracing

  • 6 copies of final plat improvement drawings

  • 1 copy of protective covenants, if common property and/or improvements are part of the plat

  • 1 copy of performance guarantees approved by the county prosecutor and reviewed by the county engineer

  • The Required Statement and Signatures form

  • A receipt indicating payment of plat filing fees

  • Plan checking and field inspection fees


The specific contents of the final subdivision plat are found in the Subdivision Regulations for Richland County, OH; Article III, Section 300.4. Review and recommendations will occur within 30 days from the date of transmission of these documents. Approval of the final plat may be given before or after the construction of improvements. For a complete description of the major subdivision process, please refer to the Subdivision Regulations for Richland County, Ohio; Article III, Section 300.2.

Request a Variance

The planning commission may grant variances from these regulations in specific cases involving unusual topographical conditions or other exceptional circumstances. Requests for variance should be done in writing using this Application for Subdivision Variance.  Each application must name the specific regulatory provisions for which a variance is sought and the applicant’s reasoning for seeking it. The applicant must also provide ample documentation to allow the commission to make an informed decision, including aerials, maps, surveys, distances, plats, etc.

Submitting a Request to the Planning Commission

The Zoning Subdivision and Land Use Committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month. Completed applications are due two weeks before the meeting.

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