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Platting :: General Information

What is a subdivision plat?

A subdivision plat is a survey, prepared by a licensed registered surveyor, of property describing the dimensions and location of lot lines, streets, and easements. A plat also establishes the lot, block, and subdivision name used in real estate transactions. A plat is a legal document complete with:

  • A drawing of the property boundaries;
  • A written description of those boundaries;
  • A dedication statement;
  • An owners certification statement;
  • A title block; and,
  • Approval statements.

Plats are reviewed and approved by the City and filed in the Plat Records of Tarrant County.

A plat is not the property survey required by mortgage companies when closing the sale of property.

Why is platting regulated?

State law requires every owner of any tract of land who divides that tract into two or more parts to first file a plat. The Platting process (sometimes referred to as the subdivision process) also ensures that all lots comply with Arlington’s Comprehensive Plan and other development regulations. Plats are reviewed for compliance with regulations regarding minimum lot size and lot width, street access and size, utility provisions; and drainage and flood protection.

When is a plat required?

Platting is required in several situations. Generally, a plat is required:

  • If your property is vacant and has never been platted and you wish to build a new structure on your property. A plat is NOT required if you are adding to or altering an existing home or adding a small storage shed, or other similar accessory use.
  • If you are selling a portion of your property, you must first have a plat showing all your property approved by the City and filed with the County.
  • If you own two adjacent lots and wish to build over the common lot line.

Are there different types of plats?

There are several types of plats and different processes for approving plats. The Department of Community Development and Planning or the Development Services Desk can assist you in identifying the specific plat type needed.

A Preliminary Plat is required if you are dividing your property into five or more lots . This type of plat shows the street layout, lots, drainage and utility easements, and other needed information to ensure that the subdivision design conforms to City and State regulations. It is intended to be general in nature showing approximate property location and dimensions. A Final Plat is the next step in the development process after approval of a Preliminary Plat.

The Final Plat is a technical drawing showing exact dimensions and bearings and is the instrument which becomes the official permanent record of the division of land. Final Plats may include all or a portion of the property and must comply with the approved preliminary plat. Easements and other public facilities are dedicated when a Final Plat is filed with the County.

A Plat Showing is required if your property has never been platted and you wish to create four or fewer lots.

A Plat Revision is required when you are revising existing platted lots, or combining platted and unplatted property with no more than a total of four lots being platted.

An Amended Plat is required if you are relocating a lot line, combining lots, correcting an error, or need minor changes to the lot dimensions and City services, drainage, or adjacent property are not affected.

A Plat Vacation is used to void the last plat filed and recorded with the County. Upon approval, the property reverts to the state it was in before the plat was filed. A plat vacation processed on platted property reverts the land to the legal description and restrictions of any previously filed plat. Vacating a plat will abolish all right-of-way and easements dedicated by the plat.