City of Bowie Subdivision Plats

What is platting?

Platting is the process through which undeveloped land is subdivided and ultimately transformed into legal building sites.  It is characterized by the legal and administrative process whereby the community adopts rules governing the subdivision of land within the municipality's jurisdiction. The power to govern the subdivision of land is conferred upon Texas cities by Chapter 212 of the Texas Local Government Code to promote the safe, orderly, and healthful development of the municipality.

The manner in which land is subdivided, how streets are designed, and how the lots are laid out, have a lasting effect on the physical character of the city.  Local ordinance regulates new development to ensure that the health, safety, and welfare of the public are protected.  Streets, water and sewerage systems must be adequately sized, designed, and constructed.  Streets must be able to accommodate the maneuvering of emergency equipment.  Future property owners must be guaranteed a parcel with access to public right of way and utilities suited for the intended used.

What is a subdivision plat?

A map or graphic illustration of a parcel/tract of land showing the boundary of the entire parcel, and within that boundary the location of individual lots/blocks, streets & alleys, and identifies any proposed dedications to the public such as rights-of way and easements and building setback lines. After a plat is approved by the City Plan Commission it is filed with the Montague County Cler and becomes a legal subdivision whereby a building permit can be issued for each lot of record.

Approved subdivision plats are kept on file with the City Secretary, in the Tax Office and the Montague County Clerk's Office.

When must property be platted?

A plat must be prepared for a property if:

  • the property is unplatted land and is being subdivided into smaller parcels or lots for sale, or
  • an existing platted lot is subdivided by change of ownership.

When a plat is required, it must be approved by the Plan Commission and City Council prior to the issuance of a Site Permit or a Building Permit.  In the case of subdividing an existing platted lot, you will file for replatting or vacation of the old plat and establishment of a new plat.

Types of Plates

Plat approval is divided into two distinct phases, Preliminary and FInal.

  • Preliminary Plats and accompanying preliminary development plans provide a sketch of the proposed subdivision and improvements at a lower level of detail than that required for Final Plats.  Preliminary platting is required by ordinance for Single Family (attached and detached) and Duplex subdivision. This is mutually beneficial to both the Developer and the City, in that it provides an opportunity for the Developer to explore the feasibility of the project (while keeping plan preparation costs at a minimum) and also allows the city to provide initial direction early in the process.
  • Final Plats are, as the term implies, the final highly detailed document to be approved by the Plan Commission prior to the commencement of actual construction.  Accuracy is critical when platting property.  It includes exact easement locations and dedication language for all public dedications.  Final Plats are filed for record with Montague County Clerk. 

What is a Replat?

A replat is the re-subdivision of property that is already platted.  Property may be replatted to change lot lines or to change the number, shape or size of lots and/or easements.  For example, property is required to be replatted when portions of two or more lots are reconfigured to form new lots to accommodate a building or structure or when unplatted property is combined with platted property to form one or more new lots.

What is a Vacation Plat and when must a plat be vacated?

Occasionally, a situation may arise where a plat must be vacated.  In these instances, there are usually utility easements, street right of way or other items that need to be abandoned or removed from the original plat.  In addition, the subdivision may be taking in additional land or re-configuring the lots in such a way that the original plat no longer clearly communicates the actual layout of the subdivision.  This procedure is very similar to a replat except that the vacation of the original plat eliminates any ties to the original subdivision.  Typically, after a plat is vacated, a new subdivision plat, with a new name, is submitted for application for the property that was vacated.  The new final plat has its own identify and exists as if the original subdivision had never been platted.

What is a Conveyance Plat?

The City of Bowie recognizes the need to subdivide and sell property without plans for its immediate development.  A conveyance plat is approved solely for the purpose of defining lots and other interests in the land described therein.  No building permit, certificate of occupancy, or other development approval shall be issued, nor shall permanent public utility service be provided to any lot described on the conveyance plat until a final plat is approved, filed of record, and the public improvements shown on the projects site plans thereon have been accepted in accordance with the provisions of the ordinances of the City of Bowie, Texas.

Conveyance plat approval and acceptance by the City does not relieve the owner from obligations, including fees, required by various sections of the ordinances of the City pertaining to the improvements of the property or extension of services as required, to make the property suitable for development.  Neither reservation nor dedication of right-of-way shall relieve the property owner from obligations for street construction or assessment associated with public street improvement programs.  Easements for access, utilities and drainage may be recorded on conveyance plats.