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City of Modesto :: Development Center :: Subdivision Development

Subdivision Information

Dept/Div. Contact:  Planning Division - (209) 577-5267

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Description:  A Subdivision is the division of improved or unimproved land (five or more parcels) for the purpose of sale, lease or financing, as defined by the Subdivision Map Act (SMA).  Generally, land cannot be subdivided in California without local government approval.  The City's General Plan, development codes and other ordinances govern the design of a subdivision, the size of its lots and the types of improvements that will be required as conditions of approval.


Submit Preliminary Proposal

This submittal is an optional courtesy review by Planning staff, which provides applicants with preliminary feedback on a development proposal prior to submitting a full application.  It does not include review by other departments or divisions.

Where to submit:

Planning Division
1010 Tenth Street, 3rd Floor [Directions]
(209) 577-5267

What to bring:

Information/Forms: (#SUBP)


Submit Concept Review

This review is an optional comprehensive review that includes comments from all City departments and divisions.

Where to submit:

Planning Division
1010 Tenth Street, 3rd Floor [Directions]
(209) 577-5267

What to bring:

Information/Forms: (#SUBC)


Submit An Application

Once the preliminary proposal or concept review process concludes, an application will need to be submitted. Once the application packet has been determined to be complete, most projects will take 11-12 weeks to process.  Some projects may take longer than others depending on environmental impacts and other considerations. 

Where to submit:

Planning Division
1010 Tenth Street, 3rd Floor [Directions]
(209) 577-5267

What to bring:

Information/Forms: (#SUBA)


Additional Requirements

Some applications may have additional requirements. These will be determined by Planning Staff after review of the initial application.

Project Review

All application packets must be received by a Planner to determine if all submittal criteria have been met. A Project Planner will be assigned to process the application and will review the application with staff members from other departments (Fire Prevention, Public Works, Building Safety, and Transportation) for their input.

Staff Report

When the review period has ended and the identified issues resolved, the application is scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Commission. A staff report is written, and a copy is mailed to the applicant. The staff report includes staff's recommendation and possible conditions to be applied to the permit.

Public Notification

Public Hearing notices are sent to all property owners within 300 feet of the property 20 days prior to the Planning Commission hearing.

Public Hearing

At the public hearing, the project may be approved or denied. Staff provides an oral report on the proposal and the staff recommendation. The applicant is then given an opportunity to address the Commission, and members of the public are asked for input. The Commission will then make its decision of approval or denial.


During a 15-day period after the Planning Commission meeting, the applicant or members of the public may appeal the Commission's decision to the City Council by filing a letter of appeal with the City Clerk's Office (fees). Denials by City Council cannot be appealed.



Subsequent to project approval there may be additional processes required before a map can be recorded or development can occur, such as final map approval or obtaining a building permit; additional fees may be involved.


Related Forms & Handouts (#SUB)

These documents are provided in PDF Format. You must have a PDF viewer in order to open these documents. Click here for the free Adobe Acrobat viewer.



Have Questions?

Contact our Planning Division at (209) 577-5267.

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