(A)   Preliminary plat; generally. Whenever a subdivision is proposed to be made, and before any sale or contract for sale or any construction work, including clearing and grading, is started, the owner or proprietor of the proposed subdivision or his or her duly authorized representative shall cause a preliminary plat to be prepared together with improvement plans and other supplementary materials as required herein. The preliminary plat shall comply fully with the health, zoning, and other applicable ordinances in effect at the time the plat is submitted for tentative approval.
   (B)   Sketch plan or concept plan. It is recommended, but not required, that the subdivider submit to the agent a preliminary sketch plan of the proposed subdivision, or general development plan for a condominium, apartment, townhouse project, or water-dependent facility, prior to preparation of engineered preliminary and final plats. The purpose of such preliminary sketch plan is to permit the agent to advise the subdivider whether his or her plans are in general accord with the requirements of this chapter. The agent, upon submission of any preliminary sketch, shall study the same and advise the subdivider wherein it appears that changes would be necessary. The agent may mark the preliminary sketch plan indicating necessary changes and any such marked sketch shall accompany the preliminary plat.
   (C)   Application for tentative approval. Five copies, or more if necessary, of the preliminary plat together with improvement plans for roads, water, sewer, and other utilities and other supplementary material shall be submitted to the agent with written application for tentative approval. Such application shall be submitted so as to permit the agent at least 30 days from date of submission for review and investigation as set forth in the following sections. For major subdivisions which require Planning Commission review, the preliminary plat shall be submitted to the agent at least two weeks prior to a regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission.
   (D)   Coordination with site plan review. Where a proposed subdivision accompanies and is a part of a development for which site plan approval is required under Chapter 157 of this code of ordinances, the subdivision plat and the site plan will be reviewed at the same time as nearly as possible under the requirements of these regulations.
   (E)   Coordination with soils tests. Prior to approval of the final plat for a subdivision planned for on-lot sanitary sewage disposal systems, a soils test will be performed on each lot, either by the Health Officer or by a qualified soils scientist employed by the subdivider, and the design of the subdivision modified as may be required by the tests and as approved by the agent.
   (F)   Tentative approval or disapproval. When all submittal requirements have been met, the preliminary plat shall be reviewed by the agent, the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors, and other agencies as may be required. For a minor subdivision or where no state agencies are involved the agent shall transmit his or her comments to the subdivider within 30 days and shall complete action thereon as submitted or as modified within 60 days of submittal. Where state agencies are involved or public hearing is required by the Board of Supervisors, action on preliminary plats shall be completed within a total of 90 days from submission to the agent. If approved, the agent shall express approval as tentative approval, or if disapproved shall express such disapproval and the reasons therefor and shall state what corrections or modifications would permit approval of the preliminary plat.
   (G)   Notation of agent’s action. The action of the agent shall be noted on two copies of the preliminary plat and referenced to any conditions determined, which conditions shall be noted on or attached to the plat. One copy shall be returned to the subdivider and the other retained by the agent.
   (H)   Meaning of “tentative approval”. Tentative approval of a preliminary plat shall not constitute approval of the final plat or any guarantee of such approval. It shall be deemed an expression of approval of the layout submitted on the preliminary plat as a guide to the preparation of the final plat. No property shall be transferred or offered for sale, nor shall a building permit be issued on the basis of an approved preliminary plat. The final plat will be submitted for approval of the agent for recording when the requirements of these regulations have been complied with. Approval of a preliminary plat shall be valid for six months. The agent may grant one extension for an additional period not to exceed one year upon written application therefor and good cause shown.
   (I)   Final plat; generally.
      (1)   The final plat shall conform to the preliminary plat as approved. The subdivider may record as a final plat only that portion of the approved preliminary plat which he or she proposes to develop immediately, in all cases subject to requirements of Chapter 157 of this code of ordinances.
      (2)   If the subdivider records a final plat which is a section of a subdivision as shown on an approved preliminary plat and furnishes to the county a certified check, cash escrow, bond, or letter of credit in an amount and form acceptable to the county for the estimated cost of construction of the facilities to be dedicated within said section for public use and maintained by the county, the state, or other public agency, the subdivider shall have the right to record the remaining sections shown on the preliminary plat for a period of five years from the recordation date of the first section, subject to the terms and conditions of state law and subject to engineering and construction standards and zoning requirements in effect at the time that each remaining section is recorded.
   (J)   Final plat; application for, and approval or disapproval. Copies of the final plat and other exhibits required for approval showing all or any part of a subdivision planned for immediate development shall be prepared as specified herein and shall be submitted to the agent within six months after tentative approval of the preliminary plat, otherwise such tentative approval shall become null and void unless an extension of time is applied for and granted by the agent. The agent shall act on the final plat within 60 days after it has been officially submitted for approval by either approving or disapproving such plat in writing, and giving with the latter specific reasons therefor. Specific reasons for disapproval may be contained in a separate document or may be written on the plat itself, and shall relate in general terms such modifications or corrections as will permit approval of the plat. If the agent fails to approve or disapprove the plat within said 60 days, the subdivider, after ten days’ written notice to the agent, may petition the Circuit Court of the county to decide whether the plat should or should not be approved. The Court shall hear the matter and make and enter such order with respect thereto as it deems proper, which may include directing approval of the plat.
   (K)   Recording final plat. After the agent has approved the final plat, the subdivider shall file such plat for recordation in the Clerk’s office of the Circuit Court of the county within six months after approval thereof; otherwise, such approval shall become null and void unless an extension of time not to exceed 60 days, is applied for and granted by the agent in writing.
   (L)   Planned development.
      (1)   Preliminary and final plats and site plans for planned development shall be subject to the same procedures and requirements as other plats and plans and in addition the general development plan shall be subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors after recommendation by the County Planning Commission and after a public hearing held by the Board and advertised in accordance with VA Code § 15.2-2225.
      (2)   In authorizing an approval, the Board of Supervisors may impose such conditions regarding the location and character of features on the plan as it may deem necessary in the public interest and may require a guarantee or bond to ensure that conditions imposed are being and will continue to be complied with.
(Ord. passed 8-10-1989)  Penalty, see § 154.999