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Subdivision Regulations


This ordinance shall be known and referred to as "The Subdivision Regulations of Groton, South Dakota", to the same effect as if full titles were stated.


Chapter 2.01  Purpose

2.0101    Purpose.  The purpose of these regulations is to promote the orderly development of Groton, and to protect and provide for the public health, safety and general welfare of the community.


Chapter 3.01  Jurisdiction

3.0101    Jurisdiction Defined.  The provisions of this ordinance shall apply within the corporate limits of the City of Groton, South Dakota, and within the territory beyond said corporate limits as now or hereafter fixed, for a distance of one (1) mile in all directions, as established on the map entitled "The Official Zoning Map of the City of Groton, South Dakota," as the same may be amended by subsequent annexation.

3.0102    Jurisdiction Out of Corporate Limits.  The area of joint control shall require action jointly by the Groton planning commission and the Brown County planning commission.


Chapter 4.01  Regulations

4.0101    Extent of Regulation.  After the adoption of these regulations, no plat or subdivision of land within the jurisdiction of this ordinance shall be recorded or filed with the Brown County Register of Deeds, nor shall any plat or subdivision have any validity until it complies with the provisions of this ordinance and has received final approval in writing from the city council. These regulations shall not apply to any lot or lots forming a part of a subdivision recorded with the Register of Deeds prior to the effective date of this ordinance except in the case of a re-subdivision.  The recording of a property conveyance by metes and bounds shall not be prohibited if a conveyance by the same metes and bounds has been made and recorded prior to the adoption of these regulations.

4.0102    Conflict.  These regulations are not intended to interfere with or annul any other ordinance, regulation or property restrictions.  Where any of these regulations are at variance with other rules, statutes, ordinances or regulations, those imposing more restrictive standards shall prevail.


Chapter 5.01  Definitions

5.0101    General.  For the purpose and clarification of this ordinance, the following terms and words are used, interpreted and defined as set forth in this section.

5.0102    Specific Terms.  For the purpose of this ordinance certain terms or words used herein shall be interpreted as follows:
A.   Arterial Street:  Streets designed or utilized primarily for high vehicular speeds or for heavy volumes of traffic.
B.   Block:  A tract of land bounded by streets, or by a combination of streets, public parks, railroad right-of-ways, shoreline of waterways or municipal boundaries.
C.   Building Setback Line:  A line parallel to a street between which line and the nearest street right-of-way line no building may be constructed or placed.
D.   Collector Street:  A street intended to move traffic from local streets to arterial streets.
E.   Deed Restrictions:  Contracts entered into between private parties and constituting a restriction on the use of private property within a subdivision for the benefit of the property owners.
F.   Frontage Street:  A minor street or frontage road which is parallel and adjacent to an arterial street or highway and provides limited access onto abutting properties.
G.   Lot:  A tract, plot, outlot or portion of a subdivision or other parcel of land intended as a unit for transfer of ownership or development whether immediate or future.
H.   Local Street:  A minor street which is designed and used primarily for access to abutting properties.
I.   Performance Bond:  A form of security including cash deposit, surety bond, collateral, property or instrument of credit in an amount or form satisfactory to the city council.
J.   Plat:  A map or representation on paper, of a piece of land subdivided into lots, parcels, tracts, or blocks, including streets and public grounds, if any, all drawn to scale.
K.   Subdivider:  A person, corporation, partnership, association or any group who prepares or causes to be prepared a subdivision plat.
L.   Subdivision:  A parcel or parcels which have been divided into two or more separate units for the purpose of subsequent sale or building development.  Subdivision includes that division or development of residential and nonresidential zoned land, and also includes a resubdivision of land or lots, and the establishment or dedication of a road, highway, street, or alley through a tract of land.



Chapter 6.01  Procedure

6.0101    General.  The procedure for review and approval if a subdivision plat or replat containing two or more lots shall consist of the following steps:
A.   Meeting with planning commission to discuss the preliminary plat;
B.   The preliminary plat is prepared and submitted to the planning commission for consideration and recommendation:
C.   The final plat is prepared and submitted to the planning commission for recommendation; and
D.   A public hearing is held and the final review made by the city council.

6.0102    Pre-Platting Discussion.  The subdivider shall meet and consult informally with the planning commission before preparing a preliminary plat for the purposes of determining the locations of proposed major streets, parks and other planned projects which may effect the property being considered for subdivision.  The subdivider shall also review with the planning commission the general design standards as described in Title 8.

6.0103    Preliminary Plat Review:  After the pre-platting discussion, the subdivider shall prepare a preliminary plat for review and consideration by the planning commission. Three (3) copies of the preliminary plat and any required supplementary material shall be filed with the finance officer who shall transmit the information to the planning commission chairman.  Each filing shall be made at least ten (10) days before the meeting of the planning commission at which the plat is to be considered.  Following a review of the preliminary plat and supplementary material at a public hearing, the planning commission shall approve or disapprove the plat within thirty (30) days.  If the plat is approved, the planning commission shall express its approval; if the plat is disapproved, the planning commission shall return the plat to the subdivider with the reasons for disapproval attached in writing. Approval of the preliminary plat shall not be considered as approval of the final subdivision plat, rather it shall establish a guide for the preparation of the final plat. Approval of the preliminary plat is revocable at any time and shall become void after twelve (12) months from the date of approval if no progress has been made in the development of the final plat.

6.0104    Final Plat Review.  The final plat shall conform to the preliminary plat as approved although it may include only a portion of the preliminary plat which the subdivider proposes to record and develop. Six (6) copies of the final plat and required supplementary material shall be filed with the finance officer who shall transmit the information to the planning commission chairman.  Each filing shall be made at least ten (10) days before the meeting of the planning commission at which the plat is to be considered. Following a public hearing on the final plat and supplementary material, the planning commission shall forward its recommendations to the city council within thirty (30) days. Following a public hearing and review, the city council shall approve or disapprove the final plat.  Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be sent by mail to the subdivider at least five (5) days before such hearing (SDCL 11-6-31).  The plat shall be approved or disapproved within ninety (90) days after submission thereof; otherwise such plat shall be deemed to have been approved and certified by the council.  The applicant may waive this requirement and consent to the extension of such period (SDCL 11-6-32).  If the plat is disapproved, the reasons shall be stated in writing with a duplicate copy forwarded to the subdivider.  If the plat is approved, one (1) copy shall be returned to the subdivider with the verified approval of the city council for filing with the County Register of Deeds as an official plat of record. No work shall be done on the subdivision including the making of any street improvements or installation of any utilities, and no lots sold before the final plat is approved and recorded.  Approval of a final plat does not constitute acceptance or dedication of streets or other public lands.

6.0105    Plat Review Fee.  A fee shall be levied by the city council for the examination and review of every plat. At the time any plat is filed with the finance officer, the subdivider shall make payment to the city in the amount of ten dollars ($10) for each preliminary plat, and for each final plat ten dollars ($10) plus one dollar ($1) per acre or lot shown on the plat.


Chapter 7.01  Plat Requirements

7.0101    Preliminary Plat.  The preliminary plat shall be clearly and legibly drawn to a minimum scale of one (1) inch to one hundred (100) feet, plainly marked as "Preliminary Plat", and shall show the following information:
A.   Name of proposed subdivision, name and address of owner and name of engineer or registered land surveyor preparing the plat.
B.   The legal description and location of the area being platted including section, township and range.
C.   The date, scale, north point and vicinity sketch of proposed subdivision.
D.   Boundary lines, dimensions and acreage of land area to be subdivided including contour intervals of five (5) feet or less.
E.   Names and location of adjacent a subdivisions and owners of adjoining parcels of unplatted land.
F.   Location of existing and proposed property lines, streets, easements both public and private, buildings, utilities and other features affecting the plan including a statement of proposed storm drainage including erosion and sedimentation controls if necessary.
G.   The layout, numbers and approximate dimensions of proposed lots and building setback lines.
H.   Copies of any deed restrictions proposed to be included with the plat.
I.   Sites for public, semi-public, commercial or multi-family uses, and their acreages.
J.   A soils map and vicinity map of the proposed subdivision.

K.   Any information on additional water and sewer loads created by the proposed subdivision including confirmation that existing facilities or proposed additions can accommodate the additional loads.

7.0102    Final Plat.  The final plat shall be fifteen (15) by twenty-six (26) inches or eight and one-half (8 1/2) by fourteen (14) inches, drawn on drafting linen or mylar, with waterproof black ink to a minimum scale of one (1) inch to one hundred (100) feet, and clearly marked as a "Final Plat" with the following information:
A.   Date, title of subdivision, legal description, scale and northpoints.
B.   Boundary lines, street names, right-of-way lines for streets and easements, both private and public, and property lines with accurate dimensions within one hundredth of a foot, bearings of deflection angles, radii, arcs, and length and central angles of all curves with dimensions to the nearest minute.
C.   Lot and block numbers, lot lines and frontage dimensions, utility easements, building setback lines and total acreage.
D.   Names and locations of adjacent subdivisions and the owners of adjoining unplatted property.
E.   Certification on the plat of title showing that the applicant is the owner, and a statement by such owner dedicating streets, right-of-ways and other sites for public uses.
F.   Certification by a registered land surveyor that the plat as shown is a correct representation of the survey as made.
G.   Any covenants or deed restriction shall be attached and filed with the final plat.
H.   Locations of all survey monuments and benchmarks together with their description.
I.   Signature blocks and resolutions of approval by the planning commission and city council including certification by any county official concerned with recording of the plat.
J.   Certification by county officials that all taxes which are liens upon any land included in the past have been fully paid.
K.   A certified performance bond as required in Article 9 shall be posted with the finance officer in sufficient amount to assure completion of all the improvements at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting at which final plat is scheduled to be reviewed by the city council.
L.   Name and address of a person to whom notice of hearing may be sent.

7.0103    Vacation of a Plat.  Any plat or part of a plat may be vacated under the provisions and subject the conditions of this ordinance provided such vacating does not abridge or destroy any of the rights and privileges of other proprietors in said plat.  Nothing contained in this section shall authorize the closing or obstructing of any public roadways laid out according to law. A new plat shall be filed with the finance officer which specifically describes all previous plats sought to be vacated including the book and page or document number of all existing plats in the Register of Deeds office.  The new plat shall specifically state that all previous plats so listed are to be vacated in whole or in part and shall include the following information:
A.   Names and addresses of the record owner of the plat or part of plat to be vacated.
B.   Legal description of plat.
C.   Names of the legal voters, residing on the same.
D.   Character and use of same, description of any public highway located there.

E.   Any other facts pertinent to the application. The proposed plat shall be reviewed and approved and disapproved in accordance with the procedures in Section 6.

7.0104    Large Lot Subdivisions. Whenever a subdivision is platted into lots of five (5) acres or less in area and more than twice the minimum lot area required for the zoning district in which such parcel is located, the city council may require such plat to be arranged and dimensions to provide for re-subdivision of any such lot and opening of future streets in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance and the zoning ordinance of the city. 


Chapter 8.01  General Design Standards

8.0101    Land Suitability
A.   If the planning commission or city council find that the land to be subdivided is unsuitable for development and if from adequate investigations it has been determined that in the best interest of the public the land should not be subdivided, the planning commission or the city council shall not approve the subdivision unless adequate methods are found by the subdivider for meeting the problems.
B.   The planning commission or city council may refuse to approve what it considers scattered, or premature subdivisions of land by reason of lack of adequate water supply and sewerage treatment, schools, proper drainage, good roads or other public services which would necessitate an expenditure of public funds for the supply of such services.

8.0102    Streets
A.   The street layout of the proposed subdivision shall provide for the continuation or projection of streets already existing in areas adjacent to the area adjacent to the area being subdivided. In addition, streets in the proposed subdivision shall correspond in name, direction and width to existing streets and shall be in conformance with the major street plan and comprehensive plan as adopted.
B.   Street right-of-ways measured from lot line to lot line shall not be less than the following: All section line street right-of-ways shall be 100 feet; Arterial streets - 100 feet; Collector streets - 80 feet; Local streets - 66 feet; Cul-de-sacs- 130 feet in diameter for turn-a-round; Alleys - 20 feet; Frontage streets - 60 feet;
C.   Subdivisions platted along existing streets shall dedicate additional right-of-way if necessary to meet the minimum street width requirements set forth in this article.
D.   Private streets shall not be approved nor shall public improvements be approved for any private street.  All streets shall be dedicated for public use.
E.   Cul-de-sacs shall not be longer than five hundred (500) feet except as considered necessary, and approved by the city council.
F.   Street jogs with center line offsets of less than one hundred twenty-five (125) feet shall not be made without conditional approval by the city council.

G.   Streets shall not be approved which will be subject to flooding or erosion hazards.  Where such conditions exist, the city council may require profiles and elevations of streets in order to determine the advisability of approving the proposed subdivision.
H.   Dead end streets and half-streets as permanent features shall be prohibited, except where essential to the reasonable development of the subdivision in conformity with other requirements of these regulations.
I.   Where the proposed subdivision abuts upon or contains an existing or proposed arterial street or highway on which traffic volumes and vehicular speeds warrant special safety considerations, the city council may require that frontage streets be provided in order that no lots front on such existing or proposed arterial street or highway.

8.0103    Blocks.
A.   Block lengths shall not exceed six hundred (600) feet or be less than three hundred (300) feet except as considered necessary and approved by the city council.
B.   All blocks shall have two tier of lots.  However, where unusual roadway or topographical conditions exist, a single tier of lots may be approved.
C.   The size and area of blocks shall be sufficient to provide for convenient access, circulation, and safety of street design.

8.0104    Lots.
A.   All lot sizes shall conform with zoning ordinance requirements including provisions for off-street parking and loading.
B.   The lot arrangement and design shall provide satisfactory and desirable building sites properly related to topography, adjacent development and street orientation.

8.0105    Easements
A.   Easements across lots or centered on rear or side lot lines shall be provided for public and private utilities where necessary and for such purposes shall be at least ten (10) feet wide.
B.   When the city council deems it necessary for proper drainage within or through a subdivision, a storm water easement or drainage right-of-way shall be provided.

8.0106    Public Open Spaces.
A.   Where a proposed park, recreation or other public area which is shown on the comprehensive plan is located in whole or in part in a residential subdivision, the city council may require the dedication or reservation of such area within the proposed subdivision for public purposes.
B.   The city council may require for public use, dedication of up to ten (10) percent of a residential subdivision land area for park, recreation or other public purposes required as a result of the subdivision.  Dedication of lands for public open spaces shall not include street right-of-ways, utility easements, and yard requirements, and shall be subject to approval by the planning commission.

8.0107    Flood Hazards.  Land subject to flooding and determined to be unsuitable for residential development shall not be plated for residential use or for any other use which may increase the danger to health, life or property or aggravate erosion or flood hazards. Such land within the subdivision shall be set aside on the plat for such uses as will not be endangered by periodic or occasional flooding. Proposed subdivisions in flood zone areas shall be designed to minimize flooding; shall have public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, water, electrical systems located and constructed to minimize flood damage; shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood damage; and base flood elevation data shall be provided for subdivision proposals and other proposed development which contain at least 50 lots or 5 acres (whichever is less).

8.0108    Community Assets.  In all subdivisions, due regard shall be shown for natural features, existing vegetation and historical and scenic sites, and for similar assets which if preserved will add attractiveness and value to the subdivision and to the community.  No natural waterway, ditch, stream or other similar drainage-way shall be deepened, widened, filled or altered without approval by the city council.


Chapter 9.01  Required Improvements

9.0101    Completion and Approval of Improvements.  Before the final plat of any subdivided area is accepted for public dedication, the subdivider shall be required to complete to the satisfaction of the city council, all improvements as required by these regulations and as specified in the final plat. In lieu of actual completion of such improvements, the subdivider may file with the city council a certified performance bond, conditioned to secure the construction of such improvements in a satisfactory manner and within a period specified by the city council.  No such bond shall be accepted unless it be enforceable by or payable to the city in a sum at least equal to the cost of constructing the improvements and in form with surety and conditions approved by the city council. In lieu of either the actual completion of the improvements or the filing of a bond, the subdivider shall make an agreement with the city council whereby the city is put in an assured position that such work shall be completed at the cost of the owners of the property within the subdivision.  Such agreements for future improvements shall be filed with the Register of Deeds at the time of recording the plat. The subdivider may prepare and secure tentative approval of a subdivision plat of an entire area and may install the required improvements in only a portion of such area, provided that such improvements shall be designed and built in such a manner that they can be easily expanded or extended to serve the entire area.

9.0102    Monuments.  The subdivider shall place permanent monuments in the subdivision as required below.
A.   All external boundaries of the subdivision shall be marked by iron monuments not less than thirty-six (36) inches in length, four (4) inches square or five (5) inches in diameter, and shall be marked on the top with a suitable center point.

B.   Iron monuments three-fourths (3/4) inch in diameter and twenty-four (24) inches long shall be placed on street right-of-way lines, street intersections, block corners, and all lots corners.

9.0103    Streets.  All street right-of-ways shall be graded and surfaced to the full width by the subdivider.
A.   All right-of-ways to be dedicated for public use shall be surfaced from curb to curb, surfacing shall be asphalt or concrete and constructed in accordance with designs and specifications approved by the city council.


 B.   Minimum driving surface widths to be provided are:
Street Types                  Minimum Widths
Arterial (each land)                              20 feet
Collector                                                        44 feet
Local                                                     36 feet
Cul-de-sac (diameter)                        100 feet
Frontage                                                26 feet
Alleys                                                   16 feet

9.0104    Curb and Gutter.  Curb and gutter, or rolled or valley gutter as needed, shall be installed by the subdivider on all streets on the plat being dedicated to public use or in area zoned Residential (R-1 or R3) or Mobile Home (R2), and shall be constructed in accordance with engineering designs and specifications approved by the city council.  Ramped or dropped curbs shall be required at all newly constructed or replacement intersections.

9.0105    Storm Water Drainage Facilities.  The subdivider shall provide for storm drainage runoff with a storm sewer system which shall be constructed separate from the sanitary sewer system.  Such required improvements shall extend to the boundaries of the subdivision to provide for extension by adjoining properties, and shall be constructed in accordance with engineering designs and specifications approved by the city council.

9.0106    Water Facilities.  The subdivider shall install all public water distribution facilities, including fire hydrants and water laterals to each lot line within the subdivision in accordance with engineering plans and specifications approved by the city council.

9.0107    Sanitary Sewer Facilities.  The subdivider shall install all public sanitary sewer facilities in accordance with engineering plans and specifications approved by the city council.  Sewers shall be installed to each lot line with grades and sizes as required and no individual disposal or treatment system shall be permitted.

9.0108    Public Utility Installation.  When it is necessary to install any utilities in a public right-of-way, the following shall apply: after grading is complete and before a driving surface is constructed, all in-street work (water and sewer mains, storm sewer, gas mains, etc.) and all service connections shall be completely installed.  All appropriate utilities from which lots are individually served shall be installed underground. If any required improvement is installed within the subdivision, provision may be made for a portion of the costs of such improvements to be assessed against the benefitting properties in accordance with procedure approved by the city council.

9.0109  Construction Standards.  The subdivider shall comply with all other city ordinances whenever necessary during the planning and construction phase of the subdivision to insure compliance with soil erosion and sedimentation control standards.  The subdivider shall provide for all grading, excavations, open cuts, side slopes and other land surface disturbances to be mulched, seeded, sodded or otherwise protected to prevent erosion, siltation and sedimentation.

9.0110 Sidewalks.   Sidewalk shall be installed by the subdivider or new owner under signed covenant on all streets on the plat being dedicated to public use or in area zoned Residential (R1 or R3) or Mobile Home (R2) and shall be constructed in accordance with engineering designs and specifications approved by the city Council.  Ramped sidewalks shall be required at all newly constructed or replacement intersections.


Chapter 10.01  Exceptions and Amendments

10.0101   Exceptional Conditions.  The planning commission may recommend and the city council may grant a variance to these regulations by reason of the unusual shape of a specific piece of property, or where, by reason of other such conditions, the strict application of these regulations would result in extreme practical difficulties and undue hardship to the owner of such property; provided, however, that such relief may be granted without detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent and purpose of these regulations.  Financial disadvantage to the property owner shall not be proof of hardship within the purpose of these regulations.

10.0102   Procedural Variance.  Where a proposed subdivision would contain five (5) acres or more of land and no street right-of-way, the procedure of preparing a preliminary plat may be waived.

10.0103   Amendment.  Any provisions of these regulations may from time to time be amended, supplemented, changed, modified, or released by the city council, according to law; however, such amendments, supplements, changes, modifications shall not become effective until after study and recommendations by the planning commission, and final approval by the city council.  


Chapter 11.01  Covenants and Guarantees

11.0101   Restrictive Covenants.  The subdivider may, at his own expense, restrict the use of such premises as contained in a subdivision plat by means of restrictive covenants which are reviewed and approved by the planning and zoning commission.  Any such covenants shall be included as deed restrictions on the final plat.


Chapter 12.01  Preliminary Plat Exemption

12.0101   Exemption from Preliminary Platting Process.  For a proposed subdivision that would contain two or less parcels, tracts or lots, and not the building of new streets, the preliminary platting process is waived.


Chapter 13.01  Enforcement

13.0101   Enforcement.  No plat of any subdivision within the application of this ordinance shall be entitled to be filed or recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds or have any validity until such plat has been prepared, approved and acknowledged in the manner prescribed by this ordinance. It shall be unlawful to sell, trade or otherwise convey any lot or parcel of land for building purposes individually, as part of, or in conformity with any plat, plan or replat of any subdivision within the area subject to application of this ordinance unless said plan, plat or replat shall have been approved as prescribed by this ordinance and filed and recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds.


Chapter 14.01  Violations and Penalties

14.0101   Violation of This Ordinance.  It is declared unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to violate any of the terms or provisions of this ordinance.  Violation thereof shall be a misdemeanor and may be punishable by a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500) for each and every day that any violator fails to comply with the provisions of this ordinance.  All fines for violations shall be paid to the city and shall be credited to the general revenue fund. Any architect, builder, contractor, agent or other person who commits, participates in, assists in or maintains such violation may each be found guilty of a separate offense and suffer the penalties herein provided. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the city from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation, including cease and desist orders and removal or correction of any such violation.


Chapter 15.01  Severability Clause.

15.0101   Severability Clause.  Should any section or provision of these regulations be declared by courts to be unconstitutional or invalid, such declaration shall not affect the validity of the regulations as a whole or any part thereof other than the part so declared to be unconstitutional or invalid.


Chapter 16.01  Legal Status Provisions

16.0101   Conflict with Other Regulations.  No final plat of land within the force and effect of this ordinance shall be approved unless it conforms to these regulations. Whenever there is a discrepancy between minimum standards or dimension noted herein and those contained in this ordinance, the building code or other official regulations or ordinance, the most restrictive shall apply.