Subdivisions and Land Development

The Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (Act 247 of 1968, as amended) authorizes municipalities to adopt a subdivision and land development ordinance, thus enabling local review and approval of proposed plans for development. Of the 38 municipalities in Erie County, 26 have enacted their own subdivision and land development regulations. The Erie County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance applies in the remaining 12 municipalities.

Subdivision and Land Development Process

The Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development has prepared guides that provide a general overview of the subdivision and land development plan approval process. You can check the Municipal Land Use Regulations Map to determine what ordinances are applicable, and the County Review and Approval Areas Map to determine which process guide applies for your area.

The department also provides an application for review or approval of a proposed subdivision or land development plan.

If you are contemplating a subdivision or land development, it is recommended that you consult with your municipality in order to determine if your proposed plan will comply with all applicable municipal ordinances. You are also encouraged to contact the Department of Planning and Community Development at 814-451-7324 to discuss the proposed project.

Plans Requiring County Review

Municipal subdivision and land development ordinances apply for plans located in the following municipalities:

  • Albion Borough
  • City of Corry
  • City of Erie
  • Edinboro Borough
  • Fairview Township
  • Franklin Township
  • Girard Borough
  • Girard Township
  • Greene Township
  • Greenfield Township
  • Harborcreek Township
  • Lake City Borough
  • Lawrence Park Township
  • McKean Borough
  • McKean Township
  • Millcreek Township
  • North East Borough
  • North East Township
  • Springfield Township
  • Summit Township
  • Union City Borough
  • Venango Township
  • Washington Township
  • Waterford Borough
  • Waterford Township
  • Wesleyville Borough

This guide is not intended to supersede or replace any municipal ordinance or requirement.

The following steps should be carried out in the order presented unless municipal requirements specify an alternative procedure:

  • Contact the municipality for specific regulations, requirements and procedures to be followed.
  • A pre-application consultation and/or sketch plan submission to the municipality is recommended.
    • Plans must be prepared by a licensed surveyor.
    • The sheet size for final plans must be 18 inches by 24 inches.
    • Plans must be signed and sealed by surveyor.
    • Plans must be signed and notarized by owner(s).
  • One mylar and at least seven paper copies will be required.
  • Submit the mylar and at least five copies to the Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development for its review and signatures. Note that some municipalities require a municipal review prior to submittal to the county. Check with the municipality to determine the process to be followed in your area.
  • No final plan shall be signed by the Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development until a determination is made whether sewage facility planning and approval is necessary.
  • For proposals in areas with on-lot sewage disposal options, submit two copies of the survey plan to the Erie County Department of Health’s Environmental Services division. A determination will be made whether a local waiver to sewage planning is appropriate or if state Department of Environmental Protection approval is necessary.
  • For proposals in areas with public sewers, the municipality will determine whether any proposed sewage flows can be accommodated by a local tap-in or whether Department of Environmental Protection approval, waiver or exception is necessary.
  • Submit the mylar and at least four copies to the municipality for its review, approval and signatures.
  • Submit three copies of the approved survey (at least one copy must have original signatures) to the Erie County Recorder of Deeds. This must be done within 90 days of approval by the municipality.

Plans Requiring County Approval

The Erie County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance applies for plans located in the following municipalities:

  • Amity Township
  • Concord Township
  • Conneaut Township
  • Cranesville Borough
  • Elgin Borough
  • Elk Creek Township
  • LeBoeuf Township
  • Mill Village Borough
  • Platea Borough
  • Union Township
  • Wattsburg Borough
  • Wayne Township

This guide is not intended to supersede or replace the Erie County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance. Plans must comply with all applicable requirements of the ordinance. If you have any questions, or need additional information, please call the Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development at 814-451-7324.

The following steps should be carried out in the order presented.

  • A pre-application consultation and/or sketch plan submission to the Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development is recommended, but is not required.
  • A preliminary plan, if required, must be approved prior to submission of a final plan. Preliminary plans are not required for minor subdivisions and replots (lot line changes).
  • No final plan shall be signed by the Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development until a determination is made whether sewage facility planning and approval is necessary.
    • For proposals in areas with on-lot sewage disposal options, submit two copies of the survey plan to the Erie County Department of Health’s Environmental Services division. A determination will be made whether a local waiver to sewage planning is appropriate or if state Department of Environmental Protection approval is necessary.
    • For proposals in areas with public sewers, the municipality will determine whether any proposed sewage flows can be accommodated by a local tap-in or whether Department of Environmental Protection approval, waiver or exception is necessary.
  • Plans must be prepared by a licensed surveyor.
    • The sheet size for final plans must be 18 inches by 24 inches.
    • Plans must be signed and sealed by surveyor.
    • Plans must be signed and notarized by owners.
    • One mylar and seven paper copies will be required.
  • Submit the mylar and five copies to the municipal governing body for its review and signatures.
  • Submit the mylar and four copies to the Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development for its approval and signatures.
  • Submit three copies of the approved survey (at least one copy must have original signatures) to the Erie County Recorder of Deeds. This must be done within 90 days of county approval.

Subdivision Fee Schedule

Subdivision Type Flat Fee Additional Cost Per Lot
Replot $50 N/A
Minor Subdivision $50 $10.00
Major Subdivision Preliminary $150 N/A
Major Subdivision Final $150 $10
Land Development Plan $150 N/A
Subdivision Waiver Requests $50 N/A
Modification Requests $300 N/A
Escrow $500 N/A

Definitions

As defined in the Erie County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance:

Replot: The change of a lot line between two abutting existing parcels not intended to create a new parcel and where such lot line change is in full compliance with this ordinance, any local zoning ordinance and related ordinances, rules and regulations of the county. A replot which involves the creation of new lots or involves more than two lots shall be treated as a subdivision.

Minor Subdivision: A subdivision having 10 lots or less, which has all lots fronting on an existing street, and which does not propose any new streets, sanitary sewers, water main extensions, stormwater management facilities, or other improvements to be offered for public dedication.

Major Subdivision: Any subdivision which fails to meet the requirements for qualification as a Minor Subdivision.

Land Development: Any of the following activities:

  • The improvement of one lot or two or more contiguous lots, tracts or parcels of land for any purpose involving:
    • A group of two or more residential or nonresidential buildings, whether proposed initially or cumulatively, or a single non-residential building on a lot or lots regardless of the number of occupants or tenure; or
    • The division or allocation of land or space, whether initially or cumulatively, between or among two or more existing or prospective occupants by means of, or for the purpose of streets, common areas, leaseholds, condominiums, building groups or other features.
  • A subdivision of land.
  • “Land Development” does not include development which involves:
    • The conversion of an existing single-family detached dwelling or single-family semi-detached dwelling into not more than three residential units, unless such units are intended to be a condominium;
    • The addition of an accessory building, including farm buildings, on a lot or lots subordinate to an existing principal building; or
    • The addition or conversion of buildings or rides within the confines of an enterprise which would be considered an amusement park. For the purpose of this subsection, an amusement park is defined as a tract or area used principally as a location for permanent amusement structures or rides. This exclusion shall not apply to newly acquired acreage by an amusement park until initial plans for the expanded area have been approved by the proper authorities.

Escrow Note: The subdivider/land developer shall be responsible for all costs associated with engineering review and inspection as required by the Erie County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance. The subdivider/land developer upon submittal of the application shall pay an initial escrow fee in the amount of $500. Once escrowed funds are depleted, no further plan review and inspection activity will take place until such time that the escrow account is replenished. Upon completion of review and inspection activities by the county engineer, any residual funds in the escrow account will be returned to the subdivider/land developer.