Subdivisions and Developments


The City of Urbana regulates land development through two important documents: the Land Development Code and the Manual of Practice. The Land Development Code is Chapter 21 of the Urbana City Code and is a regulatory document, and the Manual is a technical guide; both are enforced by the Planning Division and the Engineering Division. The terms "subdivision" and "development" have multiple meanings, some of which overlap, so it is important to understand how the City of Urbana uses them.

Subdivision can be either a verb or a noun: it is "either the (a) the act of dividing, consolidating, or altering the existing boundaries of one (1) or more parcels for the purpose of potential transfer or transferred ownership or other divisions of land for sale, development or lease; or (b) the configuration of lots, outlots, public rights-of-way and public improvements which result from developing land in accordance with the procedures, requirements and standards of the Land Development Code and the Manual of Practice" (Section 21-115, Land Development Code).

Development can also be either a verb or a noun. As a verb, development is defined as any activity causing a change to be made in the legal rights or physical state of a previously developed site or an unimproved tract of real estate that requires a stormwater management plan, creates a demand for sanitary sewer service, involves mining or quarrying, creates or changes a subdivision or a resubdivision or a lot-line adjustment, creates or changes a mobile home park, or creates or changes a planned unit development.

As a noun, development is the configuration of parcels of land and any associated infrastructure, such as streets and alleys, sanitary or storm sewers, street lighting or trees, and sidewalks or shared-use paths. Developments come in all shapes and sizes, grouped into two classes: Minor Developments and Major Developments. Both types of developments are regulated by the Land Development Code, and design and construction are guided by the Manual.


A development involving the subdivision of a parcel of land (or the resubdivision or lot-line adjustment of a previously platted lot or lots) into not more than five (5) buildable lots and which development has all necessary improvements and services (except for service connections and sidewalks) including streets, water, electricity, storm sewers, and sanitary sewers available at the site.

To create a Minor Development, please submit an Application for Minor Development and the Subdivision Review Checklist which guides you through the preparation of the required Plat of Survey (downloadable below).


A development which does not come within the definition of a minor development.  Major subdivisions require preliminary and/or final plats.  Preliminary Plat is a preliminary map, and supporting data, indicating the proposed layout of the subdivision or development in sufficient detail to provide adequate basis for review.  A preliminary plat establishes basic developmental design concepts and public improvements required to be approved through the final plat process.  Final Plat is a plat prepared for recording and meeting the criteria of regulations.

Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to download or view PDF files.

- Last Modified -May 28, 2024 - 12:23pm
- Author - TeriA