In Wisconsin, new parcels of land for development are most commonly created with the approval and recording of either a final subdivision plat or a Certified Survey Map (CSM), as provided for by Chapter 236 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Prior to the approval of all final subdivision and prior to the approval of some CSMs, a preliminary plat is required by Chapter 16 of the City of Madison General Ordinances. The Preliminary Plat is required to show specific items and the general layout of the development including public streets, lots, public parks, private open spaces, stormwater management, parks, etc.) in conformance with the City of Madison Official Map, zoning requirements, adopted Neighborhood Development plans and the public improvements required to serve the development.

Upon the conditional approval of the Preliminary Plat the developer will then proceed with the submittal of a final plat or Certified Survey Map that must be in substantial conformance with the conditionally approved Preliminary Plat. At this point the developer will enter into contracts for public improvements, complete final stormwater management plans and any other items required per the conditions of the approval of the final plat.

In considering approval of a plat or CSM, the City must consider all the impacts the proposed subdivision will have on the long term goals and objectives set forth by adopted City plans and the impacts the proposed subdivision will have on the City’s ability to provide municipal services. In most cases, the subdivision of land by final plat or CSM requires that the subject property be served with a full range of urban services, including public sanitary sewer and water.

Engineering Mapping additionally reviews land divisions for land title issues affecting City of Madison rights of way, easements and publicly owned lands along with review of the general title encumbrances of the development. Engineering Mapping coordinates and participates in the creation of new easements, releases of existing easements or rights, vacation of public right of ways, eminent domain needs beyond the development, technical review of the land division documents, addresses of the new parcels, review/approval of street names, changes of street names, annexation/attachment/detachment of lands to and from the City of Madison Corporate limits and research of public and City records affected by or impacted by any development. For more information on the subdivision process in the City of Madison, please see MGO Sec. 16.23.

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