Anytime a tract of land in the county outside any city, town or village is split into two or more parts, it may be subject to meeting subdivision requirements. If it is determined that the split does not fall under the definition of a subdivision, then a plat prepared by a licensed surveyor must be submitted for approval to the county.
In some instances a preliminary plan showing the layout concept of a tract including streets and lots proposed must be approved prior to submission of a final plat of the land to be divided. Once a preliminary plan is approved, portions of the plan may be submitted in stages for final plat approval. The preliminary plan process includes an initial staff review and pre-conference, a public hearing in front of the Planning and Development Committee of the County Board, and final approval by the County Board.
Once a final plat of a subdivision is approved and recorded in the Office of the Stephenson County Recorder, the newly created lots may be conveyed by lot description.
Even a one-lot subdivision must often be approved by the county. In some instances, the single lot will be exempt from meeting subdivision regulations. In others, the one-lot subdivision may be approved by the director of building and zoning acting in the capacity as a plat officer. Some one-lot (minor subdivision) subdivisions must be finally approved by the County Board after review and recommendation by the Planning and Development Committee of the Stephenson County Board.