What is the subdivision process?

Mercer County Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance

April 1, 2006 (PDF file, 2Mb) click here

Fact Sheet – The Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance is the most widely-used development control mechanism in Pennsylvania and has been in effect in Mercer County since its adoption by the Mercer County Commissioners December 4, 1958. The Ordinance regulates, as the title suggests, a subdivision and land development within Mercer County excepting subdivisions in those municipalities which have elected to adopt and administer their own local standards of control. The Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance does not control what uses are established within the County or municipality, rather it controls how a use or activity relates to the land upon which it is located.

The subdivision ordinance offers the County and the municipality a degree of protection against unwise, poorly planned development by insuring through the proper provisions of good subdivision design that includes such necessities as properly constructed streets, adequately designed storm water systems, prevention of conflicting deeds and assurance that properties being subdivided and conveyed are acceptable in size, and are properly placed on legal record with the Mercer County Recorder of Deeds.

A “subdivision” is defined as the division or re-division of a lot, tract or parcel of land by any means into two or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land including changes in existing lot lines for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of lease, partition by the court for distribution to heirs or devisees, transfer of ownership or building or lot development. Provided however, that the subdivision by lease of land for agricultural purposes into parcels of more than ten (10) acres, not involving any new street or easement of access or any residential dwelling shall be exempted.

Land development is defined as (1) The improvement of one lot or two or more contiguous lots, tracts or parcels of land for any purpose involving: (i) a group of two or more residential or non residential 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 (ii) 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. (2) A subdivision of land. (3) Development in accordance with Section 503 (I. 1) of the MPC.

Costs vary with the size and type of subdivision in correlation with a variety of tasks undertaken by the Staff of the Mercer County Regional Planning Commission to provide a thorough review. Applicable fees are due and payable upon filing of a Subdivision and Land Development Review Application with the Mercer County Regional Planning Commission fees are in accord with the following schedule:

Current Fee Schedule

MERCER COUNTY

SUBDIVISION & LAND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE

FEE SCHEDULE

  BASE REVIEW FEE FEE / UNIT REQUIRED FINAL REVIEW FEE FEE / UNIT
SUBDIVISION PLANS
MINOR (FINAL PLAN) $300 $20/ LOT
MAJOR $300 $20/ LOT $100 $25 / LOT
MINOR LAND DEVELOPMENT PLANS – NO FEE
MAJOR LAND DEVELOPMENT PLANS (FINAL PLAN)
     RESIDENTIAL $300     $10/ UNIT
     NON-RESIDENTIAL $300    $5/ 1000 SQUARE FEET
MHP $300 $15/ LOT $100 $15 / LOT
RV PARK $300 $10/ SITE $100 $10 / SITE
COUNTY ENGINEER FEE All costs borne by Applicant
MODIFICATIONS & APPEALS $100
EFFECTIVE DATE JULY 23, 2007  

This fee schedule can change by resolution of the Mercer County Commissioners.

(Adopted July 12, 2007)

The Mercer County Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance was passed by the County Commissioners on February 23, 2006.  This new ordinance replaces the previous SALDO in Mercer County.  This current ordinance will take effect on April 1, 2006.

Land Development Review Process:

  • For minor land developments in all communities, the applicant shall submit a copy of all information pertaining to the application for a local building permit and all other required local municipality permits.
  • Major land developments in zoned municipalities will be treated as a minor land development.  All local municipal approvals must be granted, and evidence presented, before a minor land development can be approved.
  • For major land developments in unzoned municipalities, the applicant shall submit all information required in the ordinance, specifically Sections 506, 601, & 602.

Subdivision Review Process:

  • For a plan located in a municipality that has their own Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance and that municipality’s planner is in charge of the technical review, the subdivision plan shall be submitted to that municipality.  The municipality will then forward the subdivision to the County for review.
  • For a plan located in a municipality that has their own Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance and MCRPC’s planner is in charge of the technical review, the subdivision plan shall be submitted to MCRPC. MCRPC will forward their findings and review comments, as well as the plan, to the municipality for their decision.
  • For a plan located in a municipality that is under the Mercer County Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance, the subdivision plan shall be submitted to MCRPC.  MCRPC will forward the plan to the municipality for their comments through the Municipal Subdivision Review form, and the approval will come from MCRPC.