Subdividing Property in Cochise County

Subdividing property in Cochise County is regulated by the Minor Land Division Regulations and the Cochise County Subdivision Regulations, depending on how many parcels are created by the proposed subdivision as well as the size the parcels.

The minor land division process applies when a large parcel is divided into 5 or fewer smaller parcels, any of which is 10 acres or smaller. The County subdivision process applies when a large parcel is divided into 6 or more smaller parcels, any of which is 36-acres or smaller.

When Does the Subdivision Process Apply?

The County subdivision process applies when a property owner splits a parcel into six or more parcels that are each less than thirty-six (36) acres.

 Purpose of the Subdivision Process

  • Promote orderly growth and sensitive design;
  • Provide for adequate roads, utilities, water and wastewater treatment for residential growth;
  • Ensure structures are not built in areas that are subject to flooding;
  • Divide a large parcel into smaller lots for sale

It is helpful to schedule a preliminary meeting with County planning staff to answer questions before formal subdivision submittal.

What is a Tentative Plat?
The tentative plat is the working map of the new subdivision. It shows the lay out of road and lots, topography and the location of utility easements and common areas.

Who Reviews the Tentative Plat?
The tentative plat is reviewed by a number of agencies, including the County Assessor’s Office, and the County Health and Highway & Floodplain Departments, State, and other agencies such as the Fire Department or School District when appropriate, to ensure that it conforms to the Subdivision Regulations and to determine the level of on and off site improvements needed.

Who Approves the Tentative Plat?

The tentative plat is reviewed and approved administratively by the County’s Subdivision Committee, which includes, but is not limited to the following individuals:

  • the County Development Services Director
  • the County Engineer
  • the County Director of the Environmental Health Division
  • individuals representing other Interested agencies/parties

What is a Final Plat?
The final Plat is a formal map that is recorded in the Recorder's Office. Once recorded, it defines the legal boundaries of each lot and records public roads and utility easements. The final plat must be substantial conformance to the approved tentative plat.

Final Plat Approval & Waivers
The Board of Supervisors (BOS) approves the final plat at their meetings each Tuesday of the month (except the 5th Tuesday) at 10:00 a.m.  (Click here for the BOS meeting calendar.)  Only the BOS can grant a waiver from requirements of the Subdivision Regulations. A waiver can be heard in advance of the final plat meeting or it can be heard at the same time as the plat is presented to the Board.  

Please Note: tentative and final plat must be drafted by a surveyor or engineer registered in the State of Arizona.

Improvements and Lot Sales
The subdivider is responsible for all drainageway and road improvements, street signs, lot staking, water and waste disposal systems and other improvements. If warranted by the size of the subdivision, the subdivider can also be asked to pay the fair share of off-site improvements such as paving a dirt road.

After a final plat approval and recordation, lots will be released for sale when:

All public improvements are completed and certified by the subdivision engineer to be in conformance with plans approved by the County Engineer, and

The County Engineer inspects and accepts the improvements.

Please note: the subdivision engineer is responsible for scheduling County inspections throughout the construction of improvements.

When is a Homeowner's Association Required?
A homeowner's association is required whenever the subdivision has private common areas that are not maintained by the County. Common areas can include private roads or commonly owned open space.

Submittal Requirements

Tentative Plat

  • Two (2) full size copies of the Tentative Plat and one 11x17 reduced .pdf
  • Letter of Intent Describing the Subdivision
  • see the Cochise County Community Development Fee Schedule
  • Soil Percolation Tests
  • Hydrology & Hydraulic Report (reviewed by the Highway & Floodplain Department)
  • Proof of Ownership Showing Clear Title to the Land & that Property Taxes are paid
  • Legal Description
  • Copy of Arizona Department of Water Resources Application for Water Adequate Determination
  • Deed Restriction, if any
  • Comments from any city located within 3 miles of the site

Final Plat

At least two (2) copies of the full sized Final Plat and a reduced 11x17 .pdf

  • Fee - see the Cochise County Community Development Fee Schedule
  • Copy of Arizona Department of Water Resources Water Adequacy Determination
  • Method to pay for Improvements such as Improvement Bond with cost estimates, or Agreement with County to Assure Improvements before Sale of Lots
  • Legal Description with Boundary Closures
  • Mylar and Reduced Copies of Plat and Recording Fees to be provided before the BOS meeting.

 Other items may be required such as a Traffic impact Report when warranted by the size of the subdivision. Processing will begin when fees and all review information are submitted.

Conservation Residential Subdivision Option

The Conservation Subdivision Option is intended to encourage the preservation of sensitive land through flexible, innovative site planning. Density bonuses may be awarded to qualified developments. For a description of Conservation Subdivisions Requirements, area calculations, design considerations see Article 5 of the Cochise County Subdivision Regulations