What is a subdivision?

The Subdivision application creates and records legal divisions of land and are reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council. Subdivision plats, whether residential, commercial or industrial, are intended to promote coordinated and efficient development. Condominium plats are also included.



The Process

The Development Review Process has several phases designed to help ensure projects meet the city’s zoning, land use, and design standards. As part of the process, the city’s planning team advises applicants on designing their projects to meet code requirements. During the application process, the subdivision application will be sent to stakeholders. Comments from affected agencies and community members will be provided to the application and become a part of the record that is reviewed by the decision makers.

The Basics

→Subdivisions go through a public hearing process.

→The Planning and Zoning Commission as well as the Design Review Committee make recommendations to the City Council.

→The City Council is the final decision maker on subdivision applications.

Garden City recommends that plats that do not require phasing come in as a Combined Preliminary and Final Plat. For applications that do not apply under this process, there is an additional public hearing for Final Plat approval. After the application has been approved by City Council, formal construction plans can be submitted for review and approval based on City Council conditions of approval and applicable codes. 

Once the subdivision has been constructed in accordance with the approved construction plans, the final plat document can be signed if compliant with City Council conditions of approval and applicable codes.  After the plat has been recorded with Ada County and Ada County issues addresses, the subdivision may be considered complete and building permits may be submitted.

Flow Chart First Steps

The Steps

We first recommend having a Pre-Application Meeting so that you have good idea of the scope of requirements that may be involved prior to spending a substantial amount of money or signing a lease.  There are ‘Pre-Application’ meetings free of charge on Thursday mornings which include representation from various reviewers (including Fire, Public Works, Building, and Planning Departments). Meetings are offered every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at City Hall on a first come basis. These meeting must be scheduled in advance by emailing building@gardencityidaho.org or calling (208) 472-2921. Click here for the Pre-Application document. Click here to see the Design Review Pre-Application Meeting document (Design Review Pre-Application is optional for a subdivision but highly recommended).

The actual subdivision process begins with a Neighborhood Meeting. The Neighborhood Meeting involves acquiring a list of all property owners within a 300’ radius of the property and mailing them an invite to a meeting to discuss the project. The meeting can be held no sooner than 10 days after the mailing has been sent and must be held between 5:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. M-F at a location convenient for attendees to get to (such as the subject property site). Please contact Ada County to acquire the 300' Radius list (208-287-7200). It is important to keep the list of those who you notified, a copy of the letter that they received, and a sign-in sheet (even if no one came to the meeting) to submit with your application materials.

Prior to submitting the application, please make sure that it is complete and that all requested materials are submitted with the application.  Your application with be processed as either a Combined Preliminary/Final Plat Application (if subdivision does not have phased plats) or a Preliminary Plat Application

Due to legal noticing requirements, there is an application submittal ‘deadline’ for every month’s meeting. If the application is late or incomplete it will not be scheduled for hearing.
(See Meeting Calendar for timing). 
The Design Review Committee and Planning and Zoning Commission will process the application and provide recommendations to City Council at the scheduled hearing. These typically run concurrently but can be separate if desired by applicant. During this phase:

a) All fees must be paid prior to each hearing.
b) Applicant must post property sign ten (10) days prior to EACH hearing (and provide an affidavit).
c) The City will have received agency reviews and conditions for file and issued to applicant.
d) Agencies, Radius and Legal Noticing will be done by the City.
e) The City will review the application for compliance with Garden City Code.
 f) The City Council will either approve or deny the application which will then have a fifteen (15) day period for applicant or interested parties to appeal the decision.

If application is a Combined Preliminary/Final Plat Application, the construction plans must be submitted if they were not already submitted with the application. Staff level review will verify compliance with approvals and Garden City Code. 

If application is a Preliminary Plat Application, Construction Plans and Final Plat Submittal must be submitted together. The final plat submittal will be reviewed by City Council. The construction plans will undergo a staff level review and cannot be completed until after approval of final plat by City Council and all fees are paid. City Council Hearing is held to determine that the final plat proposal is in substantial compliance with preliminary plat approvals.

Construction plans must include approved Landscaping Plans. Submit flood plain development application if applicable.




If application is approved by City Council and Constructions Plans have been approved by staff to be in compliance with Garden City Code, then construction may begin and must occur as approved. If any changes to the construction plan occur, they must be submitted and approved prior to the changes taking place. A pre-construction meeting with City staff is recommended.

There are two practices that Garden City allows to expedite this process:

1. The first process is that if the common landscaping has not been installed, the City may allow for a financial surety. 

2. The second process that the City may allow is a process unique to Garden City called a Restricted Build Agreement.  The Restricted Build agreement is an agreement that is noted on the plat that identifies certain levels of permitting that may be allowed based on the subdivision improvements completed

 a) Process for Surety for Improvements: Complete Subdivision Infrastructure Except Landscaping

i) Letter of Credit or Cash held in trust per policy may be accepted if applicant would like to expedite signature of Mylar. A surety is not required if applicant fully installs all improvements prior to signature of the Mylar. The surety is based on approved construction plans.
ii) Record Final Plat and Easements and Submit Ada County Approved Addresses to City.
iii) Submit for Building Permits.
iv) Release of Landscape Surety
v) Notification of Subdivision Completion Issued.

b) Process for Construction Subdivision Infrastructure including Landscaping Improvements:

i) Record Final Plat and Easements and Submit Ada County Approved Addresses to City

ii) Notification of Subdivision Completion Issued
iii) Submit for Building Permits

 c) Process for limiting the construction of the subdivision falls under the three (3) tiered Restricted Build Agreement

i) Tier 1: Infrastructure Construction Only; Only subdivision infrastructure is allowed. No other construction permitted.
ii) Tier 2: Limited Construction Building Permits
iii) Tier 3: Full Building Permits