Development Process

Guidelines for Residential / Commercial / Industrial Development


The City of Southlake's Public Works Department is responsible for the review and release of all development projects after they have received approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. Public Works is also responsible for ensuring that every development meets technical requirements for roadways, grading, drainage, water, and sewer.

Developing Construction Plans and Required Documents

Construction plans and specifications must be prepared under the direct supervision of a licensed Professional Engineer registered in the State of Texas, and must be sealed by the Engineer of Record. A completed Construction Plan Checklist is required with the initial submittal of civil construction plans for review, and must be attached to the plan set.

The Developer shall submit:  

  • Electronic plans (22"x 34" sheets) and supporting documents in PDF format. These shall be submitted via email to Zayne Huff (zhuff@ci.southlake.tx.us) and Lydia Ruiz (lruiz@ci.southlake.tx.us)

Once the construction plans are deemed approved, the Developer shall submit:

  •  A minimum of two (2) full size (22" x 34"), and three (3) half-size (11" x 17") scalable sets of final plans, plus an electronic copy and any additional sets required for the contractors, sub-contractors, engineers, testing laboratories, surveyors, etc. to be stamped and signed "Released for Construction" by the City Project Manager. 
    • All plans for construction of the project should be stamped and signed setsOnly original stamped and signed sets are allowed in the field.
  • Developer Agreement if it hasn't been executed.
  • Payment and Performance Bond for public improvements as outlined in the Developer Agreement.
  • Cost Breakout of the public improvements that matches the Payment & Performance Bonds.
  • Certificate of Liability Insurances for General, Utility, and Paving Contractors meeting the Developer Agreement's requirements. 
  • Contact information for General, Utility, and Paving Contractors.
  • Marked Specification Booklet for the proposed infrastructure materials.
  • Approved applicable permits associated with subject site (i.e.Demo, retaining wall, TxDOT, Corps, etc.).

Developer Agreement

A Developer Agreement (Commercial / Residential Agreement), between the developing entity and the City is required for all developments. The Agreement outlines the requirements of the Developer regarding permits, fees, bonds, insurance, indemnification, etc.

The Developer Agreement is a standard agreement drafted by the City Attorney and approved by the City Council. Any changes to the standard language requires re-review by the City Attorney as well as approval by the City Council. If there are no changes to the standard agreement, and if it meets certain criteria, staff approval is allowed rather than City Council approval. 

Criteria for staff approval:
1.Participation less than $25,000; and
2.No dedication of park land; and
3.No waiver of fees or credits requested.

In the event the standard language in the Developer Agreement is to be altered in any way, the Agreement will need approval by City Council. Adequate time must be allowed for the Agreement to be prepared, included on the City Council Meeting Agenda, and brought to City Council for approval. Generally, the process can take 3-4 weeks depending on complexity and/or City Council meeting schedules.

The following items will be required to release construction plans and set up a pre-construction meeting:

  • Executed Developer Agreement
  • Public Improvements Cost Breakout
  • Payment & Performance Bonds for Public Improvement 
  • SWPPP

Pre-Construction Conference

Prior to any construction taking place on the project site, a Pre-construction Conference must take place (Development Pre-Con Agenda). Attendees should include the Developer, the Engineer of Record, the General Contractor, and all sub-contractors that will be constructing public infrastructure.

Prior to scheduling a Pre-construction Conference, the City Project Manager must receive the following:

  • Public Works Fees:
    • Administrative Fee (3% of the cost of Public Infrastructure); and
    • Inspection Fee (3% of the cost of Public Infrastructure); and
    • A detailed breakdown of the construction costs for the public infrastructure
    • Park Fees
    • Critical Drainage & Structure Fees
  • Optional: 2-year maintenance bonds with a blank execution date. May be submitted with Final Acceptance documents.
  • Contractor's insurance certificate meeting or exceeding Developer's Agreement requirements.
  • A completed Right-of-way permit
  • A Construction Site Water permit (Required during Stage 1 or higher of drought conditions)
  • An adequate amount of Construction Plans (22" x 34") to stamp for approval and three half size plans (11" x 17") for the City.
  • Marked Specification Booklet for the proposed public improvements.

Substantial Completion

In a residential sub-division, at substantial completion, the City will release ten percent (10%) of the total lots to the Developer for construction. 

In order for a project to be considered substantially complete, the following must be met:

  • All streets must be accepted
  • All traffic signs and street signs must be installed
  • All lighting must be installed and operable
  • All water, wastewater, and drainage systems must be tested and accepted

Final Acceptance

All of the following are required for final acceptance of the project:

  • A final inspection must be performed involving personnel from Engineering, Water, Wastewater, and Streets & Drainage Departments
  • Successful completion of the acceptance requirements outlined in the Project Checklist;
  • A completed Donated Asset Form
  • Two (2) bond sets and one (1) electronic copy of the Record Drawings in .tiff format shall be submitted to the Public Works Project Manager
  • The City must be reimbursed for all inspection overtime attributed to the project