(a) When used in this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:
(1) COUNTY. A political subdivision of the state created by statute to aid in the administration of government.
(2) COUNTY COMMISSION. The chief administrative or legislative body of the county.
(3) STREETS. Streets, avenues, boulevards, roads, lanes, alleys, viaducts, and other roads.
(4) SUBDIVISION. The development and division of a lot, tract, or parcel of land into two or more lots, plats, sites, or otherwise for the purpose of establishing or creating a subdivision through the sale, lease, or building development. Development includes, but is not limited to, the design work of lot layout, the construction of drainage structures, the construction of buildings or public use areas, the planning and construction of public streets and public roads, and the placement of public utilities. A subdivision does not include the construction or development of roads or buildings on private property to be used for agricultural purposes.
(b) The county commission or like governing body of each county in the state shall be authorized to regulate the minimum size of lots, the planning and construction of all public streets, public roads, and drainage structures and require proper placement of public utilities to be located in proposed subdivisions of land or in proposed additions to subdivisions of land existing at the time of the enactment of this chapter where the subdivisions are situated outside the corporate limits of any municipality in the county. The placement of public utilities shall not be inconsistent with the requirements of the Southern Standard Building Code, state and federal laws, and regulations of state and federal regulatory agencies. If the county commission or like governing body of any county shall require the placement of public utility facilities in any subdivision or addition thereto in a manner which is other than the most economical method available from an engineering standpoint, then the developer of the subdivision or addition shall reimburse the utility for the difference in cost between the method so required by the county governing body and the most economical method available.
(c) The county commission or like governing body of each county in the state may establish a board of developers to make suggestions to the commission regarding the development and division of subdivisions. The board may advise the commission on the contents of the regulations, revisions that need to be made to the regulations, and assist in resolving disputes between the commission and developers.
(a) It shall be the duty of the owner and developer of each subdivision to have all construction completed in conformity with this chapter. The county commission or like governing body of each county in the state shall be authorized to require the filing and posting of a reasonable surety bond with the county commission by the developers of the proposed subdivisions or proposed additions to guarantee the actual construction and installation are in accordance with approved plans for public streets, public roads, drainage structures, and public utilities before the actual sale, offering for sale, transfer, or lease of any lots from the subdivision or addition to the public. The county commission shall also require the owner or developer of all proposed subdivisions or proposed additions to existing subdivisions of land situated outside the corporate limits of any municipality in the county to submit the plat of the proposed subdivision or addition to the county commission of the county for approval before the actual sale, offering for sale, transfer, or lease of any lots from the subdivision or addition to the subdivision to the public. After approval has been granted, the submitted plat shall be filed for record or received for filing in the office of the judge of probate.
(b) No plat shall be approved or disapproved by the county commission without its first being reviewed by the county engineer or his or her designee. Following such review, the county engineer or his or her designee shall certify to the commission whether the plat meets the county's regulations. If the proposal meets the regulations, it shall be approved by the commission. Should the plat be determined by the county engineer to be deficient in any regard, the county engineer shall detail the deficiency to the county commission along with a recommendation that the development be disapproved. Notice of the recommendation of the engineer shall be sent to the owner or developer whose name and address appears on the submitted plat by registered or certified mail at least 10 days before the recommendation shall be presented to the county commission for action. A similar notice shall be mailed to the owners of land immediately adjoining the platted land as their names appear upon the plats in the office of the county tax assessor and their addresses appear in the directory of the county or on the tax records of the county and to each utility affected thereby. Each utility notified in writing by the commission shall be given at least 10 days to review the proposed plat and submit a written report to the commission as to whether all provisions affecting the service to be provided by the utility are reasonable and adequate. If any utility affected by the plat is not properly notified then the approval or disapproval of the plat by the county commission shall not be valid until the affected utility has been given at least ten days' notice prior to such approval or disapproval as provided by this subsection.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b), this section shall not apply to the sale, deed, or transfer of land by the owner to an immediate family member.
Any owner or developer violating any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation made pursuant to this chapter shall be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) per lot that has been sold, offered for sale, transferred, or leased to the public. The county commission shall have the right to enjoin action of the developer or owner by a civil action for the injunction brought in any court of competent jurisdiction and the county commission may recover the penalty as provided by this section in any court of competent jurisdiction. The county commission may employ inspectors to see that its rules and regulations are not violated and that the plans and specifications for the minimum size of lots, the planning and construction of public streets, public roads, and drainage structures, and the placement of public utilities are not in conflict with the rules and regulations of the county. The county commission may charge inspection fees, not to exceed actual costs, to be paid by the owners of the property inspected.
This chapter shall not be construed to impair the right of eminent domain granted heretofore or hereafter by the laws of this state to utilities, whether public or private, or their right to exercise authority conferred by statutes, franchises, certificates of convenience and necessity, licenses or easements.
No county shall exercise jurisdiction under provisions of this chapter within the jurisdiction of any municipal planning commission presently organized and functional or which shall become organized and functional within six months of the date the county assumes such jurisdiction by publishing and adopting notice thereof.
It is the intent of the legislature that all proposed subdivisions be subject to regulation, and counties and municipalities affected by provisions of this chapter shall have authority to reach and publish agreement as to exercise of jurisdictional authority over proposed subdivisions, which agreement shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county and affected municipality and such agreement shall thereafter have the force and effect of law.
The provisions of this chapter are cumulative and shall not repeal any local law or general law of local application granting similar or additional duties and authority to any county commission.