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What You Need to Know about the Site Plan Review Process

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You’ve decided to make some big changes to your property, applied for a building permit, and submitted your site plan… and now the waiting game begins.

You may not be thrilled about having to wait to start your home improvement project, but the site plan review process is necessary to ensure you’re complying with all land development regulations and building codes for your city. And waiting to have your site plan reviewed is much better than paying a hefty fine for failing to get a permit.

Of course, you may be wondering what’s actually happening while you’re waiting to hear back from your city’s building department. The specific details will vary from city to city, but the general site plan review process is outlined below.

You submit your preliminary site plan. The first step, of course, is to submit your preliminary site plan along with applications for the necessary permits to your city’s building or development department. In order to ensure a smooth review process, you should make sure your site plan includes all information that may be reasonably required for making an informed building decision, such as topography, walkways, drainage, structures, landscaping, and entry and exit points.

Your site plan goes to the appropriate officials. Your County Administrator will designate a group of officials to review your site plan and make sure it complies with all the county’s ordinances and regulations. The review committee may include government members from:

  • Public Works
  • Fire Prevention
  • Zoning
  • Survey Review
  • Health Department
  • Land Development
  • Real Estate Services
  • Construction Services
  • Environmental Review
  • Landscaping Review
County officials approve plan and issue permit. Once the county officials have determined that your building plans are up to code, they will be able to issue you the appropriate permits. Depending on the project, you may just need a building permit, while other projects might require something like a demolition permit or a plumbing permit.

From our 15 years of experience in the industry, we’ve found that professionally drawn plans are more likely to go through the process faster. Since they are clearer and easier to understand, officials typically have less questions or concerns, and it makes the site plan review process more straightforward for them.

You will receive a decision by mail. The officials will mail a letter of confirmation to you (as the applicant) and your agent (if you have one). In most cases, you should hear back within one week of the group’s scheduled review of your site plan, unless you’re told otherwise.

Once you’ve received the necessary permits, you can go ahead with the property changes you’ve envisioned. And remember, if you haven’t even gotten to the point of submitting the proper paperwork for review yet, you can get a PDF plot plan within two business days when you contact MySitePlan.

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  • Ryan Crownholm
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