MapLink™ | Procedures | Major site plan and design review

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Major site plan and design review
A. Purpose.
1. It is recognized by this chapter that there is a value to the public in establishing safe and convenient traffic movement to higher-density sites, both within the site and in relation to access streets; there is value in encouraging a harmonious relationship of buildings and uses, both within a site and in relation to adjacent uses; further, there are benefits to the public in conserving natural resources. Toward these ends, this section requires site plan review and approval by the Planning Commission for certain buildings and structures that can be expected to have a significant impact on natural resources, traffic patterns, adjacent land usage, and the character of future urban development.
2. The site plan is intended to demonstrate character and objectives of the proposed development in adequate detail for the Planning Commission to evaluate the effect the proposed development would have on the community, and determine what provisions, if any, should be included as part of the plan and be binding on the use and development of the property.

B. Applicability. The Director of Public Services shall not issue a building permit for the construction of the following buildings, structures, and exterior modifications unless a detailed site plan has been reviewed and approved and such approval is in effect:
1. All permitted and conditional uses as described in Article IV, § 26-14 (Zoning districts established), and as provided for in Article IV, § 26-15 (Districts and uses), designated "C-1," and "M-1."
2. All types of planned development districts provided for in Article III, § 26-10 (Planned development), and permitted and conditional uses as described in Article IV, § 26-14 (Zoning districts established), and as provided for in Article IV, § 26-15 (Districts and uses). Site plan review for planned development districts shall be conducted in accordance with the process, requirements, and provisions specified in Article III, § 26-10.
3. An application for site plan approval may be filed by an eligible applicant as defined in § 26-8A3a and payment of the filing fee as required by § 26-8A2.

C. Required data. Every site plan submitted for consideration shall be in accordance with the requirements of this section as follows:
1. The site plan shall be of a scale not to be greater than one inch equals 20 feet nor less than one inch equals 200 feet, and of such accuracy that the plan can be readily interpreted, and shall include more than one drawing or specific details where required for clarity.
2. The property shall be identified by lot lines and location, including dimensions, angles, and size, correlated with the legal description of the property. The site plan shall be designed and prepared by a qualified land planner, registered professional architect, engineer, or land surveyor or landscape architect. It shall also include the name and address of the property owner(s), developer(s), and designer(s).
3. It shall show the scale, North point, boundary dimensions, natural features, such as wooded areas, streams, lakes, and storm drains, existing man-made features, such as buildings, structures, easements, high-tension towers, pipelines, excavations, bridges and culverts, and shall identify adjacent properties within 300 feet, their respective zoning, and their existing uses.
4. It shall show the existing topography and finished grade-line elevations at two-foot contour intervals as well as the proposed finished floor elevation for all structures.
5. It shall show the dimensions of the proposed main and accessory buildings, their relation to each other and to any existing structures to remain on the site, the height of all buildings and structures and the distance from all proposed buildings and structures to the nearest adjacent property line.
6. It shall show the existing and proposed streets, driveways, sidewalks and other vehicular and pedestrian circulation features within and adjacent to the site; also the location, size and number of parking spaces in the off-street parking areas and the identification of service lands, service parking, and loading zones in conformance with the requirements set forth in Article VI (Access and Parking) of this chapter.
7. It shall show the location and size of all existing utilities (public and private) serving the property as well as the location and size of all proposed utilities to serve the property. All necessary utilities (public and private) will be available, functioning, and usable at the time any stage of the project or the total project is ready for occupancy.
8. A landscape plan which meets the standards and requirements of Article V (Site and Landscape Design Standards), § 26-20 (Scope; purpose; applicability; conflicts; definitions), and § 26-21 (Landscape design standards), of this chapter shall be included as a part of the site plan submitted.
9. It shall show architectural elevations of all proposed buildings and structures, identifying all materials proposed.
10. A lighting plan which meets the standards and requirements of Article V (Site and Landscape Design Standards), § 26-23 (Site lighting), shall be included as part of the site plan submitted.
11. The location, type, and nature of screening proposed for all trash collection areas.
12. Any other information deemed necessary by the Commission.
13. All plans, architectural drawings, renderings or other materials or visual aids either submitted with the application or presented thereafter shall become the property of the City and part of the permanent record of any approval.
14. Proposed sign types and locations.
15. Building setback lines.
16. Signature blocks.
17. Additional materials as requested by staff, including but not limited to, floor plans.

D. Preapplication meeting. Major site plans are subject to the requirements of § 26-8C.

E. Review procedures.
1. Staff review. The site plan shall be submitted with the application for site plan approval to the Director of Public Services who shall institute an administrative review of the application supporting documents by all affected City departments in compliance with § 26-8D. The results of this review shall be reported to the Planning Commission for its consideration.
2. Upon receiving the site plan application and associated documents, the Planning Commission shall review same at its next regularly scheduled meeting. Written notice of the review shall be completed in conformance with § 26-8E.3.

F. Review criteria. The following factors shall be considered in review of the site plan:
1. The conservation of natural resources on the property proposed for development, including: trees and other living vegetation, steep slopes, watercourses, floodplains, soils, air quality, scenic views and historic sites.
2. The provision of safe and efficient vehicular and pedestrian transportation, both within the development, and the community.
3. The provision of sufficient open space to meet the needs of the proposed development.
4. The provision of adequate drainage facilities on the subject site in order to prevent drainage problems from occurring on the subject site or within the community.
5. The compatibility of the overall site design (location of buildings, parking lots, screening, general landscaping) and the land use within the existing area and projected future development of the area.
6. The existence and/or provision of adequate community facilities to serve the proposed development (i.e. water, sewerage, schools, streets, etc.).
7. Conformance of the site plan with the Comprehensive Plan and any other applicable requirements of this chapter.

G. Findings and approval. In review and approval of a site plan the Planning Commission shall find that the site plan and associated development is consistent with the standards of § 26-12F, above, and will not:
1. Substantially increase traffic hazards or congestion;
2. Adversely affect the character of surrounding commercial uses or adjacent residential uses or of the neighborhood;
3. Substantially increase fire hazards or make difficult access by fire and emergency vehicles;
4. Adversely affect the general welfare of the community; and
5. Overtax public utilities.

H. Administrative adjustments or revisions. Upon review and report by the Director of Public Services, the Planning Commission may grant administrative adjustments during the major site plan review process to provide flexibility where it is clear that an alternative design approach or a minor modification will equally or better meet the intent or design objective of the standard of the review criteria of Subsection F of this section and that the findings of Subsection G of this section are not compromised. Specifically, administrative adjustments apply to:
1. Altering a building standard, such as the height, setback, or area, by 5% or less.
2. Reducing a site design standard, such as a landscape requirement, parking requirement, or open space dimension, by 10% or less.
3. Deviating from a design standard by proposing an alternative design that equally or better meets the intent of the design standard or any performance criteria associated with the standard.

I. Effect of decision. Approval of a major site plan shall authorize the applicant to apply for a building permit, and other applicable permits subject to the following:
1. The site plan approval shall expire and be of no effect 180 days after the date of approval thereof, unless, within such time, a building permit for any proposed work authorized under the site plan approval has been issued. The site plan approval shall expire and be of no effect 365 days after the date of its issuance, if construction has not begun and been pursued diligently on the property. Upon recommendation and report of the Director of Public Services, the Planning Commission may grant an extension for up to one additional year and shall report any such extension to the Board of Aldermen.
2. The filing of a site plan shall constitute an agreement by the owner and applicant, their heirs, successors, and assigns, that if the site plan is approved by the Board of Aldermen, and permits issued for the improvement of such property that all activities subsequent thereto shall be in conformance with the approved site plan for the property in question. The approved site plan shall have the full force and effect of the Zoning Ordinance. Any violations shall be grounds for the Director of Public Services to issue stop-work orders, withhold further permits, and take all actions necessary for the enforcement of the approved site plan.
3. Prior to the issuance of any building permit, or permit authorizing the use of the property in question, the property owner shall record a copy of the approved site plan, legal description of the property, out-boundary survey, and all other plan sheets, along with any subsequent amendments, with the County Recorder of Deeds.

J. Appeal. Appeal of the Planning Commission's decision can be made to the Board of Aldermen in accordance with the procedures outlined in § 26-8H.

K. Power of review. The Board of Aldermen may utilize its power of review authority outlined in Article III, § 26-8K for applications in this section.