How to get a site plan permit

Are you diving into a residential construction or renovation endeavor with a mix of excitement, anticipation, and perhaps a touch of apprehension? If you’re not partnering closely with a seasoned drafting company from the outset, the process of securing a building permit might throw a few curveballs your way, potentially stalling progress and causing headaches. One aspect often misunderstood in residential permitting is the necessity of a site plan. Most regions mandate the submission of a site plan alongside any new building permit application, regardless of whether the project involves significant land alteration. Many homeowners are caught off guard by this requirement and find themselves wondering why it’s needed and how to go about obtaining one. We’re here to demystify this process and equip you with the resources needed to navigate through permitting hurdles, propelling you towards the more rewarding stages of your residential construction project.

A site plan is a meticulously crafted document drawn to a standardized engineering scale, depicting crucial details concerning a property and its current and proposed structures. It goes beyond simply outlining lot boundaries, structures, and property lines; it also delineates features such as septic tanks, wells, drain fields, adjacent rights-of-way, private roads, easements, and their respective setbacks. Additionally, it maps out any Native Growth Protection Areas, water bodies, or steep slopes present on the property. Most jurisdictions stipulate a comprehensive site plan as a prerequisite for obtaining a building permit. Exceptions are occasionally made for permits related to roofing, siding, mechanical or plumbing work only, and demolition.

Every jurisdiction imposes its own set of requirements regarding what should be included in a site plan. Some may necessitate a separate plan detailing temporary erosion and sedimentation control for specific projects, in addition to plans for building, drainage, and critical areas. It’s crucial to gather information about these requirements directly from your jurisdiction or from a consultant well-versed in such matters prior to initiating the permitting process, to avoid potential revisions and delays.

Information regarding site plan requirements is typically available on the jurisdiction’s website. Some jurisdictions categorize requirements based on project size or complexity, mandating less detail for straightforward residential projects and greater detail for more intricate ones. In smaller jurisdictions where such information may not be readily available online, a visit to the local planning office may be necessary to obtain the appropriate checklists for your site plan.