What is a Site Plan?

What is a Site Plan?

Definition: Often referred to as a plot plan, a site plan is a legible map or residential diagram that displays a plot of land and any outside elements such as fences, infrastructure, or structures, as well as the topography of the surrounding terrain. The use of these diagrams is frequently required by county and state governments to ensure that local construction codes are obeyed when landowners make significant renovations to their properties.

Continue reading if you’re looking for knowledge that can assist you in constructing your site plan. Everything you need to know about it is right here for your convenience. If you’re seeking material to assist you with creating your site plan, keep reading. Everything you need to know about it is right here for your convenience.

A site plan is an architectural drawing that depicts the proposed changes to a particular land. It will usually contain what is already on the property and what you wish to add (such as landscape features or a garage). A site plan must show the relationship between what exists and what you intend to add. Site plans aren’t all made equal.

Different zoning authorities have additional requirements. Some authorities, for example, demand that you engage a land surveyor or engineer. Other times, you are permitted to sketch your plan on graph paper. Check with the local permits agency to clarify the approach you should take.

A site plan, in general, is a detailed plan that shows the intended changes or additions to a specific piece of land. When making alterations to a property, local governments demand site plans to verify that local and state building rules are followed. It also aids in the preservation of plans for historical records, mainly when landowners make significant alterations to the site.

The purpose of Site Plan

A site plan depicts a property’s anticipated development with the parcel’s and surrounding area’s characteristics. It will not only give a broad understanding of how planned structures will be used, but it will also allow building officials to compare these constructions to local building and zoning laws.

A site plan ensures that any nearby utilities (schools, sewers, roads, water, and emergency services) are up to code for whatever you’re proposing to construct. This is necessary if you want to change your property since you want to make sure you’re following zoning restrictions to avoid penalties and issues when it comes time to sell. Furthermore, if you install something without following the proper zoning or building rules, your insurance coverage will most likely not cover it.

The Difference between a Site Plan and a Floor Plan

When you hear the term “site plan,” you might think of “floor plan,” but the two are not interchangeable. A floor plan depicts the layout of rooms in a single story of a structure, whereas a site plan depicts the design of the entire property.

Things you need to know if you need Site Plan

How can you tell if your property needs a site plan? Here’s a brief checklist you can follow to see if one is essential in your situation.

If you’re trying to figure out how big your house is.
If you’re displaying your home with your property lines.
A site plan might help you note instructions and avoid confusion if you want a road map for having yard work done.
If you’re planning a new roofline, this is an excellent place to start.
You can submit a drawing of the overhanging encroachment to the city as an exhibit if you’re having encroachment difficulties with a neighbor.
If you’re thinking about renovating your landscaping, start with a site plan and figure out what you want to maintain and what you want to get rid of.
If you want to create a new outdoor structure, you’ll need building permission.
If you want to demolish your house or any structure, you’ll need a demolition permit.
If you’re asking for a building permit in a city that requires tree protection, site drawings will help planning departments evaluate if any additional tree protection is required.
If you want to get rid of or rebuild your swimming pool.

The Inclusion of a Site Plan

Different jurisdictions have different standards, but a site plan often includes the following categories of information:

Your name and mailing address: This fundamental and essential information will be included in your site plan.

Legal description: Include your range, township, tax lot, and section in your lawful report.

Metes and bounds, rectangular survey systems, and lot and block are the three primary types of legal descriptions.

Scale: The plan must be drawn to scale.

Cardinal direction: The North (cardinal rule) must be included in the plan to show how your property is orientated.

Property lines: On the plan, your property lines are necessary.

Location details: Details about your driveway and neighboring roadways should be included in your plan.

Structures on the property, both existing and proposed: Your plan should include both existing and prospective systems on the property.

Creating the Site Plan

Professional computer-aided drafting software is often used to develop a site layout, saving time and money.

It produces engineered accuracy that you would not be able to obtain from a hand-drawn site plan diagram in any other way.

Type of guidelines you need to follow

According to the building authority in your location, the particular guidelines you should follow are determined by the following. However, the following is a summary of some general guidelines:

Your plan must be drawn to scale to be effective.
Every dimension should be displayed and labeled.
The plan should include both the property lines and all necessary measurements.
Lines should be utilized to distinguish between existing and proposed structures rather than solid lines.
The plan must always include any existing structures that are required (proposed walkways and patios)
It is also vital to add large trees on the site (i.e., if they have a diameter of more than 2 feet)

Where to get a site plan for a property

While making changes to your property or when trying to sell your house, you’ll need a copy of your site plan on hand to show prospective buyers. If, on the other hand, you have never had it on hand before, you may be perplexed as to where to find it.

Here are a few areas where you might be able to find a copy without even knowing it:

Closing paperwork is included. The documents you received when you purchased your property should have included a copy of your site plan if one was available at the time of your acquisition.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your mortgage lender or title insurance provider if you cannot locate the information in the closing documents. They may have copies of the documents that they can send you. Especially if it has been many years since you acquired your home, you should verify the site plan supplied to you to confirm that it is still an accurate representation of the land.

Administration of the county Several counties will keep copies of residential site designs to check that they comply with local building codes and rules. Local governments may give you a printed copy of your site plan or an electronic version that you can download and print.

Once again, if this is the method you choose, you’ll need to double-check that the information is up to date and that your property is still accurately represented. Keep in mind that you will almost certainly be required to pay a service fee as well.

A company engaged in construction. The builder or construction business that constructed the structures on your land (e.g., your house) may have a site plan on file that they can provide you with upon request. However, whether or not this is a profitable path will often rely on how much time has elapsed since the beginning of the search. Again, if you chance to acquire one from the construction business, make sure to double-check its accuracy before using it.

Providers of online services If you cannot obtain a site plan from any of the sources listed above, it may be necessary to look into alternative sources of information. One such example is the employment of a land surveyor to create a new site plan. This, however, can be pretty pricey.

The other option is to acquire a site plan from an online service that creates a site plan using up-to-date satellite imagery, nation parcel maps, and other resources for a significantly lesser cost than a traditional site plan.

Elements of a Good Site Plan

We outlined the absolute bare minimum of what should be included in a site plan. However, suppose you want your site plan to cover everything (rather than just the essential minimum). In that case, this is a fantastic guide to follow to ensure that your project goes above and beyond the bare necessities.

A site map should include project data, a map of the surrounding area, and bullet points directing people to specific locations and acronyms.
Property lines should be marked on the plan around the lot’s perimeter to indicate where the property lines are located.
Setbacks are the distances between a building and the boundary of its property line.
Fence lines, utility lines, and power lines should all be depicted on your site map, as well as any suggested improvements.
Building construction limits: On your plan, indicate the area of the property where the construction will take place, as well as the area where you will be reserving land for equipment parking and storage.
Parking: A good plan should depict the parking dimensions, including parking spots, turning places, and the flow of traffic. Urban and high-traffic locations are frequently where this is most relevant.
What is the function of your property concerning the streets and avenues that surround it, as well as the street signs that direct traffic?
What are the specific dimensions of driveways and curbs?
What are the exact dimensions of sidewalks? Make sure to include these in your business plan!

Fire hydrants: According to city ordinances, your property must be at least a certain distance away from fire hydrants. When submitting a new building site plan for approval to the city, make sure to include these as part of the plan.

Easements should always be included in site plans. This is a feature of your property that is used by someone else for a specified purpose and is located on your land. If your property has a route leading to your local park, this should be included in your plan.

Landscaped areas: What landscape characteristics do you intend to incorporate (or do you already have) in your project’s landscaped areas? Deciduous trees, desert landscapes, and retaining walls are just a few examples of what you may do with them.

Factors to take into consideration

Certain sections of your site plan may be required to be included depending on your area and zoning regulations. To guarantee that your site plan consists of all required, you should double-check with your local government before putting it together. To assist you in putting up your proposal, the following are some general guidelines to consider:

Zoning ordinances and other local restrictions
Utilities are available on the premises.
Access to the property
Topography
Natural light
Views
Wind
Vegetation
Drainage and soils
Information about the topography
The location of all existing and projected constructions is listed in the following bullet.
Location and dimensions of any access points, such as driveways and walkways.
Any necessary road improvements will be made.
Landscaping areas and upgrades that are now in place and those that are being considered

How does a Site Plan help you?

Having a detailed site plan allows your local government to determine whether or not you are complying with local building rules and assists you in your planning efforts. It will assist you in communicating your construction ideas to both the city and your builder or contractor through the use of a site plan.

Additionally, if you have some agencies that cannot visit the construction site, you will explain your thoughts succinctly. Your site plan provides a complete and correct set of goals, which expedites the plan review process and allows the project to begin as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest level of quality.

In the event of a disagreement about the current or projected structures on your property, having a site plan ensures that you, your contractor, and the city are all on the same page. While the site plan and review process can be only formalities, the site plan and review process is intended to protect landowners. It is ultimately in your best interests to follow the rules and regulations.