SITE PLAN REVIEW and APPROVAL
One of Many Preconstruction Activities
Obtaining Site Plan Approval from a local unit of government can seem like a daunting task, and is just one of many preconstruction tasks often required for commercial projects.
Though the site plan approval process varies by jurisdiction, A.R. Brouwer Company has broken it down into four general steps.
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Contact the local jurisdiction responsible for your site plan approval and gather information regarding meeting dates, required approvals and fees. You can often find this information on your jurisdiction’s website, or contact the building department directly. The sooner you gather this information, the better. You will likely need to enlist a civil engineer and architect for required site plan documents. Including a qualified builder at this point can also be of benefit to project owners as it creates a team approach to your project at this very early stage, typically leading to reduced costs overall and a fast-tracked project schedule.
After submitting your Site Plan Review Application and required materials, engineering and jurisdictional review comments will be provided. It is important to address these comments and required plan revisions prior to presenting your project to the Planning Commission, and Township or City Board. In some cases there are both preliminary and final site plan reviews. Inquire with your local jurisdiction as to whether these two approvals can be combined into one.
Following site plan approval by both the Planning Commission and Township or City Board, your project should be nearing the active construction phase. There will likely be fees, insurance, bonds and various permits (including zoning, soil erosion, building, right of way, MDEQ) that need to be submitted and approved before construction can begin.
Once permits have been issued and you have submitted all required insurance, bonds and fees to your jurisdiction, you can finally begin construction. An important note at this point: even though your project is now approved based on the site plan application materials, your design team may still be working to finalize construction documents. Depending on your arrangement with your design and construction teams, your project may or may not be ready to break ground.
As you can see there are many moving parts in the site plan approval process. The process varies per project and location, and the selection of your design and construction teams can make a big difference in how smoothly your approval process goes. A.R. Brouwer Company has over 17 years of experience with navigating site plan approvals, and recommends that project owners allow at least 4-6 months to complete the process. Contact A. R. Brouwer for more information at (734) 426-9980.
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