Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Site plan amendments

  1. #1
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Land of Confusion
    Posts
    3,766

    Site plan amendments

    Site plan amendments/changes are probably the most common type of application in my jurisdiction and we are looking at a more streamlined review process without ignoring the input of concerned parties such as the Utility dept., Fire dept, and Engineering. A typical situation is the addition of a parking area, the moving of a dumpster, relocation of landscaping/signs, etc. Often it'll be someone wanting to put up a fence on a commercial site.

    We've been telling people that they need to amend the existing site plans in order to do these things. The logic is that that the changes need to be reviewed again by all parties at the DRC (development review committee) but this process can be time-consuming and ineffective. To make matters worse some departments see the new reviews as an opportunity to hammer applicants with new fees (fire department is the worst )

    So how flexible is your process for site plan changes/amendments? Do you require a development review committee or board to review minor changes? Or do these applications have to go before your PZB or elected board? Perhaps planners grant approvals administratively. Anything would be better than the crappy process we have, thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2005
    Location
    The Gig City
    Posts
    2,677
    Good question.

    Our department hands out 'conditional approvals' probably 60% of the time. That is to say when the conditions are met you get approval. Everything is then taken care of administratively from that point by myself. Often times there are changes that happen and it really is a case by case basis. Sometimes it's easy changes like 10 more parking spaces, or 1000 sf more building area. But sometimes it's minor like a driveway shifting 2 feet, or same parking different interior circulation, or the best is land scape changes. If it wasn't required by my board and changed I look at the intent and then base it on a few things. If it was a subdivision and the lots don't change we'll continue the original approval, sometimes things happen and we will just bring it before the board again and update the conditions (they have sometimes met some of them) and withdrawal the old approval. Site plans it's really like I said the case by case basis. I don't try to hammer fees out of people but there are cases you just need to cover your butt and bring it back to the board.

    As for dealing with other departments I don't know because all fees are collected by my department not others. They get all their information and all their responses come back to my board through my desk. Good luck with the FD they always like to get their pound of flesh.

    We have the catch all language on the approval/conditional approval letter that states "If this application is resubmitted with substantial revisions a new application orm, fee, and appropriate number of plans must be submitted in order to initiate any further action by this Board."
    @GigCityPlanner

  3. #3
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Land of Confusion
    Posts
    3,766
    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post

    Often times there are changes that happen and it really is a case by case basis. Sometimes it's easy changes like 10 more parking spaces, or 1000 sf more building area. But sometimes it's minor like a driveway shifting 2 feet, or same parking different interior circulation, or the best is land scape changes. If it wasn't required by my board and changed I look at the intent and then base it on a few things.
    Does this mean you have the power to approve these things administratively? Do you give other depts the opportunity to review the applications?

  4. #4
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,776
    For projects that have gone to a review board (Plan Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Design Commission, etc.), we can approve minor changes to an approved plan provided there is still substantial compliance with the approved plan.

    For projects that are 'as-of-right' (ie just with permits), then we review the plans for compliance with the applicable zoning code requirements (landscaping, parking space size, drive aisle widths, setbacks, etc.) and if they meet the requirements, then we approve the projects.

    Other dept's concerns are handled through the permit review process - of which planning/zoning review is but one step.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cal_Planner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Bay Area (Northern California)
    Posts
    99
    I am in the process of writng a staff report for a request for an amended conditional use permit. I've been instructed to use the same case number and just call it "amended CUP xxx-xxx"

    should the staff report be an amended version of the previous staff report -- with strike-out editing and insertions -- or should the staff report be a new report and refer to the old report? I would prefer the later but will ask my supervisor tomorrow (FYI: I'm fresh out of school). ....
    Cheers!

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Northern Chicago Suburb
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    Site plan amendments/changes are probably the most common type of application in my jurisdiction and we are looking at a more streamlined review process without ignoring the input of concerned parties such as the Utility dept., Fire dept, and Engineering. A typical situation is the addition of a parking area, the moving of a dumpster, relocation of landscaping/signs, etc. Often it'll be someone wanting to put up a fence on a commercial site.

    We've been telling people that they need to amend the existing site plans in order to do these things. The logic is that that the changes need to be reviewed again by all parties at the DRC (development review committee) but this process can be time-consuming and ineffective. To make matters worse some departments see the new reviews as an opportunity to hammer applicants with new fees (fire department is the worst )

    So how flexible is your process for site plan changes/amendments? Do you require a development review committee or board to review minor changes? Or do these applications have to go before your PZB or elected board? Perhaps planners grant approvals administratively. Anything would be better than the crappy process we have, thanks.
    Unfortunately, I cannot help you out much as we have not been given much if any administrative review power by our elected officials. One of the problems is that we have what I would call a "rotating staff" which rotates every 2 to 3 years. Sucks for the department, but after being here for 2 years, I understand why people start to leave...anyways, Site Plan...if someone is proposing to add 100 square feet to an existing building, they would be required to go through the Site Plan approval process, which we would move through fairly quickly (1.5 months). So we pretty much make the applicants get everything approved.

    I think it depends on the department stability over the years because if you have a planner who has been there for 15 years, I think you would have a little more power to make some administrative decisions...I am just a young punk who doesn't know what he is doing!

    Good luck.

    Quote Originally posted by Cal_Planner View post
    I am in the process of writng a staff report for a request for an amended conditional use permit. I've been instructed to use the same case number and just call it "amended CUP xxx-xxx"

    should the staff report be an amended version of the previous staff report -- with strike-out editing and insertions -- or should the staff report be a new report and refer to the old report? I would prefer the later but will ask my supervisor tomorrow (FYI: I'm fresh out of school). ....
    If it is a totally new application, I would think about writing a new report, with references to the previous report. You may even want to add the old report as part of the packet material. I think that if you go through the whole report and start crossing things out, it will get confusing. I know that my Plan Commission would not be for something like this...but again, what does your Plan Commission want? What does your boss want?

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    in a meeting
    Posts
    8,757
    we have a minor site plan provision that includes modifications to previously approved (by the Board) site plans - I have the authority to approve these in my position -

    I also can beam them back to the Board if I think it's not very "minor" or if I am on the fence (just did this last night) and need their guidance (in this case, I just throw it on the agenda under my report at the end of the meeting) -

    I have 30 days to review a minor site plan, so I notify abutters and hold a Development Review Team meeting (with departments) to get comments -

    It's more streamlined that a major site plan review process with the Board, which takes 3 months

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sebago. Maine
    Posts
    1

    an approved subdivision name change

    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    we have a minor site plan provision that includes modifications to previously approved (by the Board) site plans - I have the authority to approve these in my position -

    I also can beam them back to the Board if I think it's not very "minor" or if I am on the fence (just did this last night) and need their guidance (in this case, I just throw it on the agenda under my report at the end of the meeting) -

    I have 30 days to review a minor site plan, so I notify abutters and hold a Development Review Team meeting (with departments) to get comments -

    It's more streamlined that a major site plan review process with the Board, which takes 3 months
    Would you consider a subdivision name change to an subdivision approved twenty years ago a "minor change". If so what would be the procedure? Thanks, I would appreciate any comments.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 6
    Last post: 03 Oct 2011, 10:08 AM
  2. Administration / review / process Site plan expirations
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 05 May 2011, 8:46 AM
  3. A new idea on a completed site plan
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 18
    Last post: 03 Aug 2010, 8:42 PM
  4. Replies: 1
    Last post: 12 Aug 2009, 4:42 PM
  5. Replies: 9
    Last post: 03 Aug 2005, 4:23 PM