Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Student Project - Creating a Site Plan

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2

    Student Project - Creating a Site Plan

    A few college students and I are just beginning a project that involves creating a site plan for an existing property in our downtown. The property has many issues to deal with, such as the railroad tracks that run through the middle of the it. Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone could give us some advice on the finer aspects of doing a site plan-things we should keep in mind or just general things we should know.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Nether
    Posts
    193
    My first question on a project like this is: what is the purpose of the site plan? I'm actually working on an environmental site plan for a golf course now, and that was my first question. That really dictated the contents and direction of the plan.

    So, is it for redevelopment? Is this a physical site plan where you will be showing things like utility lines, building setbacks, etc, or are you geared more towards creating a plan for an attractive use of the property, like including a pocket park?
    ...Moving at the speed of local government

  3. #3
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Machesney Park, IL
    Posts
    1,437
    I don't think I know enough about your assignment to give really good advice, but since it is for a downtown I imagine the prof. is looking for a lot of mixed-use, for all types of people, for all hours of the day. You should have offices, shops/restaurants, entertainment and housing. Have places for people to park (cars and bikes), make it walkable, and have plenty of nice greenspace/public courtyards.

    Sounds like a fun project.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,836
    I agree with what has been said, we need the who, what, when, why, where, and how.

    The following books have come in handy for me, both as a student and as a site planner (check for newer editions).

    [I]Site Analysis[/I by James LaGro (2002).

    Time-Saver Standards for Site Planning by De Chiara & Koppelman.

    Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture (the Site Planning and LA reference books have some overlap)

    Land Development Handbook: Planning Engineering, and Surveying by Dewberry & Davis (1996).

    Plan Graphics by Theodore D. Walker (1977). This is a great book to use if you are conveying site impact analysis using hand-drawn graphics.

    Planner's Estimating Guide: Projecting Land-Use and Facility Needs by Arthur C. Nelson. (2004). This book has a CD with spreadsheets that will help dtermine needs based on your scenario. I bought it for myself but it still seems pretty complicating, haven't really touched it in the past few months.

    ULI also has several books on requirements for commercial, office, residential, and mixed use developments.

    They may or may not within a hands reach (depending on what school you are going to and the size of your planning library). Search the internet for cheaper used versions. If you are going into site design after school, these are good reference books to have on hand.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2
    The site plan we are working on has two purposes - one is the physical site plan part of it that shows setbacks, coverage, etc. The other part of it is to develop the property for an attractive use - I believe we are trying to make it into one of the anchors for the district we are working in. So we could use advice on both of these kinds of site plans. Also, for the who, how and when part of it, I guess I partly posted this thread for that reason. If the city owned the property - who else would we be working with if we were to see this thing through? What are the politics involved?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,836
    Quote Originally posted by gravjm28 View post
    The site plan we are working on has two purposes - one is the physical site plan part of it that shows setbacks, coverage, etc. The other part of it is to develop the property for an attractive use - I believe we are trying to make it into one of the anchors for the district we are working in. So we could use advice on both of these kinds of site plans. Also, for the who, how and when part of it, I guess I partly posted this thread for that reason. If the city owned the property - who else would we be working with if we were to see this thing through? What are the politics involved?
    I am going to dissect this a little bit further:

    1. What is coverage? Is it parking lot coverage, building envelopes, floor area ratio?
    2. What do you mean by develop? Do you need to provide conceptual renderings of buildings? Are you putting together financial incentives to increase businesses? Are you providing detailed engineering plans including grading, stormwater, and lighting? Are you subdividing the land?
    3. What is district? Are you talking about a zoning district such as commercial or downtown commercial? Or is it an overlay district?
    4. When you say one of the anchors are there more than one? Are there other anchors within the project site or are these anchors located off site?
    5. What is an attractive use? Is it a compatible use, an aesthetically pleasing use, or a lucrative, tax-generating use?
    6. You had mentioned this is a city property. Does this city plan on owning the final product or selling to a private owner(s)?

    You will be working with city staff, which would probably include people from the planning department, building department, engineering department, public works department, administrative department, the city council, planning commission, and the ZBA. You will also be working with key business leaders and the general public and the media. From the private side there are any possible combinations including engineering, architecture, stormwater, historic preservation, retail analysis, landscape architecture, etc.

    As for politics...who knows lol. No two communities are the same so I couldn't answer that, but your professor might be able to help (provided he has experience in the local planning process). Don't think I am trying to rip your project apart, but these are some of the questions I would need answers for in order to start preparing a site plan. Hopefully you can understand the intent of these questions.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    35

    Trolly

    Could you run a Trolly on those tracks? Its for school so be creative!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,960
    Start with a quick look at the city's zoning by-law for development standards.(yard setbacks, LOS, parking. lot coverage)
    Draw in the building envelope, based on above
    Find out what the control lines are for the railroad track.
    Add this to the sketch
    Find out if there are any easements on the site.
    Add these to the sketch
    Find out how big of building is economical for the proposed development
    Figure out the floor plate size needed
    Cut out a template and start moving it around the site to see where it fits.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Article: Site of the Day: The Codes Project
    Front Page Article Comments
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 04 Jun 2012, 10:29 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last post: 14 Dec 2011, 9:41 AM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last post: 25 Apr 2008, 11:48 AM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last post: 26 Feb 2007, 2:53 PM
  5. actually creating a plan.
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 12
    Last post: 27 Mar 2004, 5:21 PM