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Thread: Quality Standards for Applicant Drawings

  1. #1

    Quality Standards for Applicant Drawings

    As a member of the local planning commission, I recently had a situation where an applicant submitted drawings for a planned unit development which he obviously prepared himself with a ball point pen and crayons. As it turns out, our ordinance does not set standards for applicant drawings.

    Does anyone know of a set of quality standards for applicant drawings which have been enacted in state planning law or local ordinance. I would be grateful for the URL to the enacted language and any case studies that upheld the standards.

    Dan Yurman, member
    Idaho Falls, ID, Planning Commission
    djysrv@yahoo.com

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Welcome to Cyburbia!

    I used to get back-of-napkin and back-of-shopping-bag submittals, too.

    Personally, I don't believe in codifying submittal requirements, or any part of the development review process that occurs exclusively on the planner's side of the counter. If you decide that it might be a good idea to have ... oh, photometric drawings, and it's not part of the codified requirements, there's not much you can do. A developer will point to the code, say they're not required, and that's it.

    Here's how submittal requirements are regulated in the LDC I wrote.


    101.1 Submittal requirements

    The Town Planner is empowered to set submittal and processing requirements for all land use requests, including application forms; letters of description and justification; required plans, elevations, maps. surveys, and plats and their details; copy size and number; renderings and photo simulations; studies and reports; sample building materials; site posting, and other supplemental information required to fully review all aspects of a land use request.

    Submittal requirements for a land use type must be well-defined and applied consistently.

    101.2 Development review schedule

    The Town Planner is empowered to set a schedule to be followed when processing land use requests, including submittal and resubmittal dates, meeting dates, and deadlines.

    Deadline. posting and notification dates must conform to Land Development Code requirements and state law.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    welcome aboard, and it will be interesting to hear views from the other side of the table.

    Our zoning by-law (code) allows the Development Officer to make the final determination on the suitability of drawings presented. (ie it says to the satisfaction of the Development officer).

    I typically make a judgement call, based on the scale of the development. For simple variances in residential neighbourhoods a sketch on a survey plan is good enough, or drawing something out on graph paper is usually fine, for larger commercial and industrial projects they must be drawn to scale and clearly represent what is being requested. This does not stop a person from doing it themseleves, but I am less forgiving vs a person wanting a 2 foot variance in side yard for their home.

    Our By-law specifically says:

    3.8 DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS
    SITE PLAN
    3.8.1 Wherever this By-law requires a site plan to be submitted, the submission of a site plan shall be to the satisfaction of the Development Officer and provide the following:
    a) details of property dimensions and related street lines, including locational identifiers;
    b) location, dimension and size (including number of units, height, floor area, etc.) of all proposed buildings and accessory buildings;
    c) parking lot and driveway access layout including loading areas and dimensions;
    d) dimensions of all yards and distances between adjacent buildings;
    e) landscaping, including screening and other natural and artificial features (including easements, railway lines, power lines, watercourses, culverts, drainage, ditches, etc.);
    f) designation of any proposed public or private roads;
    g) scale, dimensions and orientation;
    h) provisions for drainage of the site, to the satisfaction of the City;
    i) where appropriate elevation and perspective drawings of any buildings or structures; and
    j) other information as deemed necessary by the Development Officer.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Here are links to documents i 1) created or 2) co created at my last job when we did a total overhaul of our development review process. I belive Planning mag or some such did a write up on parts of it and how we developed an online tracking system etc etc

    anyway hope they help and please feel free to PM me if you need more info.

    http://www.ci.greensboro.nc.us/plann...tionForm_1.pdf

    http://www.ci.greensboro.nc.us/plann...over_sheet.pdf

    http://www.ci.greensboro.nc.us/plann...pful_hints.pdf

    PG
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  5. #5
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Here's ours - it requires a licensed architect/engineer to submit the site plan. We used to get napkin drawings too, and even still get some crappy ones, then they get mad at me because I won't submit it to the PC. The end of the list - item V - states 'any other items as determined by the Review Committee (myself, the engineer, and someone from the BPU)', so we can make them put in other items even if they are not listed here.
    *************************
    1265.05 SITE PLAN CONTENTS.
    The site plan shall be drawn at a scale which is appropriate to the development and which is easily readable. The site plan shall contain the following information, unless compliance is waived by the Zoning Administrator:
    (a) A vicinity map illustrating the location of the site within the City.
    (b) Structures and lot lines within 100 feet of the boundaries of the site.
    (c) The date the site plan was prepared.
    (d) The name, address and professional seal of the preparer.
    (e) A north arrow.
    (f) Existing elevations at a minimum of two-foot intervals and the site's relationship to adjoining property.
    (g) Property lines, dimensions and building setback distances.
    (h) The location of existing and proposed buildings and their intended uses, as well as the length, width and height of each building.
    (i) The location of abutting streets, rights of way, drives, curb cuts and access easements serving the site.
    (j) Proposed elevations at two-foot intervals and the direction of drainage flow.
    (k) The location and size of all water and sanitary sewer lines and storm drainage lines, as well as fire hydrants and catch basins.
    (l) The location of all sidewalks, bike paths and other walkways.
    (m) The location and size of any walls, fences or other screening provisions.
    (n) The location of all proposed landscape materials, including the size and types of plantings.
    (o) The location of all proposed accessory structures, including light poles, flag poles, storage sheds, transformers, dumpsters and signs.
    (p) Proposed parking areas and access drives, showing the number and size of spaces and aisles.
    (q) The location of utility easements.
    (r) The location and type of significant existing vegetation.
    (s) Watercourses and water bodies, including County and City drains and man-made surface drainageways, floodplains and wetlands.
    (t) Zoning on adjacent properties.
    (u) Storage and containment areas, if the use of hazardous substances is involved.
    (v) Other items as deemed necessary by the Planning Review Committee in order to ensure that the proposed development is in compliance with this Zoning Code and other local ordinances, as well as State and Federal statutes.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    We haven't codified our standards, but the Plan Commission has braod authority in requirings submittlas "deemed necessary in the processing of the petition". If they don't like the professionalism, they lay it on the table and tell the guy.

    More than once, my Commission has said "You wouldn't defend yourself in a murder trial. Don't defend yourself here. We're the most critical jury you'll ever encounter."

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    You can tell them what scale to make the drawing, what the ordinance requiremtns are, etc. but you can't force someone to buy and AutoCAD license and learn how to use it.

    Alot of plans are still prepared by draftsman who don't even know how to turn a computer on. I've found that these guys, while their hands may be a little shaky nowadays, are usually the most knowledgeable people you will ever deal with.

    Says something for doing things the old fashioned way.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    We still get a lot of hand drawn site plans, most of which are very professionally done. Usually the ones we run into problems with are those done on AutoCad by someone who doesn't give a crap and just slaps some stuff down on the plan.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by Mike D.
    You can tell them what scale to make the drawing, what the ordinance requiremtns are, etc. but you can't force someone to buy and AutoCAD license and learn how to use it.
    We Do! Check this out:

    http://www.ci.muskego.wi.us/resoluti...les+attach.pdf

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I wouldn't be too hard on most people who bring in hand-drawn plans, provided a few things:
    - the project is generally small, such as improvements by a homeowner,
    - the plan is to scale and shows the detail necessary for the plan board to make their decision,
    - the submission is accompanied by a dozen good donuts (muffins or cookies may also be accepted).
    If it is anything like a subdivision, or a commercial project, I would want professional drawings.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Originally posted by bturk


    We Do! Check this out:

    http://www.ci.muskego.wi.us/resoluti...les+attach.pdf
    And none of the old-timers btich and moan about that?

    I just see something like that putting some older engineer who has worked out his house for 50 years out of business.

    Oh well, guess that's why Social Security exists.

    Wait, that says they need to be digitally submitted. So could I hand draw somehting, and scan it in and give it to you as a .jpeg?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Of course some complain. Some can't do business here anymore. Others benefit. That's life. Adapt or Die.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by Mike D.

    Wait, that says they need to be digitally submitted. So could I hand draw somehting, and scan it in and give it to you as a .jpeg?
    Any file can be scanned and saved as a DXF file. But that doesn't put into proper datum (State Plane Coordinates etc).
    Did you see the attached layering scheme? Can't do that with a scan.

    The whole point is to make the developer pay the cost of updating our digital cadastral and GIS files. If they can't provide the data, we do offer to do it and charge them the actual cost of our update. About 90% do the work and submit it digitally though.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Originally posted by Mike D.
    You can tell them what scale to make the drawing, what the ordinance requiremtns are, etc. but you can't force someone to buy and AutoCAD license and learn how to use it.

    We require AutoCAD drawings as well. If someone turns in something "the old fashioned way", it's up to them to take it and get it digitized as well. It's the only way we can keep our GIS up to date on the *very limited* staff we have.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Originally posted by bturk



    Did you see the attached layering scheme? Can't do that with a scan.

    Duh, didn't scroll down.

    I'd fight you on this one though. We have our own Layer standards we do our plans in. If I had to change the whole thing just to submit to you, then change it back for our guys to build, you'd cost me alot of money. I think out attorney could find some legal issues regarding you being able to tell me what name my layers.

    Do you require the layers to be specific colors and linetypes too?

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