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Site planning techniques

jbresner

Member
Messages
3
Points
0
I'm an architect student taking a site planning course and was wondering if I could get some expertise from some professionals.

I'm working on a project investigating a site and providing an analysis of it. The final project will include analysis of both natural and man-made/cultural factors. Of the man-made/cultural factors, I'm trying to figure out the best way to approach zoning issues and legal constraints as they pertain to the site.

Right now, I'm collecting the materials (zoning map, master plan for site (it's my campus that's being investigated for the project), a GLUP, and a plat.

What I've come up with so far to analyze regarding zoning and legal constraints for this site are:
1. Indicate which ordinances affect the site's development and how they affect it.
2. Indicate adjacent property data (owner, zoning, demographics)

Is there anything else I could or should be doing?

Thanks for the help
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
Awww :) He called us professionals!!!

hahha just kidding.

Some other things that should be taken into consideration:

Soils - are the soils on the site appropriate for the use of the property. You should get a soil survey of the land.

Transportation - Does the site have adequate access from public roads for traffic to and from the proposed development.

Utilities - is the location served by utilities, and do they have the capacity to service any proposed development.

Topo map - are they extreme elevation changes on the property? Would the proposed development grade the site damn near flat, which would cost more $$$$. Would the municipalitiy allow a parcel to be graded? Our ordinance states that natural features (tree's, topography, etc.) should be preserved to the best of ability.

I think this should be a good start anyway.....

Christine
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
I'm not sure how detailed your project is going to be, but if you want it to be good there is alot more you need to lok at. Local ordinances simply tell you how you are to build on a site.

You need to check topography, is the site flat, steep, etc. Can you even build on the site with its natural resources? Where is the ESHWT, can you build basements or do you have to use crawl spaces? Is the area sewered? If so, can you tap in? And is there room at the treatment facility for your EDUs? If the site is not sewered do you have decent soils to put septics in? Public water? If not you have to drill wells, the lots will have to be designed so the septic beds are 100' from the well. Do you need a traffic study to mitigate any traffic impacts your site will generate? How are you going to handle stormwater? Retention on detention, direct discharge to a nearby stream? What types of permitting do you have to do, DEP, Highway Occupancy, Stream and wetlands encroachment. Do you need a natural diversity inventory? If you are in an area anywhere near the habitat of something near extinction you will, and if they find anyting on your site you will be limited on what you can do.

There are alot of things you need to address before you ever droop a blade to the soil and start building, and every site is unique so you will always have other issues to address. My point is, local ordinances are just the type of the iceburg.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
Are there any historical features on or near the site? Environmental concerns? And thumb through Site Planning by Kevin Lynch.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
For clarification: are you analysing the site for suitable land uses or do you actually have a use in mind and are actually doing the site plan?
 

jbresner

Member
Messages
3
Points
0
For this project, we are just assessing the site. Finding out what factors it has. I should also clarify, I only am concerned with zoning and legal constraints. I understand about slope, soil (geology), hydrology, traffic patterns, etc....

I was assigned to track down the following documents:

1.GLUP
2. a plat
3. The campus master plan
4. a zoning map

Now I guess from the zoning map, I can figure out what restrictions there are to construction, etc for the campus site (and adjacent properties). From the plat, I guess I could figure out the legal property boundaries. But what legal constraints can be determined from the GLUP or Master Plan. Also, are there are legal issues I should be concerned with that these documents don't address?

Sorry if this sounds a bit confusing
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
As far as the Master Plan, that really depends on what state you are in if it has any legal constraints. In PA a Master Plan or Comprehensive Plan is only a suggestion, and not anything that a developer is legally bound by. I'm not too sure about other states. Not too sure what a GLUP is?? Some kinda land use plan? Not a legally binding document in PA either.
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
23
The feasibility should also include Title report (ie is it encumbered by anything, liens etc...) and Deed research to see if their are any covenants or other civil constraints.

Don't forget to check whther the property is governed by and HOA or Business Association and thieir restrictive covenants.
 
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