What’s a site plan?

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A site plan is a drawing that shows land development plans, including building location, parking, landscape design, and materials used. It is required for construction project approval and should be drawn by a professional architect. Color may be added for public interest, but it’s best to check with local governing bodies first.

A site plan is a drawing that shows an interested party what the plans are for land development. It basically serves the same purpose as a house floor plan, although it is for the entire property. Also, this plan must not include floor plans for any buildings. This is often considered one of the key components to getting a construction project approved. Many jurisdictions will require a site plan before even proceeding in the approval process for a project, especially a commercial project.

In most cases, site design is handled by a professional architect, working under the direction of the project owner. This is the person who will likely be responsible for drawing up the plan for the site as well. In most cases, it’s best to have your document drawn by a professional, as it needs to be to scale and as accurate as possible. Any changes may need to be submitted to a board of directors, such as a site plan review committee set up by a city, for approval.

There are many things that site plans will have in common. First, there should be some sort of directional signpost, most likely a compass or at least an arrow pointing north. It will also reflect the location and size of any buildings to be built, or that currently exist, as well as parking and even landscape design. A landscape architect may be called in to help develop a proper landscaping plan and add those features to the plan. Measurements must also be included.

The materials used will also be reported in a plan of the site. For example, if a parking lot and sidewalks need to be paved, the difference between concrete or asphalt is very important and could make a difference to a billboard. Without writing it down on the plan, approval is likely to be delayed, or even denied, until this information is included. The materials you use can significantly alter the look and feel of the site, which is why it is so important to include this information.

For those interested in sharing their development plan with the public, they can decide to add color to the floor plan. While this is not normally required, it can help to increase public interest in the project by showing what colors are intended for the surrounding landscape and paved areas. However, an official site floor plan may not be accepted by a commission if color is included. It’s always best to check with your local governing body, usually a city or county, before adding any color to your official plan.

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