Commercial Site Development

Land Deveopment Training
January 2, 2013 — 1,411 views  

Commercial site development is a term that is used to define the development of office, commercial, mixed-use or multifamily, and non-single family residential developments. The projects in commercial site development have to be reviewed to comply with the applicable codes. Approval for all applications is made by the director of community development.

Overview of the Procedure

There are 3 steps in the site review process – acceptance of the site plan, meeting for a pre-application, and acceptance of engineering phase. The director for community development is in charge of accepting the site plan. The engineer of the development review is responsible for accepting the engineering phase.

Pre-Application Meeting

A meeting for pre-application occurs before submitting the application for commercial site development. The intent of this meeting is to take into consideration the comments made by the applicants on the primary design of the project and includes the site layout and concept of drainage.

Review of the Site Plan and Acceptance

Applicants are allowed to submit a formal application of commercial site development after having a pre-application meeting. The application will be determined by the department staff within 28 days of receiving it. If the application is found complete, the applicant will be notified by the city council with public noticing instructions in writing. If it is not complete, the applicant will be sent a mail mentioning what additional information is required.

During the process of reviewing the project, an environmental analysis may be conducted by the staff to see if it is subject to the specifications of the SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act). A public notice will be posted on the website of the project, published in the newspaper, and also mailed to the concerned agencies and surrounding property owners. This is to ensure that the public gets an opportunity to review it. It is then sent to the staff, and once they review it, a report with recommendations is prepared and sent to the director. The director will then take the final decision depending on the facts provided.

Acceptance and Phase Review

Before submitting the engineering plans, the applicant has to attend a meeting for pre-submittal with the engineer of development review. The purpose of this meeting is to cross-check all the information that is required for the evaluation of site design provided in the civil work plans. An opportunity is given to the applicant to provide the calculations and design and to get comments if there are any, from the engineer of development review before submitting the engineering plan.

The applicant may work within the guidelines set by the particular design constraints of the master plan, and any changes may need an amendment to the plan approved, which could delay the process of approval. Options must be explored by the developer such that the changes requested will not impact adversely on the development.

There are other issues that need to be considered before going in for the development of such sites, like layout elements, water issues, grade, and landscape.

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