Site Planning for a Development: Why You Need Expert Help

Site planning is one of the most important aspects of property acquisition and development. It will determine the success or failure of your investment as it includes factors that are either critical to the property’s success or potential risk factors.

What is a Site Plan?

It’s a document that provides a visual representation of the size and orientation of all buildings on a given property, inclusive of the layout, boundaries, topographic features, utilities and service lines, and location. It includes the dimensions and positions of the structures, walk areas, parking spaces, water sources, buildings, walls, fences, and related features of the property. It also includes how the structures are oriented to each other, for instance, if these structures face south, north, east or west.

A site plan can be thought of as a blueprint for a property and is best created with the help of experienced town planning consultants who work alongside professionals such as engineers, land surveyors, and architects during the process. The plan will be used to determine the viability of the property for your intended development land use, to submit it to the municipality’s city planning division as part of the zoning application process, and to obtain the necessary permissions for the intended land use.

Site plans can be judged on considerations such as:

  • Location
  • Design and architectural characteristics
  • Landscape attributes
  • Traffic impact
  • Pedestrian accessibility
  • Environmental impact

Partnering with town planning consultants to help you determine the viability of a piece of land for your intended development, can help you decide whether or not to purchase the property for investment purposes. They perform the due diligence and provide you with a full report on the results.  If the property is viable, then you’ll be able to proceed to subsequent steps in developing it. For this part, the site plan document will also be crucial to obtain necessary approvals for the development.

You need to factor in aspects such as the market, surrounding properties, whether or not the particular development is likely to be opposed by community members, how it will affect the surroundings, and whether or not there is a need for the specific type of development. Also, consider the accessibility of the commercial or industrial property.

For instance, if it will be used for light industrial applications, will it have sufficient turning space for large trucks? What will the noise and visual impact be on the surrounding properties and communities in the area? How will the increase in traffic affect the area? If it’s in an area zoned for industrial land use, the added traffic might not be an issue, but if it’s located in an area close to a quiet residential area, the traffic increase might not be welcomed. In this regard, you might want to consider another property for the purpose, closer to other industrial operations and which is already zoned for industrial use.

Keep in mind that applications for land use rights can be rejected if the site planning documents lack essential information. Town planning consultants work with these types of applications daily and already know what must be included. To this end, it makes sense to approach them first for help before applying for permissions, land use rights, approvals, etc. from the city council.

The town planning consultants will handle the applications on your behalf and ensure that every aspect required is on the site plan. They also handle the public participation and advocacy aspects, enabling you to focus on the development aspects.

Final thoughts

If you have a commercial or industrial development in mind and need to know whether a particular property is suited for it, get professional help in determining the viability of the land.

Once you have bought the property and want to develop it, you’ll need to get development approvals. For this, you’ll need a site plan that includes specific details, ranging from the current vegetation to proposed landscaping, accessibility, parking, drainage, topography, boundaries, buildings and more. It is a detailed set of documents, with which you’ll also need expert help as available from The Practice Group.

Reach out for expert help with property due diligence, site planning, and development applications.