Site Plan Drawings
While I’ve discussed the site planning process in New Jersey on my web site and in earlier blog posts, I haven’t provided any images to provide greater clarity to my readers. In this post I have provided several sheets of drawings from a site plan that I was involved with during my term as Municipal Engineer for the Borough of Princeton. The drawings included in this blog relate to the construction of two buildings and a public courtyard. The building in the foreground is five stories high with commercial space on the first floor and apartments above. The public space sits between the apartment building and the street and is bordered on its left by a new public library which was built under a separate contract.
The library, apartment building and parking garage were constructed on a site that had once housed a coal gas manufacturing facility which operated in the latter part of the 19th and earlier part of the 20th centuries. Prior to the redevelopment, it was home to a smaller library building and a 180 car surface parking lot.
I’ve provided a few of the drawings included in the full site plan set which was presented to the Princeton Regional Planning Board for review. You will note that some of the drawings have been prepared by a Registered Architect while others have been designed by a Professional Engineer and all are based upon a current property survey performed by a Licensed Professional Land Surveyor. You can find more information about these requirements in the building and zoning tab at the top of this page. Each of these documents must contain the information specified in the town’s Major Site Plan Checklist – the checklist requirements will vary from municipality to municipality.
The information that is required for a site plan today is so voluminous that different types of information are often shown on different sheets for clarity. In these samples we find that the Site plan shows the overall layout of buildings, walkways and landscaping. The Grading Plan focuses on the existing and proposed elevations of the surface of the project site. The Utility plan identifies the locations and in some cases elevations of the site utilities such as water supply piping, sanitary sewers, gas services, electric feeds, communication cables, drainage piping and structures and sometimes more.
The Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan describes the measures that must be undertaken during construction to prohibit the migration of soil off the site by the actions of wind, water and construction vehicles.
The floor plan and building elevations provide a fairly detailed view of how the interior spaces will be used and what the exterior of the building will look like when completed. The building plans have not generally been fully designed prior to the Planning or Zoning Board approval due to the cost of developing detailed construction documents. Therefore, it’s likely that some changes will be required before the project is completed. It’s very important to review any required changes with the municipal staff. In some cases the staff may sign off on changes to your plan but on other occasions you will be required to return to the board for authorization.
I hope that this brief summary will shed a bit more light on the information required to obtain Major Site Plan Approval under New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law.
The author, Carl E. Peters is one of fewer than 10 people licensed by the State of New Jersey as a Professional Engineer, Professional Land Surveyor, Professional Planner, Construction Official, Building Subcode Official and Plumbing Subcode Official. He is also a Certified Municipal Engineer and Mediator and founder of Carl E. Peters, LLC