The following is the general procedure for site plan review in the City of Harrisonburg. This is presented in chronological order.
Prerequisites - Prior to submitting a site plan for review, the following prerequisites must be completed.
Any development requiring a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) shall complete the TIA process before proceeding with the site plan submission process. Improvements called for in the approved TIA shall be shown on the final plans. Refer to the City Design and Construction Standards Manual (DCSM) and the separate TIA procedures, both available on the City’s website.
A pre-submission review of the plans by the Fire Chief is required. This review may be accomplished by submitting two sets of preliminary plans, sufficient in detail to show the general layout of proposed facilities, including buildings, parking areas, entrances, travel-ways and the water system. Fire flow information is also required. A copy of the Fire Chief’s pre-submission application/checklist is attached. Approval by the Fire Chief is prerequisite to final plan submission. The purpose of this review is to allow the general fire protection scheme to be reviewed before the review of the final plans.
An approved Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) is required for each development prior to proceeding with the site plan submission process. The PER shall address the capacity in both the water and sanitary sewer systems.
If desired, appropriate review staff will meet with the plan designer/owner to discuss the plan. Such a meeting is not intended for technical review of the plans. It will however, allow for a brief review of the plans or interpretation of City standards.
Final Plan Submittal - Final Plans will be accepted for review upon receipt of the following:
Completed Application for Site Plan Review;
Applicable review fees (site plan, E&S);
3 sets of signed plans at appropriate scale;
2 copies of calculations and water/sewer report as applicable (see DCSM);
Certified checklist (see DCSM Appendix B);
Completion of fire protection review from Fire Chief and evidence of compliance with review comments;
Acceptance of the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) by Public Utilities (where applicable) and evidence of acceptance by letter from Public Utilities (see DCSM).
Within 8 days of the date the plans are accepted for review, the City will complete a cursory review of the plans in order to identify significant problems or plan deficiencies which will warrant an Acceptance Withheld (AW) designation. If such problems exist, the City will determine whether review of the plans must be terminated, or that review can continue. The plan designer will be notified at that time of the plan status. If staff has agreed that plan review can proceed, the choice to terminate or proceed with review becomes the decision of the plan designer. Continuance of review would allow the designer to obtain comments on other aspects of the plans. The attached memo concerning the cursory review will be distributed to the designer and owner only when such significant deficiencies are found. Also, it should be noted that acceptance of plans could still be withheld (AW) at the end of 18 days, even though the cursory review did not identify significant deficiencies.
City staff will strive to complete the comprehensive review within 18 calendar days of the date the plans are accepted for review. However, review time may be delayed when plan review load is heavy. Applicants are encouraged to check with the City Engineer’s office to inquire on recent review times before committing to a construction schedule. Review comments from the City staff will be detailed in a letter and referenced to the plan at the appropriate location. The letter will be addressed to the plan designer and copied to the owner or developer as appropriate.
Plans which are designated upon completion of review as “Acceptance Withheld (AW)” will be placed on the same schedule upon resubmission as are new plans, and will be subjected to resubmission fees. Plan substitutions made after the original submission will also be processed as a new submission.
Plans which are designated upon completion of review as “Accepted Upon Minor Revision (AR)” will be reviewed and comments made available within five working days of resubmission. Review of such resubmitted plans will be accomplished solely by the City Engineer’s Office. Other staff members will be consulted if necessary, but they will not be obligated to personally review and sign off on the plans. Again, such review may be delayed during times of heavy load.
Plans submitted solely for review of erosion control and stormwater management will be subject to the above policies.
Letters of transmittal will indicate specific requirements for resubmission and/or permitting, depending on plan status.
Approved site plans shall be valid for a period of five years. If construction has not started at the end of that period, or if construction has become inactive, the site plan must be resubmitted for approval and will be subject to the laws, ordinances, and regulations in effect at the time of re-submittal.
The City shall designate one person as the point of contact for questions or comments concerning site plan review. This person will contact other City staff if necessary.
The above policies will be exercised for all site plans required under Section 1.3.1 of the City Design and Construction Standards Manual.