Site Plan Reviews
A Site Plan Review is necessary to construct a certain type of use that is allowed in a particular zoning district.
Given its nature or proximity to residential uses; a site plan needs additional scrutiny to make sure that its operations are compatible with surrounding uses. Reasonable conditions can be placed on your proposed site to ensure compatibility with neighboring uses. In some instances, a Site Plan Review is one component of the development process and other applications may be necessary.
The following is an overview of the typical 60-day review process.
We recommend you meet with a planner to discuss your intentions before making your application. This meeting will introduce to you to the City staff members who will be working with you. We will discuss the city’s zoning rules, policies, and plans that could affect your application as well as what to expect during the review process. For this meeting, please identify the location of the property and any preliminary plans you have.
We may recommend that a neighborhood meeting is held before you submit your application. City staff will assist you with dates and suggest meeting locations. At the neighborhood meeting, you will be expected to present your concepts to neighbors and solicit feedback to incorporate into your plans.
After the pre-application meeting, you have the ability to develop your plans further for the formal application.
Click here for application deadlines and Planning Commission/City Council dates.
Information to be included
The application consists of:
- Letter of consent from property owner
- Letter of request
- Application fee
- Plans that you would like the Planning Commission to review
- Application form
Please use our online portal to complete the application form.
Letter of request
A brief letter explaining the proposed development and outlining the design team (applicant, property owner, architect, engineer, etc.) should be submitted. This letter can give better insight into your plans and define your use.
A non-refundable fee of $500 is required. Additionally, a $2,000 review escrow is required with the application. The escrow account that you establish with the City will help cover the costs of the public hearing notices, staff time to review the application and write reports, and the city attorney’s review. Additional escrow will be required upon approval of the Site Plan Review or when the escrow account is low and remaining escrow is refundable when the project is finished.
Plan requirements will be different for new construction or re-use of an existing building. In either case, plans must be submitted in both paper format and in electronic format (PDF). Two full-sized sets and two 11×17-inch reductions are required with your initial application. Additional copies may be requested after revisions are made. The full-sized plans must be at a standard engineering scale and contain the following components (please note that not all of this information may be necessary as determined at your pre-application meeting):
1. Architectural code analysis
This is a review of an existing building to make sure that your proposed use can occupy the building or tenant space per the International Building Code (IBC). This plan is prepared by an architect and it will assist you in your business decision to move forward with using this particular space. In the event that the existing building or space is not compatible with your proposed use, you will need to provide plans showing that you will bring the building up to IBC requirements. If not, your application will not be accepted. If you are constructing a new building for your proposed use, this requirement is not needed.
2. Existing conditions
This page shows what is on the property today: structures, parking lots, driveways, fences, utility lines, water bodies, wetlands, significant vegetation, etc.
3. Proposed site plan
A basic plan showing what you are proposing to construct including lot lines, lot and building dimensions, parking and building setbacks, and driveways. In the event the conditional use is an exterior use, such as outdoor storage, the area for that use must be identified.
4. Proposed building plans
This plan shows what the exterior of your building will look like if you are constructing a new building or remodeling an existing building. In either case, you will need to prepare a basic floor plan of the building’s interior.
5. Preliminary grading and drainage plan
This plan shows how storm water will flow across the property and drain through the storm sewer system. It will also include how the site is graded for building pads, parking lots, etc., as well as any berms created for screening. This plan may also need to be submitted to the applicable watershed management organization for approval.
6. Utility plans
This plan shows how the property is or will be served by sanitary sewer and water.
7. Landscaping plans
This plan shows what types of trees, shrubs, and groundcover will be planted. It will need to show how parking lots, loading areas, outdoor storage areas, mechanical equipment, and the like will be screened from public views or nearby residential properties. Landscaping plans must be shown with the grading plan contours to ensure proper planting locations.
8. Lighting plans
This plan shows the freestanding and wall-mounted lights on the property. A photometrics plan shows the intensity of the light at various points on the property. Please include the fixtures you plan to use.
9. Other plans or documents
Depending on the size or type of your application, other information may be necessary to review your application properly. This information will be discussed at the pre-application meeting. Traffic studies, environmental reviews, and wetland delineations are three such examples.
Following City Council approval, a building permit or other type of City license may be required to commence construction or operation. The submittal requirements for a building permit are different from those plans listed above and generally need more detail. In many cases, the license reviews can happen concurrently.
Receipt of application
After receiving your application, City staff will review your plans for completeness. In many cases, staff will recommend that changes be made in order to conform to the city’s Zoning Code or to be more compatible with neighboring properties. Additional information may be requested. Adequate time will be given to make revisions prior to the Planning Commission meeting.
If the application is determined to be incomplete, it will be returned to you with a letter stating why the application was deemed incomplete and the things that are missing. You are welcome to reapply at the next submittal date with your complete application.
The City is required to notify surrounding property owners of any pending Site Plan Review and information regarding the public hearing. Mailed notices will be sent to all property owners, residents, and businesses within 500 feet of the property line of your site. We also place an ad in the legal section of our official newspaper, The Brooklyn Park Sun Post. A sign may be placed on your property notifying people as well. Make sure that this sign is clearly visible and not moved without consent of the Planning Staff. Your escrow will be charged for the notification costs.
The Planning Commission holds the public hearing and solicits comments from interested parties before making a recommendation to the City Council on your Site Plan Review. The Planning Commission meets the second Wednesday of the month following your application. You are welcome to invite people to speak on your behalf. People can also submit letters or emails with their comments. All people speaking or submitting written comments are expected to give their names and addresses. The Planning Commission may ask questions or make suggestions for changes; therefore you must be in attendance or have a knowledgeable authorized representative in your place. If you cannot attend, it is recommended that you extend your application to a future meeting.
The City Council approves or denies your application. They take into consideration the Planning Commission’s recommendation and any comments received at the public hearing. The City Council is obligated to take action on your request within 60 days of your application unless an extension is made per state law.
In cases where site work is required, either through new construction or exterior changes to existing sites, bonding will insure compliance with approved plans. Failure to do the work correctly and in a timely manner may result in your bonds being cashed in to make corrections. Additional escrow will be collected. A bonding estimate spreadsheet will be provided to you for the development costs. This spreadsheet must be returned to City staff so that the bonding amounts can be included in the approval resolution passed by the City Council.