December 8, 2015

Planning Approval

Design Review and Planning Approval

One of the critical stages of development, design and planning are the starting point for your building and if your project is not approved, this can often be the ending point as well. During the process, your building and site design changes as the process moves along to conform to code and acceptable design for the area as well as the design vision of the planning department and planner. If your project is not capable of conforming, you will have spent a great deal of time and money only to find out the project is dead and will not be approved. This is where we come in.

While the design review and planning approval are not within our direct control, we can greatly influence the process by understanding the jurisdiction we are working with, by knowing the code forward and backward and by working a design into something we know that will be acceptable by planning department standards going into the process, not when we are coming out. This saves countless architect sessions and wasted time going back and forth between design and planning.

At JPC, we break the process down into three different phases. First, we strongly recommend obtaining a Site Investigation Report. This document comes in two varieties. First is the Site Investigation Report Lite which is a thorough, but high-level review of property zoning, surrounding properties, allowable use, best use and other parameters that will give you a good idea if a property is right for you and your needs. The second version is the full version of the Site Investigation Report. This report is a development document that tells you everything you need to know plus provides the detail you will need to develop the property into what you need. You can learn more about Site Investigation Reports here.

The second phase of a successful design review and planning approval process is the collection of information pertinent to determining what will make a project successful. Meeting with the various departments and conducting pre-application meetings where available allows us to direct the site plan and design in a manner consistent with municipal or county goals. This alone has the potential to save a lot of money and time in the approval process.

To learn more about the Design Review and Planning Approval process, please contact us.