Research and site planning is the initial phase of project development where project proponents research site specific and regulatory information about a proposed project, complete preliminary technical and environmental studies and prepare development plans.
The city offers a number of research services to assist project proponents. City staff will provide further assistance with research of all available city resources.
Certain research activities are not provided by the city and must be obtained from other public and private sources. Examples include property title information, environmental work, consultant and contractor contracts, financial and legal studies.
Project proponents are encouraged to take advantage of the city’s preliminary review process to obtain feedback on project proposals prior to formal application for land use permits.
View research and site planning flowchart
The city provides the following services to help with project research and preliminary site planning:
It is the responsibility of the project proponent to conduct all necessary research to ensure success of the proposed project.
Proper site planning is key to successful completion of the city permitting process. The city is required to ensure that all projects meet strict federal, state and local requirements to ensure the health, safety and general welfare of its residents.
Proponents of projects requiring land use permits are strongly encouraged to utilize the services of private land planning and/or engineering firms to prepare required site plans and technical studies and to provide assistance with the permitting process.
The city provides numerous checklists to help ensure all site planning requirements are met. An important new component of site planning is the incorporation of storm water best management practices into project design. For more information regarding the city's storm water requirements visit the storm water protection page.
City staff will gladly assist in interpreting city site planning requirements. In addition, the city provides a preliminary review process where project proponents may obtain city staff feedback on project proposals prior to submittal of formal land use permit applications.
Preliminary review is an early, informal review of a proposed project by the city prior to formal application for land use permits. Preliminary review is optional; however, it is required for all projects within the Commercial/Visitor Serving Overlay Zone.
The purpose of the preliminary review is to:
- Obtain early project direction
- Reduce project proponent development costs
- Shorten processing time
- Alleviate costly redesigns
- Meet city requirements for projects within the Commercial/Visitor Serving Overlay Zone
To submit for preliminary review, project proponents must complete an application form, provide copies of the proposed site plan and pay a fee.
The city will assign appropriate staff to review the plan and prepare written comments regarding issues of concern with the proposal. The comments are intended to help guide further preparation of the formal site plan application package. The project proponent is provided the option of meeting and discussing the project proposal with the assigned city staff.
The preliminary review does not represent an in-depth analysis of a project proposal. The completeness and accuracy of the preliminary plan submittal dictates the quality of the city review. Additional issues of concern may be raised after detailed city analysis during the formal land use permit review process.