What is a Survey and What is a Site Plan ‘They are Not the Same’

A Survey is required for All Construction Projects.

A Survey will have the Building Perimeter Dimensions, the Distances from the Building to the Property Lines, Easements (utilities, such as, water, gas, electric & sewer), North Arrow, Dimensions of the Property. It will have a Legal Description and the Owners Name and Address of the Property.

If your Property has Trees that you want to save, you can request that the Survey show the location of the Trees (which usually costs extra).

A Survey is prepared by a Surveyor (licensed), and for it to be Legal, it will need to be Certified by the Surveyor.

If you are planning to build an Addition, then you will need first to get a Survey. This shows the Zoning or Building Department Official what all is existing on your property. If you already had a Survey prepared in the past, then you can save money, by asking the Surveyor to Recertify you previously done Survey. Most Zoning and Building Departments require that the Survey be dated no more than 1 year old, some a little longer (verify with you Local Agency).

Once you have verified the Setback (based on a review of your Survey) and other requirements with the Zoning and Building Department, you can proceed with getting plans prepared.

If your property is has any variations in topography (sloping ground), then you will need to have included in you Survey, a Topographic Survey.

A Site Plan is a drawing that is prepared from the information that is taken from a Survey.

The Site Plan contains the basic information shown on the Survey, plus the location and size of Any Construction.

For Additions the Site Plan can be prepared by you, the Builder, Contractor, Architect or Engineer, and is included with the Drawings for you Addition.

The Site Plan Drawings for most Projects, other than an Addition are usually more detailed than indicated above.

The following is an outline of what is usually required for Non-Residential Projects (such as, Additions, Remodeling, Sheds, etc).

Site Plan Requirements:

  1. Draw an Arrow indicating North
  2. Show All Property Lines
  3. Show any Existing Structures, such as;
    1. Buildings;
    2. Fences;
    3. Porches;
    4. Decks;
    5. Sheds;
    6. Roads;
    7. Walks;
    8. and any other Structure
  4. Show any New Structures, such as;
    1. Buildings;
    2. Fences;
    3. Porches;
    4. Decks;
    5. Sheds;
    6. Roads;
    7. Walks;
    8. and any other Structure
  5. The Drawing needs to be Drawn to an Acceptable Scale
    (verify the Scale Required, requirement may vary with different Agencies)
    The following are some Standard Scales;

    1. 1″ = 60′-0″ (1 inch = 60 feet)
    2. 1″ = 50′-0″
    3. 1″ = 40′-0″
    4. 1″ = 30′-0″
    5. 1″ = 20′-0″
    6. 1″ = 10′-0″
    7. 1/16″ = 1′-0″ (1/16 inch = 1 foot
    8. 1/8″ = 1′-0″
    9. or any other Scale that is Acceptable
  6. Show Adjacent streets and any easements.
  7. Show Distances – Dimensions
    1. Between Buildings;
    2. To Property Lines;
    3. Property Perimeter Dimensions;
    4. Location of Easements
      1. Electrical
      2. Water
      3. Sewer
      4. Gas
      5. etc…
    5. Shape, dimensions and location of all buildings (existing and proposed).
    6. Setback requirements for all buildings and structures (per Zoning)
    7. Building height.
  8. Basic Information on Site Plan
    1. Engineer’s name, address and phone number;
    2. Vicinity map with north arrow and date(on cover sheet);
    3. Property Owner’s name and/or Developer’s, address, and phone number (on cover sheet);
    4. Address and legal description of project location;
    5. Legend identifying grades, symbols, lines and drainage patterns;
    6. All elevations refer to the Mean Sea Level Datum (if available);
    7. Fire hydrants;
    8. Total area of land and existing and proposed buildings;
    9. Land use, tax map number and zoning classification of adjacent property owners (required by some Municipalities);
    10. Location and right-of-way of existing streets, curb cuts and driveways within 300 feet of site (required by some Municipalities);
    11. Location of land subject to flooding. Include FEMA Panel number of site;
    12. Topography contours;
    13. Location of any utility or other easements or rights-of-way;
    14. Number of parking spaces provided and number required;
    15. Dimensions of parking spaces and aisles;
    16. Loading spaces, if required;
    17. External street connectivity (Show ingress and egress points to streets or other property);
    18. Total impervious surface area (including gravel parking lots);
    19. Location, size and number of dumpster pads;
    20. Location and dimensions of fire lanes;
    21. Site Lighting and Photometric Plan (required in some Municipalities);
    22. Landscaping
      1. Tree Survey;
      2. Landscape and/or buffer plans;
      3. Property Perimeter Dimensions
      4. Location of Easements
  9. Show Drainage and Surface Water Management
    1. Flood Zones and Floor Plains;
    2. Site Drainage;
    3. Retention Ponds;
    4. Inflow and Outflow Structures;
    5. Retaining Walls;
    6. Building Floor Elevations;
    7. Curbs;
    8. Roads and Streets;
    9. Property Size

Site Plan for a Carwash


Photometric Plan for a Carwash


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