Preliminary Site Plans - Staff Approved
The Preliminary Staff Approved Site Plans process is an established procedure for the preliminary review of certain types of site plans as listed below and is processed by city staff of the Department of City Planning and review staff that comprises the Development Plans Review Group.
Project types that may be approved administratively fall under this process in accordance with City Code Part 10 Chapter 2 Section 2132.2. No public input or review by public boards or commissions is required for projects that can be approved by administrative staff. Because of the complexity of these types of projects and the coordination among city departments, it is necessary to conduct a preliminary administrative review before reviewing projects for permitting. For other projects that also require a preliminary review before permitting can commence, see the preliminary site plans process, where a public hearing is required.
The Development Services Customer Service Center is responsible for the intake and processing of Administrative Preliminary Site Plans. When plans are submitted to the City, a coordinating planner is assigned to manage the review. Plans will be reviewed by a team of staff with expertise in Planning, Transportation, Zoning, Zoning Enforcement, Urban Design, Comprehensive Planning, Transit, Stormwater, Public Utilities, Fire, Forestry and Greenways. Additional staff may be utilized depending upon the type and location of the project.
Upon completion of the review, the coordinating planner will send review comments to the client, designer or project coordinator as well as the property owner in the form of email correspondence. The client is required to provide a response to comments that address each of the staff comments in writing and re-submit a set of revised plans for review. Staff will review the plans in accordance with the regulations of City Code Part 10 Chapters 2 and 3 (Planning and Development) as well as the policies, procedures and regulations adopted in the Comprehensive Plan, Public Utilities Handbook, Public Works Streets, Sidewalk and Driveway Access Manual, Stormwater Manual, and the Solid Waste Handbook.
When all plan review comments have satisfactorily been addressed by the client, the coordinating planner will prepare a staff report for final review by the Planning Manager of the Current Planning Services Division and final signature by the Planning Director. Upon a decision by the Planning Director, a letter of decision will be sent to the client who will list the official action on the Preliminary Site Plan and any conditions of approval. The Administrative Preliminary Site Plan approval process typically takes 8-10 weeks. Client may not move to the next step toward obtaining permits or recording until the approval letter is received and all conditions of approval are met.
If significant activity has not taken place on a project after preliminary approval, that approval may "sunset" and be declared void. This will require re-approval by City Council before permits may be issued. To prevent the preliminary approval "sunset", the following must take place by the following dates:
Two (2) Year Sunset Date (from date of approval) - Submit a final site plan and valid building permit application for the total area of the project, or a phase of the project.
Five (5) Year Sunset Date (from date of approval) - Complete construction of entire development.
Summary of the Types of Plans that Require Administrative Preliminary Site Plan Approval:
- Manufactured Homes
- Group Housing Developments
- Site Plans located within the Downtown Overlay District which do not otherwise require Planning Commission or City Council Preliminary Site Plan Approval
*Planning Commission approval is required for the following: Residential Developments exceeding (15 dwelling units per acre in O&I-1, O&I-2; Shopping Center zone; or Thoroughfare District zone exceeding (20) dwelling units per acre.
If your plan requires Planning Commission approval:
- A date will be assigned to attend the required Development Review Committee (Appearance Commission) meeting where the plans will be evaluated in regards to aesthetics
- It is recommended that you attend your local Citizen Advisory Council (CAC) meeting to discuss your project
- The coordinating planner will assign a date for the client to attend the Planning Commission Meeting at the end of the review cycle. The client is advised to reference the bottom of the review comments sheet to prepare for the Public Hearing and the Planning Commission Meeting
- After Planning Commission approves the plans, an approval letter will be sent. This process typically take 10-12 weeks
Are there any prerequisites to this process?
- If property is on a state road then all NCDOT driveway or encroachment permits must be obtained prior to building permit issuance
- Property within Raleigh's Jurisdiction
- Property must be zoned for allowable use in its zoning district. Check for Permitted Uses and City of Raleigh Zoning Map
- Parcel that the plan is proposed to be built upon must be properly recorded at the Wake County Register of Deeds with an assigned PIN (parcel identification number) and address
How do I start the process?
- Meet all prerequisites above
- Complete submittal package (see below)
- Submit the completed plan submittal package to the Development Services Customer Service Center located at One Exchange Plaza, Suite 400, Raleigh NC
What do I need to submit to the City?
|Required for Submittal||Preliminary Development Plan Application
Fee (see Development Fee Schedule for rates)
|Recommended for a Successful Review||Preliminary Development Plan Checklist|
|Required for Some Projects||Wake County School Form|
Preliminary Plan Acceptance and Routing Schedule:
Preliminary plans may be submitted to the Development Services Customer Service Center (DSCSC) during operating hours Monday through Friday. Upon acceptance, preliminary plans are routed weekly for review among city departments. In order to be reviewed with the current week's schedule, preliminary plans must be accepted no later than 3:00 p.m. Thursday of each week.* Any preliminary plan accepted after 3:00 p.m. Thursday for any reason will be included in the following week's review cycle.
* Exceptions to this schedule occur on weeks with a business holiday. Please contact the DSCSC for more information.
Where can I find detailed information regarding submittals?
Where do I submit my application?
All commercial plans should be submitted to the Development Services Customer Service Center.
What are the keys to success?
- Follow guidelines in the Preliminary Development Plan Checklist (see above)
- Schedule a Pre-Submittal Conference to review issues that may come up in the formal review process
- Select a single point of contact to represent the client to facilitate correspondence with the coordinating planner
- Thoroughly review and confirm that the plans meet the applicable sections of City Code Part 10 Chapters 2 and 3
- Provide a thorough response to city staff comments when preparing re-submittals and specifically address each comment in writing
- 10% open space is required. If your site is greater than two (2) acres, the Tree Conservation Area requirements must be met
- One (1) access point to the public street system is required per 150 dwelling units
What fees are involved and when do I pay them?
- Payment type accepted is check made payable to: City of Raleigh
- Fee payments are delivered to the Development Services Customer Service Center located at One Exchange Plaza, Suite 400, Raleigh NC as part of the Submittal Package (see above)
- Initial fee includes two review cycles (original review and one re-review). If additional re-reviews are required, additional fees will be required at the time plans are re-submitted for review
- See Development Services Fee Schedule
How long will this process take?
- For each review cycle, staff review comments are provided within 12 business days of submittal
- The typical administrative approval process takes approximately ten (10) weeks
- If Planning Commission or City Council approval is required, the approval process takes approximately 12 weeks
- It takes approximately three (3) months to get a project approved; however this varies due to project complexity