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(1) All proposed development, except for single-family detached, zero lot line, and alley-loaded dwelling units on individual lots, shall be subject to the site plan review process.
(2) Temporary uses may require site plan review (see § 155.712).
(B) Site plan types. There are two types of site plans with differing levels of approval required for each. The criteria for establishing which type of site plan and the corresponding level of approval for each are indicated below.
(1) Minor site plans.
1. The following shall be reviewed as a minor site plan:
A. Parking lot expansions where there is no increase in excess of 5% of floor area of the principal structure;
B. Accessory uses in commercial districts involving structures less than 500 square feet; and
C. Amenity facilities, park and open area uses in approved subdivisions.
2. Projects listed below shall also be reviewed as a minor site plan provided they do not require a traffic impact analysis in accordance with § 155.708; do not require modification of the standards established in this chapter other than those which the Planning Director may modify administratively; and do not involve the issuance of a conditional use permit or a special use permit.
A. Developments of up to 2,500 square feet of building for nonresidential uses; and
B. Expansion of an existing conforming structure or expansion of a previously approved site plan by less than 2,500 square feet or 5% in floor area or number of units, whichever is greater.
(b) Approval authority. The Planning Director shall be responsible for approving a minor site plan.
(2) Major site plans.
(a) Applicability. Any development requiring site plan review not listed in division (B)(1) of this section as a minor site plan shall be considered a major site plan.
(b) Approval authority.
1. The Planning Board shall be responsible for approving major site plans other than those associated with special use permits (see § 155.710);
2. The Town Council shall be responsible for approval of major site plans associated with special use permits (see § 155.711).
(C) Pre-application conference.
(1) All applicants seeking site plan approval shall schedule a pre-application conference with the Planning Director, in accordance with § 155.702(A).
(2) The Planning Director shall make a determination as to which approval process authorized by this section can be used. The Planning Director may require the applicant to submit whatever supplemental information is necessary to make this determination.
(D) Minor site plan review.
(1) Application requirements. An application for minor site plan approval shall be submitted accordance with § 155.702(C).
(2) Action by Planning Director.
(a) Upon submission of a completed application, the Planning Director shall schedule the minor site plan for review by the Technical Review Committee. The Technical Review Committee shall review the minor site plan for consistency with the requirements of this chapter.
(b) After technical review, the Planning Director shall determine whether the minor site plan conforms to the requirements of this chapter.
(3) Modifications to approved minor site plans. The Planning Director shall have authority to grant modifications to approved minor site plans in accordance with the provisions of this section or refer the modification to the Technical Review Committee if deemed necessary.
(E) Major site plan review.
(1) Application requirements. An application for major site plan approval shall be submitted accordance with § 155.702(C).
(2) Neighborhood meeting. All applicants seeking major site plan approval shall hold a neighborhood meeting in accordance with § 155.702(B).
(3) Action by Planning Director.
(a) Upon submission of a completed application, the Planning Director shall schedule the major site plan for review by the Technical Review Committee. The Technical Review Committee shall review the major site plan for consistency with the requirements of this chapter.
(b) Upon completion of the technical review, the Planning Director shall prepare a report that reviews the application in light of comments provided by the Technical Review Committee, and in light of the adopted plans and policies of the Town and the general requirements of this chapter. The report, site plan and any related application materials shall be forwarded to the Planning Board. If the site plan is running concurrently with an associated special use permit, the site plan and any related application materials shall be forwarded directly to the Town Council for final review.
(4) Action by Planning Board.
(a) After considering the Planning Director's comments, the Planning Board shall approve or disapprove the major site plan, or send the site plan back to the Technical Review Committee for additional consideration.
(b) Major site plans requiring revisions shall be returned to the Planning Board within 90 days or the application shall be considered withdrawn. One extension period may be granted by the Planning Board.
(5) Action by Town Council.
(a) After considering the Planning Director's comments, the Town Council shall approve or disapprove a major site plan associated with a special use permit application, or send the site plan back to the Technical Review Committee for additional consideration.
(b) Major site plans requiring revisions shall be returned to the Technical Review Committee within 90 days or the application shall be considered withdrawn.
(6) Modifications to approved major site plans.
(a) Minor deviations. If a proposed amendment to a major site plan represents only a minor deviation from the approved site plan, the applicant shall file a written application for such amendment with the Planning Director who shall act upon such application within ten days of its receipt. Minor deviations shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. A less than 5% increase, or any decrease, in the floor area or number of units, provided that the district maximums of the subject property for which an minor site plan has been submitted, is not exceeded.
2. A less than 10% decrease in parking spaces, open space or livability space;
3. The minor relocation of any structure, dedicated street, easement or landscape screen in any direction from the location shown on the site plan unless deemed by the Planning Director to significantly alter the approved plan.
(7) Substantial deviations. If a proposed amendment to a site plan deviates substantially from the approved site plan, the approved site plan shall be amended in accordance with the procedure and standards which governed its approval. Such substantial deviations include the following:
(a) A 5% or greater increase in floor area or number of units;
(b) A 10% or greater decrease in parking spaces, open space or livability space;
(c) The relocation of any structure, dedicated street, easement or landscape screen in any direction from the location shown on the major site plan for the distances specified below based on the size of the development:
1. Twenty-five feet or more for major site plans of two acres or less;
2. Fifty feet or more for major site plans of more than two acres but less than eight acres;
3. One hundred feet or more for major site plans of eight acres but less than 20 acres; and
4. One hundred fifty feet for major site plans of 20 acres or more.
(F) Approval criteria. In approving a site plan, the Planning Director, Planning Board, and Town Council shall consider the following:
(1) Consistency with the adopted plans and polices of the town;
(2) Compliance with all applicable requirements of this chapter;
(3) Site design and development intensity is appropriate for and tailored to the unique natural characteristics of the site, such as significant wooded areas, specimen trees, wetlands, steep slopes, and floodplains;
(4) For nonresidential and multifamily projects, the site plan displays the location of trash handling, recycling, grease bins, and other waste-related facilities employed in the normal operation of the use;
(5) Adequacy and location of parking areas and pedestrian and vehicular access points;
(6) Compliance with site construction specifications;
(7) Adequacy of stormwater facilities, water supply, sanitary sewer service, fire protection, street signs, and street lighting as evidenced by conformance with department standards, specifications and guidelines;
(8) That the application will not substantially injure the value of adjoining or abutting property, and will not be detrimental to the use or development of adjacent properties or other neighborhood uses;
(9) Compliance with requirements for easements or dedications;
(10) Compliance with any applicable subdivision improvements; and
(11) If applicable, compliance with the approved planned development master plan.
(12) Building design and materials uphold and promote high quality development in the town and are compatible with other uses in the surrounding neighborhood.
(G) Period of validity. An approved site plan shall expire two years from the date of approval unless the proposed development is pursued as set forth below:
(1) A complete building permit application has been submitted and remains valid;
(2) Where more than one building is to be built, the applicant may submit a series of building permit applications. The first application shall be submitted within two years from the date that site plan approval is granted. Each subsequent application shall be submitted within 180 days from the date of issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the previous building; or
(3) If no building permit is required, a certificate of occupancy has been issued.
(H) Building permit/certificate of occupancy.
(1) No building permit or certificate of occupancy shall be issued until the required site plan of the proposed use or development has been approved by the appropriate town officials.
(2) In order to secure a vested right for a site plan, the applicant must submit a site-specific development plan in accordance with § 155.718.
(I) Dedication and improvements.
(1) In the development of any property for which a site plan is required in this section, the applicant shall be required to dedicate any additional right-of-way necessary to the width required by the town for streets adjoining the property, to install curbs and gutters and pave all streets adjoining the property to town standards, and to install sidewalks in accordance with the policies and requirements of §§ 155.600 through 155.607.
(2) The applicant shall bear the costs of the installation of all on-site improvements as required by this chapter, including provision for surface drainage, pavement, landscaping, and utilities. Any applicant required to install or construct off- site improvements pursuant to this section may, with the approval of the Planning Director as a condition of site plan approval, and upon a determination by the Planning Director that such improvements are not necessary or desirable at the time, but will be needed in the future, make a payment in lieu of such improvements or part thereof. The amount of any such payment shall be an amount estimated by the town to be the actual and total installation and construction costs of such improvements. The amount paid for a given improvement shall be considered total and complete payment for the improvements considered, and will preclude any further assessment of the property in the event that the town elects to install such improvements at a later date. Full payment shall be made before any building permit or certificate of occupancy is issued for any use shown on the site plan.
(3) For all residential and planned developments approved the effective date of this chapter, recreation and open space dedication, or payment of fee-in-lieu thereof in accordance with § 155.203(H) shall be required.
(J) Guarantees of improvements.
(1) Prior to the approval of any site plan, the applicant shall submit a cost estimate and time schedule for installation of each phase of the site improvements.
(2) The town shall require a bond guaranteeing required on-site and off-site improvements. This bond shall be in the amount determined by the Town Manager. This bond shall be in cash, certified check, or be made by a bonding/insurance company authorized to do business in North Carolina.
(3) As each phase of improvements is installed and inspected by the town, the bond amount shall be reduced by the costs of the installed improvements.
(4) In the event that the applicant wishes to occupy any building or any portion of any building prior to the completion of the required site improvements, the bond guaranteeing improvements shall be retained by the town until the remaining required improvements are completed.
(K) Inspections of required improvements. Inspections during of site improvements shall be made in accordance with § 155.607(D).
(Ord. 2005-11-02, passed 11-21-05; Am. Ord. 2007-04-05, passed 4-2-07; Am. Ord. 2018-07-02, passed 7-16-18)