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The administration of this chapter focuses on a plan of development submission and review process which provides for the review of development proposals requiring subdivision and/or site plan submissions.
(A) Application of the plan of development process.
(1) For purposes of this chapter, the following activities shall be considered to be development which shall adhere to the requirements of this section.
(a) Land-disturbing activity. Any land-disturbing activity which would disturb an area 2,500 square feet or greater in size.
(b) Subdivision. The division of land into two or more lots for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes.
(c) Change in use. A material change in the type of use of a structure or land, whether temporary or permanent, which would tangibly affect the site’s natural environment, parking requirements, transportation patterns, public health, or economic values.
(d) Construction, reconstruction, or alteration. A building operation involving construction, reconstruction, or alteration of the size of a structure which would result in a tangible effect on the site’s natural environment, parking requirements, transportation patterns, public health, or economic values.
(e) Increase in land use intensity. A material increase in the intensity of land use, such as an increase in the number or size of businesses, manufacturing establishments, offices, or dwelling units in a structure or on land, when such increase would tangibly affect the site’s natural environment, parking requirements, transportation patterns, public health, or economic values.
(f) Mining, filling, or dredging. Commencement of any mining, filling, or dredging operation on a parcel of land.
(g) Change in effects of conditions. In connection with the use of land, the making of any material change in noise levels, vibration levels, lighting intensity, thermal conditions, odors, or emissions of waste material.
(h) Alteration of a shore, bank, or floodplain. Material alteration of a shore, bank, floodplain of a river, stream, lake, other natural waterbody, or any area within the resource protection area (RPA).
(i) Reestablishment of an abandoned use. Reestablishment of a use on land (excluding forestry and farming activities) or in a structure which has been abandoned for one year or more and which use, site, and structure do not conform to this chapter.
(2) The following activities shall not be considered development requiring the submission of a plan of development to the Land Use Administrator for review unless the activity is not permitted or is restricted in any base or overlay zoning district. When requested by an applicant in writing, the Land Use Administrator will reply in writing formally confirming the exempt status of the proposal:
(a) Minor land-disturbing activities such as home gardens and individual landscaping, repairs, and maintenance work;
(b) Individual service connections;
(c) Installation, maintenance, or repair of any underground public utility lines when such activity occurs on an existing hard-surfaced road, street, or sidewalk, provided the land-disturbing activity is confined to the area of the road, street, or sidewalk which is hard surfaced;
(d) Tilling, planting, or harvesting of agricultural, horticultural, or forest crops or livestock feedlot operations, including agricultural engineering operations as follows: construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, desilting basins, dikes, ponds, ditches, strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, and land drainage;
(e) A transfer of title to land not involving the division of land into parcels;
(f) The creation or termination of leases and easements concerning development of land, or other rights, except that no easement required by this chapter or made a condition of plan of development approval may be terminated without the approval of the county;
(g) The recording of any documents or plats/plans expressly for the purposes of reference or attachment to a publicly recorded document when such recording does not result in subdivision of land into parcels. Such recording may include, but is not limited to, documents such as master deeds or covenants, or plats/plans for mortgage or HUD filing purposes;
(h) The combination or recombination of portions of previously platted lots where the total number of lots is not increased, no new streets are created, and the resultant lots do not in any way result in a newly created or diminished state of compliance with the requirements of this chapter;
(i) Sale or gift of a single division of a lot or parcel to each member of the immediate family of the property owner which: shall not be for the purpose of circumventing this chapter; shall be subject to the minimum lot area, dimensional, and environmental requirements of this chapter; shall not result in the creation of new streets; and shall be surveyed and then recorded in the courthouse. For the purpose of this section, a MEMBER OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY is defined as any person who is a natural or legally defined offspring, including spouse, parent, grandparent, or grandchild of the owner;
(j) The sale or exchange of parcels between adjoining property owners where such sale or exchange does not create additional building sites, streets, or a lot or parcel which does not meet the minimum area and dimensional requirements of this chapter;
(k) The division of a tract of land in order that one or more of the resulting parcels may be used as part of a well lot, public utility right-of-way, or other public or private right-of-way other than a street, provided no additional building lots or streets are created;
(l) The partition of lands by court order;
(m) Where a viable dwelling unit exists on a large tract of property on or before August 10, 1989, a lot may be created to include the dwelling unit provided the density of the resultant parcels shall not be greater than one dwelling unit per acre. Such a lot must meet the area and dimensional requirements of this chapter. An existing legal right-of-way will be sufficient to provide access to the lot as long as the lot created is precluded from future subdivision by deed restrictions and no new streets are created;
(n) Divisions of large tracts of property where the resultant parcels shall be used for agricultural, forestal, or other undisturbed open space provided such parcels are served by no newly created streets, but instead are served by a private right-of-way with a minimum width of 25 feet. The plats and deeds for such parcels shall show that the parcels are not for residential or any other use except for those uses stated above;
(o) Work for the maintenance, renewal, improvement, or alteration of any structure which involves no material change of use and is confined to the interior in its entirety and exterior facade, excluding signs;
(p) The use of any structure or land devoted to single-family dwelling uses for any purpose customarily associated with the enjoyment of such dwelling;
(q) Home occupations confined entirely within a residential structure and clearly as a secondary use, with no advertising of the home occupation allowed on the site or on the structure, and no disruption to the normal character of the neighborhood or area;
(r) Those activities of short duration or of a seasonal nature which do not materially affect the site’s natural environment, parking requirements, transportation patterns, public health, or economic values;
(s) The construction of any public street or other public way, grounds, building, structures, or public utility which was approved by a public agency under separate, comparable administrative procedures; and
(t) The submission of a site plan for a detached dwelling unit used solely for residential purposes and/or its accessory buildings and uses on a lot, including customary accessory buildings incidental to farms, shall not be necessary unless the proposed land-disturbing activity results in a land disturbance exceeding 2,500 square feet in area, or if any encroachment into or disturbance of a resource protection area (RPA) is proposed.
(B) Pre-application conference. An applicant or the applicant’s authorized representative are strongly urged to arrange a pre-application conference with the Land Use Administrator. The purpose of the conference is to:
(1) Acquaint the applicant with the substantive and procedural requirements of this chapter;
(2) Provide for an exchange of information regarding the proposal as well as applicable elements of the Comprehensive Plan and pertinent regulatory and submission requirements;
(3) Advise the applicant of any known state or federal permits which must be obtained;
(4) Identify policies, regulations, and site features that create opportunities or pose significant constraints for the proposed development;
(5) Obtain copies of all necessary application forms; and
(6) Order a resource inventory for predevelopment planning and design as provided for in division (D) below.
(C) Development permit application. An application for a development permit shall consist of the following materials in sufficient copies as determined by the Land Use Administrator to permit an expeditious and comprehensive review:
(1) A completed development permit application form, together with the required fee, providing an explanation of intent, stating the nature of the proposed request, pertinent background information, and other information that may have a bearing on determining the action to be taken;
(2) Evidence that the property affected by the application is in the exclusive ownership or control of the applicant or that the applicant has the written consent of all partners in ownership of the affected property;
(3) A plan of development as required by division (E) below;
(4) Resource inventory for predevelopment planning and design (division (D) below); and
(5) Additional information required by other sections of this chapter because of the type of development proposed, the area involved, or the impact associated with the request.
(D) Use of a resource inventory for predevelopment planning and design required with every application for development.
(1) Unless waived in whole or in part as provided by division (G) below, all applications shall be accompanied by a resource inventory for predevelopment planning and design (resource inventory). The resource inventory shall consist of a composite inventory map of the site’s significant and sensitive natural and cultural resources. The decisions rendered by the county in consideration of applications for development will be based in large part on the sensitivity of the applicant’s proposal as it relates to these significant and sensitive features. The county will look most favorably upon development proposals which preserve, protect, and accommodate resources through the careful positioning and placement of land development activities away from these resources.
(2) This map will be generated by the county resource information system, a computer database, and provided to prospective applicants upon request and in return for payment of the prescribed fee. Prospective applicants are encouraged to secure this information from the Land Use Administrator at the pre-application conference (division (B) above) so it can be used as a basis for the development of sketch plats/plans (division (H) below) and subsequent submittals. Resource factors included in the resource inventory for predevelopment planning and design are tidal wetlands, tidal shores, connected and non-connected nontidal wetlands, floodplains, steep slopes, highly erodible and permeable soils, historic and archaeological sites, septic suitability, prime agricultural and forestlands, significant habitat areas, and significant viewsheds. The Land Use Administrator/plan-approving authority may require original fieldwork particularly as it relates to RPA delineation if deemed necessary in order to ensure the highest level of accuracy.
(E) Submission of a complete development permit application. Application materials shall be submitted to the Land Use Administrator, who shall indicate the date of submission on the application. Within ten working days after the date of submission, the Land Use Administrator shall determine whether an application is sufficiently complete to be forwarded along the proper DMP. If the Land Use Administrator determines that the application is incomplete or the necessary attachments have not been submitted, he or she shall immediately notify the applicant of this negative determination by mail or otherwise convey an explanation to the applicant. An application for which a negative determination has been made may be resubmitted (without charge if the original fee submission was as required) after it is revised to overcome the reasons for the negative determination. If a development permit application is in conformance with the submission provisions of this chapter, the Land Use Administrator shall accept it, deem it to be complete, note the date of acceptance, assign an application number, and initiate application processing in accordance with the appropriate DMP.
(F) Documents to be submitted.
(1) The documents to be submitted are intended to provide the plan-approving authority with sufficient information and data to ensure that the proposed development meets the zoning, and design and improvement standards contained in this chapter. The documents to be submitted will vary depending upon the nature of the development request and the approvals required to be obtained. The documents and details to be submitted are indicated within § 157.079.
(2) The potential impact of certain development proposals on the county, as well as any development in close proximity to naturally or culturally significant areas, may require a more detailed level of scrutiny on the part of the plan-approving authority. If it is deemed that a project may be of potential negative impact which would compromise the integrity of the Comprehensive Plan, or be inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter as stated in § 157.003 or with the overall spirit of this chapter, the plan-approving authority may require the submission of a community impact analysis. The precise content of a community impact analysis will be made specific by the plan-approving authority in response to the specific concerns it has with the development proposal. However, the scope of issues which the plan-approving authority could request the applicant to address include, but are not limited to:
(a) Archaeological and historic surveys;
(b) Cultural and natural resource impact studies;
(c) Fiscal impact analysis;
(d) Governmental services impact analysis;
(e) Groundwater studies;
(f) Residential and commercial market studies defining capacity for growth and the impact of the proposal on existing markets;
(g) Traffic impact analysis; and
(h) Utility analysis.
(G) Waiver of submission requirements.
(1) The Land Use Administrator may waive all or some of the submission requirements for those applications within DMP-A if he or she has determined that a complete and thorough review of the application can be accomplished without submittal data which is absent. The Land Use Administrator shall document the reasons for waiving submission requirements.
(2) The plan-approving authorities within DMP-B to DMP-E will make the final determination if a waiver from submittal requirements is warranted. The fact that the Land Use Administrator may label an application within DMP-B to DMP-E as complete for processing does not preclude the approving entity from requesting the submission of clarifying information or additional data.
(H) Submission of sketch plats and sketch plans. A conceptual sketch of the proposed subdivision or site plan is not required but is strongly recommended as an option which may help expedite the review of an application. The submission of a conceptual sketch affords the applicant the opportunity to discuss the proposal in its formative stages and receive the advice of the Land Use Administrator relative to procedural requirements and applicable ordinance provisions. The applicant shall submit two copies of the sketch along with a completed application form. The conceptual sketch should contain sufficient information accurately depicted in order to permit the Land Use Administrator to responsively and responsibly be of assistance. The Land Use Administrator shall return a marked up copy of the sketch plat/plan to the applicant depicting any comments and recommendations. The second copy and accompanying application form will be retained for filing.
(I) Simultaneous review of plats and plans and other requests.
(1) Where a proposed subdivision is a part of a development for which site plan approval is required, the subdivision plat/plan and the site plan will be reviewed at the same time as nearly as possible under the requirements of these regulations.
(2) With the approval of the plan-approving agent, applications for preliminary and final approval may be combined into a single submission requesting final approval.
(3) Plats and plans may be approved conditionally pending receipt of other approvals such as variance relief, wetlands permits, special exceptions, and the like.
(J) Submission of a minor subdivision/site plan.
(1) Any applicant requesting approval of a proposed minor subdivision and/or minor site plan (activities and uses associated with an individual single-family home) shall submit five copies of the plan required by this chapter along with a completed application form and the prescribed fee to the Land Use Administrator.
(2) The application will be declared completed or incomplete within ten days.
(3) Final action will be taken by the Land Use Administrator within 30 days if no public hearings are required for simultaneous wetlands applications, waivers, variance requests, and the like.
(K) Submission of a major subdivision/site plan. All major subdivisions and site plans shall be processed as specified below.
(1) General development plan.
(a) Applicants of major site plans exceeding ten acres (as measured by the limits of development), major subdivisions of 25 or more proposed lots, and residential mixed use applications shall have the option of dividing preliminary approval into two parts: phase one - general development plan, and phase two - preliminary approval. This will enable the applicant to present large scale plans with a description, but not full engineering details as part of phase one. With conditional phase one approval, the applicant can proceed with a higher level of confidence to phase two during which significant engineering expenses are generally incurred.
(b) Fifteen sets of all required submission materials shall be submitted to the Land Use Administrator for distribution to the Planning Commission. The procedures of DMP-B will be utilized. It may be necessary for additional sets of original or revised materials to be submitted to facilitate agency reviews and for the use of the Board after the Planning Commission has forwarded its recommendation to the Board for final action.
(2) Administrative major subdivision/site plan approval.
(a) Major subdivisions resulting in the creation of less than 25 lots and/or site plans on areas of less than ten acres (as measured by the limits of development) may be approved by the Land Use Administrator in accordance with the procedures of DMP-A. At his or her option, the Land Use Administrator may refer the application to the Planning Commission for review and comment and/or to the Board of Supervisors for preliminary approval in accordance with the procedures of DMP-C. The Board, at its option, may elect to process such a request in accordance with DMP-B.
(b) Five complete sets of submittal materials shall be submitted for processing in accordance with DMP-A. If DMP-B or DMP-C is utilized, 15 complete sets shall be submitted.
(c) Final approval shall be contingent upon the acceptance of any required performance and maintenance guarantees as per § 157.065.
(3) Major subdivision/site plans approval by the Board of Supervisors.
(a) Major preliminary subdivisions resulting in the creation of 25 lots or more, and site plans on areas ten acres or greater in size (as measured by the limits of development) shall be processed in accordance with DMP-B.
(b) Major final plat/plan approval shall be processed in accordance with DMP-C. Final approval shall be contingent upon the acceptance of any required performance and maintenance bonds as per § 157.065.
(4) Effect of general development plan/preliminary subdivision/site plan approval.
(a) The applicant shall have not more than 12 months after receiving official notification concerning tentative approval of a general development plan to submit an application for phase two - preliminary approval. Failure to do so shall make the general development plan approval null and void. The Land Use Administrator may grant an extension of this time limit for a total of no more than one year if requested to do so in writing, provided sufficient justification is given by the applicant.
(b) The applicant shall have not more than six months after receiving official notification concerning approval of a preliminary plat/plan to submit an application for final plat/plan approval. Failure to do so shall make preliminary approval null and void. The Land Use Administrator may grant an extension of this time limit for a total of not more than one year if requested in writing, provided sufficient justification is given by the applicant. Remaining sections of a phased development plan shall not become null and void as long as final plats/plans are submitted for approval with no lapse exceeding three years in time between the submittal of final sections.
(5) Effect of final approval of subdivisions and site plans.
(a) A single black-line print and a film positive of an approved major final site plan shall be submitted to the Land Use Administrator for filing. An approved final site plan shall be null and void if, in the opinion of the Land Use Administrator, no significant work is done or development is made on the site within 12 months after the date of site plan approval. A single one-year extension upon written request of the applicant with sufficient justification may be granted by the Land Use Administrator.
(b) Five black-line prints of an approved final subdivision plat shall be submitted to the Land Use Administrator for signatures. When a final subdivision plat has been approved, executed, and acknowledged in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter, it shall be recorded in the office of the Clerk of Circuit Court of the county within six months after final approval. No final plat of a subdivision shall be recorded unless and until it has been submitted to and approved by the county; and no Clerk or Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court of the county shall file or record a subdivision plat until the plat has been approved by the county and unless the plat is submitted for recordation within six months of the date of final approval by the county. Unless the approved plat is filed for recordation within six months after final approval, such approval shall be withdrawn and the plat marked void and returned to the applicant.
(L) Adjustments to approved site plans.
(1) After a site plan has been approved, minor adjustments to the site plan, which comply with the spirit of this chapter and with the general purpose of the Comprehensive Plan for development of the area, may be approved by the Land Use Administrator with notice of the change given to the original plan-approving authorities. Deviation from an approved site plan without the written approval of the Land Use Administrator shall void the plan and the applicant shall be required to resubmit a new site plan for consideration.
(2) Any major revision of an approved site plan may be made in the same manner as originally approved and any requirements of this chapter may be waived by the Land Use Administrator in specific cases where such requirement is found to be unreasonable and where such waiver will not be adverse to the purpose of this chapter.
(M) Adjustments to approved subdivision plats. No change, erasure, or revision shall be made on any preliminary or final plat, nor on accompanying data sheets after approval of the county has been endorsed in writing on the plat unless authorization for such changes have been granted in writing by the Land Use Administrator.
(N) Wetland permits required before final approval. No final approval will be granted until evidence of approvals for all wetland permits required by law are submitted to the Land Use Administrator.
(Ord. passed 11-9-1995; Ord. passed 12-8-2005)