Site Plan Review
1152.01    Purpose.
1152.02   Site plan review.
1152.03   Site plan application.
1152.04   Site plan requirements.
1152.05   Environmental assessment report.
1152.06   Administrative and planning review.
1152.07   Planning Commission review.
1152.08   Notification of action.
1152.09   Conformance to site plan approval.
1152.10   Staged development.
1152.11   Financial guarantees.
1152.12   Design guidelines.
1152.13   Public right of way.
1152.14   Donation of green or open space in residential development to City.
         Definitions - see P. & Z. Ch. 1103
         Administration - see P. & Z. Ch. 1105
         Enforcement and penalty - see P. & Z. Ch. 1107
         Title Three - Zoning Districts
         Supplementary regulations - see P. & Z. Ch. 1151
         Parking and loading requirements - see P. & Z. Ch. 1155
         Sign regulations - see P. & Z. Ch. 1159
         Title Seven - Subdivision Regulations
   1152.01  PURPOSE.
   The purpose of this chapter is to establish procedures for site plan review as well as provide general site design and planning guidelines. These site planning guidelines are intended to insure that all elements required in this chapter are present in a site plan and that their design, location and relationship to one another, to the site and to adjacent properties are appropriate to achieve the intent and goals of this chapter. The site planning guidelines are intended to guide the site plan review process to make sure that significant design elements shall be considered in future development.
(Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
   1152.02  SITE PLAN REVIEW.
   (a)    The Planning and Zoning Commission shall conduct a site plan review for the following types of projects and developments:
      (1)   New construction of all uses, except single- and two-family dwellings or such developments within the R-R, R-T, R-1, R-2, and R-OS Overlay zoning districts, agricultural, their accessory or subordinate uses, and new construction of a residential development within the R-2A, R-G, R-3, and R-O zoning districts.
         (Ord. 2004-183.  Passed 11-22-04.)
      (2)   Changing the use or architectural feature, including building color, of an existing building or structure to another use or architectural feature, except single-family and two-family dwellings and agricultural uses.
         (Ord. 2005-60.  Passed 4-25-05.)
      (3)   Projects (except single family, two-family or agricultural) that are contemplating an addition or expansion which have any of the following effects:
         A.   Increase the floor area by fifteen percent (15%) or more of the existing floor area.
         B.   Alterations or re-arrangement of on-site parking which results in a reduction or increase in the number of parking spaces or placement within a required front yard.
         C.   Alteration of traffic flow by way of ingress and egress, or within the site itself.
         D.   Construction of public or private off-street parking areas where permitted in this Zoning Ordinance.
      (4)    Site plan amendment.
         A.   Any approved site plan may be amended by request of the applicant for site plan amendment.
         B.   The amended site plan shall show specifically what is proposed to be changed and details on the change. This may be accomplished by submitting applicable information in accordance with this chapter.
   (b)    No development or change of use described in Section 1152.02 shall be permitted until the site plan has been reviewed and approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, and they determine that the plan is consistent with the purposes and requirements of this Zoning Code, and that the requirements of this chapter have been satisfied.
(Ord. 2004-183.  Passed 11-22-04.)
   (a)    All projects described in Section 1152.02 shall necessitate the filing of an application for site plan review with the Zoning Inspector, who shall determine the completeness of the application as per this section. If the application is not complete, the Zoning Inspector shall not accept the application and shall inform the applicant of the application's inadequacies. No application shall be accepted until all fees are paid, as per Section 1107.08 of this Code.
(Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
   (a)    The application for site plan review shall include the following items:
      (1)    Application form completed.
      (2)    Architectural plans (three copies), showing exterior elevations and floor  plans. If exterior elevations are not available, reasonable graphic representations may be submitted.
      (3)    The site plan drawings (fourteen copies), showing the following items:
         A.    General vicinity map.
         B.    Property boundary lines and adjacent streets.
         C.    Elevation contours.
         D.    Traffic, circulation plan.
         E.    Parking and loading plan.
         F.    Landscaping plan.
         G.    Existing structures.
         H.    Proposed signage.
         I.    Utilities plan.
         J.    Grading, sedimentation and erosion control plan.
   (b)    All site plan drawings shall be prepared by a professional engineer, architect or surveyor, and shall have their seal on the plans.
   (c)    The site plan shall show provision for control of erosion, sedimentation and stormwater. The goal of these provisions are to prevent sediment from leaving the site and to allow no increase in stormwater runoff. The Portage Soil and Water Conservation District, soil scientists, or other competent agencies shall review the site plan. When planning and applying these provisions the following principles will be followed:
      (1)    Control sediment with silt fence and siltation basins. The basins will be designated and installed before the construction begins so that all of the surface water from exposed areas passes through these basins. Silt fencing will be installed as needed. The basins will be designated in accordance with the Soil Conservation Service specifications.
      (2)    The basins will be cleaned out as needed to maintain adequate retention time.
      (3)    Temporary seedings will be done to all areas when construction continues through or is not completed before the winter season. Seeding will be completed before October 1.
      (4)    At construction completion, stormwater retention basins will be established by conversion of sediment basins or other means. Stormwater retention practices will be designed so that post construction runoff is the same as pre-construction runoff. No after construction increase in amount of peak flow will be allowed.
      (5)    Assistance in completion of the site plan can be obtained from the Portage Soil and Water Conservation District at 6970 State Route 88 in Ravenna, Ohio 44266, 216/296-4311.
      (6)    Sediment basins (debris basins, desilting basins or silt traps) shall be installed and maintained to remove sediment from run-off waters, from land undergoing development, etc.
      (7)    Provisions shall be made to effectively accommodate the increased run- off caused by changed soil and surface conditions during and after development. (Use, etc.).
      (8)    The permanent final vegetation and structures shall be installed as soon as practical in the development, use restoration, rehabilitation, etc.
      (9)    The development, extraction or use plan shall be fitted to the topography and soils so as to create the least erosion potential.
      (10)    Wherever feasible, natural vegetation should be retained and protected.
   (d)    Waste Disposal Plans.
      (1)    Site plans shall show location and screening/fencing materials for outdoor refuse collection areas which shall be screened/fenced on three sides and shall show adequate ingress and egress for trucks to haul refuse away.
      (2)    Site plans shall be accompanied by a statement for industrial uses of how hazardous wastes will be handled including a statement that no poisonous or hazardous wastes will be discharged into the sanitary sewer or storm sewer, other than EPA acceptable levels.
   (e)    Site plans for multifamily units shall provide for centralized TV antenna.
   (f)   Site plans shall show that the relationship between buildings, open spaces, roads, drives, parking areas are located and related so as to minimize the possibility of adverse impacts upon adjacent development.
(Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
   (g)    A list of property owners within 250 feet of the property lines of subject property, as they appear on the County Auditor's current tax list or Treasurer's mailing list. (Ord. 1993-01. Passed 1-25-93.)
   (h)    Copies of current tax maps for subject and above properties shall be submitted.
   (i)   The proposed development shall conform to all applicable subdivision regulations including public site provisions of Section 1181.06 and 1183.01(d).
(Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
   (a)   In concert with enhancing and preserving environmental quality, an environmental assessment report shall be filed for projects (1) requiring Site Plan Review (Chapter 1152) or (2) if required by the Planning and Zoning Commission under Plat Review (Chapter 1177).
   The policy of the City shall be to use all practicable means and measures to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony and fulfill the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. Every resident has a responsibility to the environment. There is a need to understand the relationship between the maintenance of high quality ecological systems and the general welfare of the people of the City, including their enjoyment of the natural resources of the City. It is the intent of the City that the protection and enhancement of the environment shall be given appropriate weight with social and economic consideration in public policy. Social, economic and environmental factors shall be considered together in reaching decisions on proposed activities. In order to carry out the provisions of this Section 1152.05, it is the continuing responsibility of the City to use all practicable means, consistent with other essential considerations, to improve and coordinate plans, facilities, program and resources to the end that the City may:
      (1)   Fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations.
      (2)   Assure for all residents safe, healthful, productive and aesthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings.
      (3)   Attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or safety or other undesirable and unintended consequences.
      (4)   Preserve important historic, cultural and natural aspects of our heritage, and maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity and variety of individual choice.
      (5)   Achieve a balance between growth and resource use which will permit high standards of living and wide sharing of life's amenities.
      (6)   Enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the optimum attainable recycling of depletable resources.
   (b)    Required Information.  Each environmental assessment report prepared in accordance with this Section 1152.05 shall include the following:
      (1)   A description of the proposed action;
      (2)   A description of the existing environmental setting;
      (3)   The favorable and adverse environmental impacts of the proposed action;
      (4)   The means and estimated costs necessary to minimize the adverse impacts;
      (5)   Identification of alternatives to the proposed action including their impact  on the environment;
      (6)   Identification of any irreversible commitment of natural resources as a result of the proposed action;
      (7)   The growth-inducing aspects of the proposed action as related to natural resources; and
      (8)   A calculation of the recommended maximum residential density, if applicable.
   (c)    Review of Environmental Assessment Report. The environmental assessment report shall be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission along with the site plan or proposal under consideration. Prior to any determination on the proposed project, the Planning and Zoning Commission shall review and consider the environmental assessment report together with any comments submitted by the administrative departments or others.
   (d)    Basis for Approval.  The Planning and Zoning Commission shall not grant preliminary approval of any project or development unless it finds that the environmental impact of the project or development shall be in harmony with the City’s present development, and shall not have adverse effects on the physical or cultural environment.
(Ord. 2004-183.  Passed 11-22-04.)
   Once a complete application for site plan review or site plan amendment has been filed, the Zoning Inspector shall:
   (a)    Circulate copies of the site plan to:
(1)    Planning Commission: five copies;
      (2)    Planning Director: one copy;
      (3)    Service Director: one copy;
      (4)    County Sanitary Engineer: one copy;
      (5)    City Engineer: one copy;
      (6)    Police Chief: one copy;
      (7)    Fire Chief: one copy;
      (8)    Ward Council member: one copy;
      (9)    File: one copy;
      (10)   Portage Soil and Water Conservation Service: one copy; and such others  as necessary for review and comments. The technical reports and recommendations shall be presented in writing at the next regular Planning and Zoning Commission meeting available after administrative review is completed. The Clerk of the Planning Commission shall receive a copy of the site plan at the time the others are transmitted for informational purposes. Technical reviews shall be returned to the Zoning Inspector within thirty days from the date mailed unless the Zoning Inspector specifies a longer time period on the comment form.
   (b)    Arrange for a meeting with the applicant after comments and recommendations have been returned if there are any negative comments. Any necessary revisions should be made prior to the Planning Commission meeting.
   (c)    Advise the Clerk of the Planning Commission when site plan is ready for official review and provide copies of the administrative review reports and any other appropriate documents for the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Formal presentation of the site plan at this meeting shall be the basis for taking of action by the Planning Commission.
   (d)    Notify property owners and other parties by mail, fifteen days prior to the Planning Commission meeting at which the subject site plan will be considered.
      (Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
   The Planning Commission shall then review the site plan to determine compliance with this Code and fulfillment of planning and design objectives. The Planning Commission shall approve or disapprove within ninety days of the date of the initial Planning Commission meeting. If modifications are required, the applicant shall be notified of necessary modifications. The Commission shall have an additional thirty days to approve or disapprove the site plan once the modifications have been re-submitted at the Planning Commission meeting. An extension of time may be taken if mutually agreed to in writing.
(Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
   (a)    The Planning Commission may seek expert advice or cause special studies to be made during the review time period and such costs shall be borne by the applicant, but shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) (except PUDs) which sum shall be deposited with the City at the request of the Planning Commission.
   (b)    If approved, the applicant shall be notified in writing. The Chairman of the Planning Commission shall sign and date a copy of the approved plans, which shall become the officially approved site plan. From that date, the applicant shall have one year to obtain a zoning permit from the Zoning Inspector. Failure to obtain the permit within one year, shall cause the approved site plan to be invalid and the applicant must re-apply in accordance with Section 1152.03 of this Zoning Ordinance. Each reapplication shall be accompanied by a fee as specified in Section 1107.08.
   (c)    If the plan is disapproved, the applicant shall be notified in writing. The plan may not be re-submitted to the Commission for one year from the official decision, unless revisions are made to bring the site plan into conformance. (Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
   (a)    Site plan approval may be revoked if proposed development has not been issued a zoning occupancy permit and is found to be violating the requirements of this Zoning Ordinance and/or any condition attached to site plan approval by the Planning Commission.
   (b)    In order to revoke a site plan approval, the Commission shall schedule a hearing and notify the original applicant or project representatives twenty days prior to the hearing by certified mail.
   (c)    In the event that the Commission decides to revoke approval the occupancy permit shall not be issued until the Commission certifies that the violation(s) has been corrected.
   (d)    Where such a violation involves a project where an occupancy permit has been issued, the violation shall be treated as a violation to this Zoning Ordinance and be subject to penalty as specified in Section 1107.11.
(Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
   Where a proposed site plan shows a staged development, each stage shall be constructed within the timeframe specified in Section 1107.05.
(Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
   Prior to issuance of zoning permits, a cash bond or other financial guarantee shall be placed on deposit with the Finance Director of the City, to insure that improvements, such as landscaping, parking and sidewalks, are installed in conformance with the approved site plan. The bond or guarantee shall be for the construction cost estimate of the improvements based on an estimate approved by the City Engineer, plus twenty percent (20%) of the estimate in lieu of increased costs, and shall be for a period not to exceed two years and providing for the complete construction of the improvements within that period. Such performance bond or other financial guarantees shall be returned to the applicant only if and after the certificate of occupancy is issued to the applicant. (Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
   The following guidelines are to be used by those involved in site planning and design to guide the site planning process and to serve as the Planning Commission's and Beautification Committee's guidelines for judging appropriate site design features.
   (a)    Relationship to Adopted Plans and Policies.
      (1)    The site plan shall reflect all City plans and policies affecting the site, including neighborhood plans, key areas plans, master concept plans or previously adopted planned unit residential or planned commercial or industrial development plans.
      (2)    The site plan shall be consistent with the statement of intent for the zoning district in which it is located.
   (b)    Site Planning/Open Space.
      (1)    The natural topographic and landscape features of the site should be incorporated into the development wherever possible.
      (2)    Buildings and open spaces should be in proportion and scale with existing structures and spaces in the surrounding area.
      (3)    A site should not be so overcrowded as to cause unbalanced relationships of buildings to open space. Open space areas should not be unduly isolated from one another by unrelated physical obstructions such as buildings and paved vehicular areas, but rather, should be linked by open space corridors of reasonable width.
      (4)    When possible, natural separations should be created on the site by careful planning of streets and clustering of buildings using natural land features and open space for separation. Cul-de-sacs and loop streets, coupled with open spaces, should be used to achieve separation and create identity for sub-areas on the site.
   (c)   Building Design and Orientation.
      (1)    As dwelling unit intensities increase greater opportunities for privacy should be provided by utilizing fences or walls to enclose internal views.
(2)    The primary living area of a dwelling for the primary activity area of a building should be oriented toward a natural site amenity where possible.
(3)    Buildings should be sited in an orderly, nonrandom fashion. Excessively long, unbroken building facades should be avoided.
(4)    Consideration should be given in the siting of mid and high rise buildings to the privacy of occupants of adjacent buildings.
(d)    Stormwater Management Measures. The careful design of stormwater management measures shall be an integral part of the overall development planning process.
      Stormwater runoff from the development should be handled, as much as possible, through a natural system of roadside swales, grassed swales, grading control, terraces, drop structures, induced infiltration, porous pavements and detention/retention control. These should be designed as an integral part of the open space amenities or the parking and circulation system on the site.
   (e)    Circulation.
      (1)    Street network. Short loop streets, cul-de-sacs and residential streets should be used for access to low density residential land uses in order to provide a safer living environment and a stronger sense of neighborhood identity. Access to arterial streets should be limited, whenever possible, to high density residential and non-residential land uses.
      (2)    Street alignment.
         A.    A combination tangent/curve street network should be used to respect the existing natural features of a site, provide visual interest and create a more practical alignment for efficient site planning of building clusters.
B.    Horizontal and vertical alignment of streets should be designed to minimize grading quantities. This includes working with the existing grade rather than against the grade to avoid excessive cut or fill.
   Particular effort should be directed toward securing the flattest possible grade near intersections.
      (3)    Pedestrian circulation.
         A.    Residential Uses:
            1.    The complete separation of vehicular/pedestrian circulation should be achieved whenever possible.
            2.    Walkways which provide access to parking, trash disposal facilities, mailboxes, service areas and community facilities should be approximately four feet in width. Common area paths designed to carry heavier pedestrian traffic should generally be five to six feet in width in order to accommodate two pedestrian lanes or one pedestrian lane and one bicycle lane.
      (4)    Nonresidential uses.
         A.    Off-street parking area should be located within convenient walking distance to the use being served.
         B.    Handicapped parking should be as near as possible to the structure to avoid crossing parking aisleways.
         C.    Pedestrian and vehicular circulation should be separated as much as possible, either through crosswalk/pavement markings, signalization or complete grade separation.
         D.    Path and sidewalk crossings should be located where there is good sight along the road. Ideally, street crossings should occur at intersections.
   (f)    Parking Lots and Garages.
      (1)    When locating points of ingress and egress, consideration should be given to the location of existing access points, adjacent to and directly across the street from the site. Curb cuts should be shared by adjoining uses whenever possible.
(2)    Parking areas should be screened and landscaped and traffic islands should be provided to protect circulating vehicles and to break-up the monotony of continuously paved areas.
(3)    Drive-through establishments, such as banks, should be located to allow stacking space for peak hour operation and not restrict other parking lot circulation.
(4)    Detached residential garages and carports should respect the location of adjacent garages and driveways and should be architecturally compatible with the principal structures on the site. When possible, garages should be incorporated as a screening element in the overall site plan and used to create private outdoor spaces and block objectionable views.
   (g)    Architectural Character, Continuity and Comparability.
      (1)    Development and infill development should be viewed as part of a cluster, block, neighborhood, or the entire community. Developments should be designed with the idea of being architecturally compatible with nearby structures or to screen incompatible elements of nearby development.
(2)    Within the standards of the applicable zoning district, the height, scale and setback of each building should be compatible with existing or proposed adjoining buildings. Architectural style should not necessarily duplicate adjoining structures, but should be compatible in overall form, texture, color and rhythm.
(h)    Architectural Style.
(1)    The following is a checklist for evaluating architectural character and compatibility. The following elements should be considered in determining the archictural style or character of an area and whether a proposed development is compatible with surrounding uses.
A.    Form (building footprint) - are the structures small or massive; rectangular or linear; close together or far apart.
B.    Height - are the buildings primarily horizontal or vertical.
C.    Building materials - what are the predominant materials used; are there several materials used or only one or two.
D.    Colors - what are the predominant colors used on the buildings; are many colors or only a few colors used.
         E.    Roof pitches - are the roofs sloped or flat; what specific roof types are used.
         F.    Window and door details - what is the arrangement, proportion and design details of windows and doors.
         G.    Complexity - are the building walls broken or unbroken; is the overall design simple or ornate.
         H.    Paved areas and service areas - where is the location of parking garages and service areas; what is the amount and location of paving on the site; is the front yard paved; how do buildings relate to streets.
         I.    Landscaping - what is the amount, location and type of landscaping and open space around the buildings and on the site.
         J.    Signs and street furniture - what types and number of signs and street furniture are provided; where are they located in relationship to structures.
      (2)    Consistency in architectural style should be provided within a development or an infill area.
(3)    The architectural style should be carried out in as authentic manner as possible.
(4)    Variety can be provided within a particular architectural style by subtly varying building form, setbacks, colors and materials.
   (i)    Signs.
      (1)    All signs, including wall, free-standing and window display should be of a complimentary scale and proportion in design and in visual relationship to the site and its structures. Signs within a development should be compatible with each other and signs should not compete for attention with signs on adjoining premises.
(2)    The colors, materials and lighting of every sign should be restrained, and harmonious with the building site to which it relates. Signs should define or enhance architectural elements of the building, not obscure or destroy them.
(3)   The number of graphic elements on each sign should be held to the minimum level needed to convey the sign's major message and should reflect simplicity, neatness and minimum wording, not only to avoid visual clutter, but to improve legibility.
(4)    Signage on each building should be consolidated and coordinated.
(5)    Signs should identify the name and type of establishment and not advertise products or brand names.
(j)    Climatic Considerations/Energy Conservation (Optional).
(1)    Consideration should be given to both over and underheated periods of the year when determining building locations.
(2)    To maximize the effect of solar radiation in winter months and maximize shade in the summer months.
         A.    Deciduous trees should be used for summer shade and winter warmth.
         B.    Active living spaces should be oriented to the south for winter warmth.
         C.    Building overhangs should be designed to shield the high summer sun and expose the area to the lower winter sun.
      (3)    Steeply pitched roofs should be used on the windward side to deflect wind and reduce the roof area affected by the winds.
      (4)   Bland walls, garages or storage uses should be used on north exposures.
      (5)    North entrances should be protected with earth mounds, evergreens and walls and fences.
(6)    Natural ventilation with prevailing summer breezes should be allowed for whenever possible.
   (Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
   When a planned unit development R-PUD or parcel thereof, multi-family use, R-3, R-O or business or commercial, C-1, C-2 or C-3, mobile home district I-1 properties are improved by individual lot or block for a principal land use, or conditional use, including institutions of human care, religious ownership, government facilities, private utilities or education, the improvement shall include applicable provisions of the subdivision regulations for the public right of way benefitting and fronting on the property under consideration including earthwork, drainage, storm sewerage, sanitary sewerage, central water supply piping with fire protection, curbs, sidewalks, acceleration and/or deceleration lanes, paving reconstruction or pavement overlay, and easements therefor, all as deemed necessary for the public health and safety by the City Engineer (or PCSE by jurisdiction) when such sites are improved along State highways and major secondary roads eligible for "M" funds as published by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation System (AMATS). When improvements are required in the public right of way in accordance with 1152.13 hereof, plans and procedures (with the exception of dedication plat revisions) shall follow the provisions outlined in Section 1177.04(a), General Procedure for Public Improvements Stage IV through Stage VII.
(Ord. 1989-48. Passed 8-28-89.)
    Council establishes the following open space policy:
   (a)   Land designated as “open space” (as that term is defined in Codified Ordinance Section 1103.02(a)(91)) under the application of Codified Ordinance Chapter 1130A, R-OS Overlay Residential-Open Space Overlay District, or Chapter 1152, Site Plan Review, shall be donated to and accepted by the City as part of the development plat, without cost to the City, to be maintained as open space, except as otherwise provided by ordinance of Council.
   (b)   The Planning and Zoning Commission is directed to apply this policy and implement its objectives to all zoning applications involving open space that come before it after the effective date of this section.
   (c)   The open space donated and accepted by the City under this policy may be included in the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan for passive recreational use by City residents. 
(Ord. 2007-26.  Passed 2-26-07.)