Site Plan Review

What is site plan review?
Site plan review provides the opportunity to review a plan in relation to surrounding uses, planned future developments, accessibility, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, street traffic, spatial relationships, off-street parking, public utilities, general drainage, environmental characteristics and other site elements which may affect the public health, safety, and general welfare, and its relationship and harmony with City ordinances and plans.

When is site plan review required?
Prior to the construction, alteration, or addition to any building or off-street parking area located in a non-single-family residential district.  The introduction of a new use to a site through a Special Land Use may also require site plan approval.

What points should be considered when formulating a site plan?
  • Zoning, building and parking setbacks, landscaping, drainage, parking & loading, ingress & egress drive, deceleration lanes, fire lanes, sidewalks, lightings, etc.  Specific requirements are provided on the City's Site Plan Review Checklist.
A informal meeting with Planning and Development Staff is encouraged to review site plan requirements and discuss in general a proposed plan.  The submittal of a Conceptual Plan for review by the Department of Planning and Development is highly encouraged.

(Single-Family Residential developments, Cluster housing, and Planned Unit Developments (PUD) require slightly different review processes; please contact the Department of Planning and Development for details.)

Planning Commission (Full) Site Plan Review or Administrative Site Plan Review?
Most development projects will require a Planning Commission (Full) Site Plan Review.

Some minor projects may qualify for an Administrative Site Plan Review.  Projects that may be eligible for this type of review include:
  • A minor addition to an existing building that does not increase the intensity of a use; or
  • A minor expansion of an off-street parking area that does not involve extensive grading.
Planning Commission (Full) Site Plan Review Process:

  • Application for Site Plan submittal: A completed application and checklist, eight (8) full size and nine (9) 11x17 size site plans and required fee shall be submitted to the City Planning and Development Department.  The site plan submittal must be received by the first Monday of the preceding month; i.e., if a site plan review is targeted for the February Planning Commission meeting, the submittal must be received by the first Monday in January.  The Planning Commission meets on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
  • Staff Review: Once a complete submittal has been received, the Planning and Development Department will begin its review of the site plan in accordance with the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.  The Planning Department will also coordinate site plan review with various City departments including the Building Department, Department of Public Works, Fire Department, Police Department, and consulting engineer, as needed. The prospective developer/project designer shall be informed of all comments made by the reviewing departments in advance of the Planning Commission Review.  In most cases, a revised site plan will be required to be submitted prior to the Planning Commission meeting to address/resolve review comments; the same number of plan sets are required as the initial submittal.  
(It is the applicant's responsibility to submit copies of the site plan to any outside agencies, such as the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), or the County Drain Commission.) 

  • Planning Commission Review: The Planning Commission shall approve, approval with conditions, postpone a decision, or deny approval of the site plan based on the requirements and standards of the Zoning Ordinance, as well as the Planning Department review letter. If approved, any conditions shall be made part of the motion to approve and documented in the Planning Commission’s minutes, a copy of which shall be provided to the applicant.
  • Engineering/Final Site Plan Review: Upon receiving Planning Commission approval of a site plan and prior to receiving any building related permits, the submittal of detailed engineering plans meeting the City's Construction Specifications, including standard City Detail Sheets, as well as containing all information presented on the approved site plan is required.  Eight (8) full size engineering plan sets with each sheet sealed along with a $1,000 engineering review deposit with actual costs billed to applicant per invoice are required to be submitted to the City Planning and Development Department for review.  Once the engineering plans have been determined to meet all City requirements, eight (8) full size engineering plan sets will be signed and approved by pertinent City departments.  In most cases, revisions to the initially submitted engineering plans will be required to address/resolve review comments; the same number of plan sets are required as the initial submittal.
  • Approved Engineering Plans/Final Site Plan: Site plan approval is valid for a period of one (1) year from the date of approval of the engineering plans.  Building permits must be issued and physical construction must commence within the one (1) year period.
  • Pre-Construction Meeting:  A pre-construction meeting is required for projects involving the construction of public infrastructure (City streets, water main, sanitary sewer) or other large-scale projects.  The Planning and Development Department needs to be contacted at least two (2) weeks prior to expected start of construction.  Construction observation fees are typically involved; an escrow fund, paid by the developer, will be setup by the City to cover the costs by the City's consulting engineer.
  • Construction & As-Built Drawings:
    • All building related permits can be obtained once the engineering plans/final site plan for the subject project have been signed and approved by pertinent City Departments. Please contact the City Building Department at 810.245.9621 for details on obtaining the subject permits.
    • When the the project is nearing completion, the applicant must contact the City Building Department at 810.245.9621 for inspections of the property by various City Departments at least one (1) week prior to the anticipated opening date; "punch list" items will generally be generated from the inspections. The applicant is responsible for contacting any other agencies such as the County Health Department for inspections.
    • A Certificate of Occupancy will be issued when all building and site development items have been completed.  In some instances, a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy will be issued when building and site development requirements have been substantially completed, but additional time is necessary to complete outstanding "punch list" items.
    • Digital as-built plans are required to be submitted to the Building Department prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Property Maintenance: The owner of a property shall be responsible for maintaining the property on a continuing basis in accordance with the approved site plan. The maintenance requirement includes healthy landscaping, walls, fences, pavement, pavement markings, signs, building exterior, drainage facilities and all other elements of a site. Failure to maintain a property in compliance with an approved site plan shall be deemed in violation of the Zoning Ordinance.
Administrative Site Plan Review Process: 

  • Application for Site Plan submittal: A completed application and checklist, eight (8) full size and one (1) 11x17 size site plan and required fee shall be submitted to the City Planning and Development Department.
A separate review of engineering plans is generally not required for minor projects under administrative review; however, pertinent items of the City's Construction Specifications, including standard City Detail Sheets are required to be addressed.

  • Staff Review: After determining if the proposed plan meets the general requirements and specifications for site plan review, the Planning Department will coordinate site plan review with various City departments including the Building Department, Department of Public Works, Fire Department, Police Department, and consulting engineer, as needed. Once the site plan has been determined to meet all City requirements, eight (8) full size site plan sets and one (1) 11x17 size site plan will be signed and approved by Director of Planning and Development.  In most cases, a revised site plan will be required to be submitted prior to Planning Department approval to address/resolve review comments; the same number of plan sets are required as the initial submittal.
  • Approved Site Plan: Site plan approval is valid for a period of one (1) year from the date of approval of the engineering plans.  Building permits must be issued and physical construction must commence within the one (1) year period.
  • Construction & As-Built Drawings:
    • All building related permits can be obtained once the site plan for the subject project has been signed and approved administratively by the Director of Planning and Development. Please contact the City Building Department at 810.245.9621 for details on obtaining the subject permits.
    • When the project is nearing completion, the applicant must contact the City Building Department at 810.245.9621 for inspections of the property by various City Departments at least one (1) week prior to the anticipated opening date; "punch list" items will generally be generated from the inspections.  The applicant is responsible for contacting any other agencies such as the County Health Department for inspections.
    • A Certificate of Occupancy or Compliance will be issued when all building and site development items have been completed.  In some instances, a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy of Compliance will be issued when building and site development requirements have been substantially completed, but additional time is necessary to complete outstanding "punch list" items.
    • Digital as-built plans are required to be submitted to the Building Department prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy or Compliance.
  • Property Maintenance: The owner of a property shall be responsible for maintaining the property on a continuing basis in accordance with the approved site plan. The maintenance requirement includes healthy landscaping, walls, fences, pavement, pavement markings, signs, building exterior, drainage facilities and all other elements of a site. Failure to maintain a property in compliance with an approved site plan shall be deemed in violation of the Zoning Ordinance.
Application & Checklist for Site Plan Review

Planning & Development Related Fee Schedule