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Site Plan Review

What is site plan review?
Site plan review involves a detailed and technical review of all aspects of a plan, including the location of buildings, layout of a site, pedestrian and vehicular circulation and access, landscaping, parking, screening etc, and conformance with existing master planning documents.
 
When is site plan review required?
All development proposals for new construction within the City of Birmingham must be reviewed and approved by the Birmingham Planning Board, and must go through both a Preliminary and a Final Site Plan and Design Review process.

All development proposals for additions to existing buildings or site plan changes to property located within the City's commercial, multiple-family residential, office and mixed use areas must also be reviewed and approved by the Birmingham Planning Board. Depending on the nature and magnitude of the proposed changes to the building or site, an applicant may need to go through both a Preliminary and Final Site Plan and Design Review process, or may proceed directly to Final Site Plan and Design Review if the Planning Division determines that the changes are not significant enough to warrant a Preliminary Site Plan Review.

Examples of site plan changes that may require review include:
  • Additions to existing buildings that alter the footprint of the building
  • Addition of extra stories
  • Relocation of streets or drives
  • Reconfiguration of parking facilities
  • Alteration of landscape beds
  • Changes to the location and / or screening of dumpsters
  • Changes to the location and / or screening of mechanical equipment (both rooftop and ground-mounted)
  • Changes to the location of parking lot screen walls
  • Changes to the location of pedestrian walkways
This list is not meant to be exhaustive. Some of the above changes may be suitable for administrative approval. See administrative approvals for further information.
 
Why is Site Plan Review needed?
Section 7.25 of the Birmingham Zoning Ordinance states that all new construction and site plan changes must be reviewed by the Planning Board, with the exception of single family residential sites.
 
Site Plan Review Process
Step 1 - Make an appointment with a city planner: A conceptual plan must be presented to a city planner prior to acceptance of an application for Final Site Plan Review. This meeting is intended for information sharing and general guidance.

Step 2 - Application for Final Site Plan Review filed: An application is deemed complete upon submission and acceptance of the completed application form and all required documentation. Once an application is deemed complete, a petitioner will be scheduled for the next available slot on the Planning Board's roster, which will be at least 28 days after the submission of the application package.

Step 3 - Departmental Review: Submitted plans are sent to appropriate departments for review. Comments are returned to the Planning Division prior to final review by Planning Division personnel.

Step 4 - Notices of Public Hearing: Notices are sent by the Planning Division to all property owners within 300' of the subject property at least 10 days prior to the Planning Board meeting at which the application will be considered.

Step 5 - Review Report: The Planning Division reviews the submitted plans and prepares a report to the Planning Board. A copy of this report is sent to the petitioner 3 days prior to the meeting.

Step 6 - Hearing at the Planning Board: Planning Board meets to consider the application for Final Site Plan & Design Review. Petitioner appears before the Planning Board to answer any questions.

Step 7 - Plan Revision (if necessary): Petitioner revises plans as required by the Planning Board and submits revised plans to the Planning Division at least 28 days prior to the Planning Board meeting at which the revised application will be considered.
 
Appeals
An applicant that wishes to appeal a decision of the Birmingham Planning Board has the right of appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals. An appeal must be made to the Board of Zoning Appeals within 21 days of the date of the decision from which the appeal is made.
 
Download the following applications:
Preliminary Site Plan Review