WHAT IS A SITE PLAN?
A site plan is a plan drawn to scale showing the entire property (including all property lines) with the existing and proposed structures, including parking pads.
WHY IS A SITE PLAN REQUIRED?
Anytime a structure or use is added to a property (such as fence, shed, parking, addition, house, etc) an accurate site plan or professional survey is required to determine if the project meets all Zoning Code requirements. Site plans are subject to Zoning Review.
IS A PROFESSIONAL SURVEY REQUIRED?
Any project involving new construction, building additions, substantial accessory structures, and/or parking must be submitted on a professional stamped site plan completed by an architect, surveyor, or engineer. If there is conflicting data about the location of a property line, a surveyor’s stamp will be required.
Zoning staff will make the final determination whether or not a project requires a professional survey.
CAN AN EXISTING SURVEY BE USED?
Existing surveys showing current conditions, regardless of when they were created, can be used for many projects including parking and additions.
If a prior application included a survey or site plan, that plan may be on file at the Division of Zoning and Development Review. To find out if Zoning has a suitable copy of a site plan or survey of a property, email email@example.com or call 412-255-2241.
CAN THE APPLICANT DRAW THE SITE PLAN?
Yes, when the applicant knows where the property line is and is applying for a minor accessory structure (such as fences, sheds, chicken coops, beehives, etc). Note: Fences and the public sidewalk are not necessarily installed on the property line and therefore cannot be used to determine where a property line is.
If the applicant does not know where the property line is, then they will have to hire a surveyor.
Tip: Next door neighbors may have a survey that may identify the location of at least one property line of the subject site. The Allegheny County Real Estate website property dimensions can be used to determine where the remaining lines are.
Note: Allegheny County Real Estate website maps and Google satellite maps are not accurate enough to meet the site plan requirement.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO DRAW A SITE PLAN?
Anyone who can draw straight lines with a ruler and measure accurately can draw a site plan with the right tools and information.
Step 1: Get all the measurements: property line dimensions, building dimensions, accessory structure dimensions, and all distances between the structures and the property lines. The Allegheny County Real Estate website has the dimensions of property lines (maps tab) and most houses (image tab).
Step 2: Draw the site plan. Most residential properties will fit on an 8 1/2” x 11” piece of paper. Zoning cannot accept any plans on paper larger than 11” x 17”.
Select the scale for the plan. It must be a standard architect’s or engineer’s scale. Anyone with a regular ruler can use the scale 1 inch equals 16 feet (1”=16’). This means that every inch as measured on the plan is the equivalent to 16 feet on the property.
How this works: Each inch on the ruler is divided into 16 lines, so each line represents 1 foot. If the lot is 100 feet long, count 100 lines on a ruler and draw a line that long on the paper. Continue to draw the remaining property lines using the same process--if the lot is 20 feet wide, count 20 lines on a ruler. Yes, the house and accessory structures will appear small at this scale...that is OK!
Once the property line is drawn, add the house and all accessory structures using the measurements gathered and at 1”=16’ counting one line on the ruler for every foot measured.
Step 3: Add details to the plan. The plan must also show:
- Name of the property owner
- Names of all streets, ways or alleys around the property
- Street address of the property
- Arrow indicating north
- Labeled measurements of all property lines and structures
- Labeled distance of all structures from the property lines
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the Zoning Counter at 200 Ross Street, 3rd Floor, Monday-Friday 8 AM to 3 PM, or call 412-255-2241.