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Site Design Checklist

This is a checklist of the factors that may be involved in evaluating a site for construction. Information is usually collected only for those items that are pertinent to the project. We hope this will help you answer questions about what it is you really need and want for your home
Overview of Design Requirements

Please describe the qualities of your building site that your designer should know about. Include likes and dislikes and any features that should be incorporated into the design.

Site Considerations

Climate

Prevailing winds
      Direction
      Maximum, minimum, and average velocities
      Special considerations (g., tornado, flood, hurricane-prone areas)

Solar orientation
      Sun angles
      Days of sunlight
      Cloud cover
      Shading of (or from) adjacent structures, natural features, and vegetation

Temperature
      Variation
      Maximums and minimums for various times of year

Humidity
      Variation
      Maximums and minimums for various times of year
Precipitation

                                      Peak period total
                                      Annual and seasonal total

Topography

                      Legal property description, including:
Limits of property
Easements
Rights of way
North indication

Topographic maps and aerial photos
      Contours and spot elevations
      Slopes: percentage, aspect, orientation
      Escarpments
      Erosion channels
      Location and configuration of rocks, ledges, outcrops, ridges, drainage lines
      Visual characteristics
      Potential problem areas during construction: silt, erosion, et


Analysis of physical features
Views and vistas
Neighboring structures: buildings, satellite dishes, etcetera
Shading and solar access
Noise from streets, emergency services, aircraft, etcetera
Odors

Access and circulation
      Vehicular
                                      Road access to property line existing
                                      Number of Parking Spaces required outside Garage
      Pedestrian

Vegetation

Water bodies
      Location, size, depth, direction of flow
      Water quality: clean, polluted, anaerobic conditions, et
      Use: seasonal, year-round
      Wetlands: ecological features
      Variations: expected water levels, tides, wave action
      Coastal features

Drainages: rivers, streams, marshes, lakes, ponds, etcetera
      Natural and built
      Alignments and gradients
      Pattern and direction

 Waterway easements
      Surface
      Subsurface

Surface drainage
      Location of streams and washes
      Proximity to floodplains
                      Maximum flood levels
                      Frequently flooded areas
      Local watershed areas, amount of runoff collected, and location of outfalls
      Swampy and concave areas without drainage
      Other obstacles that may interrupt or obstruct natural surface drainage
Unique site features
Geotechnical/soils
Basic surface soil type: sand, clay, silt, rock, shale, gravel, loam, limestone, etcetera
Rock and soil type: character/formation and origin
      Geologic formation process and parent material
      Inclination
      Bearing capacity
Bedrock
      Depth
      Type classification
Seismic conditions
Environmental hazards


Utilities
Potable water              
      Municipal
      Well
      If a well, is there a well-share?               Y / N
      Spring
Electricity
      Public Utility          already at property line?        Y / N
      Photovoltaic           location:
Gas
      Natural                   already at property line?         Y / N
      Propane
Telephone    How many numbers needed?
Television
      None
      Satellite
      Cable
      Antenna
Sanitary sewer service
      Municipal
      Septic
      Septic with supplemental blackwater treatment
Storm drainage (surface, subsurface)
Irrigation    
                same as potable                      
                rainwater catchment                             
                greywater
Fire protection

General Services
Fire and police protection
Trash/refuse removal services
Snow removal, including on-site storage

Cultural Factors

Site History

Former site uses
      Hazardous dumping / Landfill
      Old foundations
      Archaeological grounds
History of existing structures
      Historic value
      Affiliations
      Outline
      Location
      Floor elevations
      Type
      Condition
      Use
                Land Use, Ownership, and Control

Present zoning of site and adjacent property
      Site Location in Town
      Subject to review
      Site location in County
      Subject to review
      Restrictive Covenants (please provide)
      Subdivision with architectural Guidelines (please provide)
      Subject to review
Adjacent (surrounding) land uses
      Present
      Projected
      Probable effects of site development
Type of land ownership
Function and pattern of land use: public domain, farm type, grazing, urbanized
      Present
      Past
Location, type, and size of pertinent community services
      Schools and churches
      Shopping centers
      Parks
      Municipal services
      Recreational facilities
      Banks
      Food services
      Health services
      Access to highways, public transportation

REGULATORY FACTORS

                Zoning Codes
Permitted uses
      By variance
      By special use permits
      Accessory structures
Minimum site area requirements
Building height limits
Yard (setback) requirements
Lot coverage
Off-street parking requirements
Landscaping requirements
Sign requirements

                Subdivision, Site Plan Review, and Other Local Requirements
Lot requirements
      Size
      Configuration

      Setbacks and coverage
Street requirements
      Widths
      Geometry: grades, curves
Curbs and curb cuts
Dead-ends
Intersection geometry
Construction standards
Utility location(s)
Sidewalks
Drainage
Removal of spring and surface water
Stream courses
Land subject to flooding
      Detention/retention ponds
Parks
      Open space requirements
      Park and playground requirements
      Screening from adjacent uses

 Environmental Regulations
Water, sewer, recycling, solid waste disposal
Clean air requirements
Soil conservation
Protected areas, wetlands, floodplains, coastal zones, wild and scenic areas
Fish and wildlife protection
Protection of archaeological resources

Other Codes and Requirements
Historic preservation and landmarks
architectural (design) controls
Special districts
Miscellaneous: mobile homes, billboards, noise
Site-related items in Building Codes
                      Building separation
                      Parking and access for persons with disabilities
                      Service and emergency vehicle access and parking