As development processes have become more complicated, the Town has realized that it is important to refine our plan review processes to ensure timely and accurate review for all applicants. In order to do this, we are instituting new internal processes to coordinate with existing Design Review Board and Planning Commission processes for the review of “major” projects happening in the Town. These projects are basically any which result in site alterations which impact drainage and transportation systems, but not including individual home construction on a single lot.
This Development Review Team (DRT) will be made up of representatives of several Town departments to ensure that all aspects of the development process are being considered together in order to minimize lost time and streamline staff comments. Each project will be assigned to a team of reviewers pulled from the Planning, Transportation, Fire, and Public Services Departments. If needed, reviewers from other departments or outside agencies may be pulled in on a case-by-case basis, depending on the complexity of the project. The review system will be coordinated by the Program Manager who will review incoming DRB and Planning Commission applications to determine which qualify for this track of review. Only projects with complete application packets will move forward; others will be returned as incomplete for correction and re-submittal the following month. This process will also be used to coordinate review of any applicable Town projects.
Upon initial application for DRB or Planning Commission, DRT-eligible projects will be subject to a “Conceptual Review” which will utilize conceptual site drawings to determine initial compliance with the Town’s ordinances. The conceptual site drawings must include all items included on the DRT conceptual checklist. At this level, the DRT will review the conceptual plans, then meet as a team to discuss and consolidate comments prior to sharing them with the applicant. Review of the conceptual comments with the applicant will be scheduled as needed. This level of review will serve as the pre-application meeting with DRB staff and the preliminary staff review meeting for Planning Commission applications.
These conceptual comments shall be compiled into one document and sent to the applicant. The applicant will need to address comments, with any questions being directed to the team leader. After conceptual comments are successfully addressed, the project may move on for formal DRB or Planning Commission approval, as appropriate (in this and all cases, comments will be considered “successfully addressed” based upon written confirmation by the team leader).
The second level of DRT review will address the full DRB or Planning Commission plans, according to the criteria spelled out on the existing DRB and Planning Commission checklists(as may be amended). As before, projects with incomplete submittals (as determined by the Program Manager) will be returned to the applicant for correction and re-submittal the following month. At this phase, DRB and Planning Commission comments/decisions will be consolidated and returned along with DRT comments. If, after one full review, the DRB or Planning Commission have approved the project and all comments have been addressed, the project may be approved by DRT.
DRT approval will not be given until all team members have indicated that their comments have been adequately addressed and any necessary Board/Commission approvals have been granted. This may be accomplished in one cycle if comments are minimal but may also take additional cycles if many changes need to be made. DRT approval will encompass Board/Commission approval, MS4, and approval of encroachment permits, and is required prior to the issuance of any clearing and grading permits or building permits.