Bureau of Planning and Zoning
City Hall - Room 125B
Rochester, NY 14614
What is Site Plan Review?
Site Plan Review is a formal detailed review of a project or proposal required under Section 120-191D of the City Code to assess the plans for a given site.
Site Plan Review establishes how a project may not comply with applicable codes and regulations, assesses the project’s elements of design and function, identifies necessary referrals to other public agencies, and often includes project recommendations.
How Do I Apply?
Application forms are available online or in the City’s Permit Office, Room 121B, City Hall, and should be submitted by appointment to Site Plan Coordinator Jason Haremza at (585)428-7761.
Pre-application discussion meetings are strongly encouraged before an application is submitted.
What is Required for Site Plan Review?
Site Plan Reviews require detailed professional drawings, stamped by a licensed architect, engineer, or other land use professional. Applications must detail both existing and proposed improvements to the site, elevations of any new buildings or additions, facade materials, parking plans, street accesses, screening and landscaping improvements, and show all changes intended for the site or structures there. Photos of the site area are requested. Each application form contains a list of what is required for a complete application.
An Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) is required, pursuant to NYS Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) laws, to determine if the project or proposal will have a significant adverse impact upon the physical or cultural environment, and if alternative or mitigating measures must be taken. Applicants must submit an Environmental Assessment Form (Long EAF or Short EAF) with their Site Plan application.
Who Reviews Site Plans?
The Manager of Zoning is authorized under the City Code to approve all site plans. The Zoning Manager regularly relies on the recommendations of the Site Plan Review Committee, which consists of professional staff from various City agencies. No public hearing is required for approval.
Larger or more complex proposals, deemed “Major Site Plan Reviews” (City Code Section 120-191D.3b), must be referred to the City's Project Review Committee (PRC), consisting of urban design specialists and City administrators. Members of the PRC are appointed by the Mayor. No public hearing is required.
Construction plans and drawings may be simultaneously submitted to the Division of Plan Review, Room 121B City Hall, (585)428-6643, to shorten approval time.
What is the result?
Final Site Plan Approval establishes that the project or proposal complies with all Zoning requirements, any conditions required, and final steps for completing the Building Permit. Updated drawings are often required to reflect all aspects of the approval.
Preliminary findings are issued in cases when special approvals such as a Variance or Special Permit are required. These findings typically provide a detailed code analysis of the application, and are followed by final Site Plan approval.
Site Plan Findings approved by the Manager of Zoning may be appealed to the City Planning Commission under Section 120-191C(9) of the City Code.