Site Plan Review

What is Site Plan Review?

Site plan review is a formal detailed review of a project or proposal for development, redevelopment, or for changes of use at a given location, pursuant to Section 120-191D of the City Code. This process takes into careful consideration the proposed design (massing, scale, materials, etc.), function, location, operational aspects, type of use, and compatibility of the proposal with the surrounding area to ensure that individually, and cumulatively, any potential adverse impacts are addressed and mitigated early to protect land values, and to protect and promote the public health, safety, and general welfare in support of the goals and objectives for which this chapter is established.

How Do I Apply?

Application forms are available online or in the City’s Permit Office, Room 121B, City Hall. Pre-application meetings are strongly encouraged before an application is submitted.

What is Required for Site Plan Review?

Site Plan Review requires 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, including 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. Photos of the site and surrounding 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 with their Site Plan Review application. The Environmental Assessment Forms can be found on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) website, including a workbook and other helpful mapping and interactive features, at

Who Reviews Site Plans?

The Manager of Zoning, or her designee, is authorized under the City Code to approve all site plans. The 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 which meet one or more “Major Site Plan Review” triggers are referred to the City's Project Review Committee (PRC), consisting of urban design specialists and City staff. 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 Director of Planning and Zoning may be appealed to the City Planning Commission under Section 120-191C(9) of the City Code.

For more information about projects of interest that are currently in the Site Plan Review process and to view the weekly Site Plan Review committee meeting agendas, visit the Site Plan Review Agenda webpage.



Anna Keller
Phone: (585) 428-7761
Zoning Office
30 Church St. Rm. 125B
Rochester, NY 14614