Article IX. Site Plan Review


28 – 901.1 PURPOSE

The purpose of site plan review is to ensure that certain proposed uses and structures and their enlargement and replacement shall conform to the regulations set forth in this Ordinance. A site plan is required to be submitted pursuant to any proposed development activity so as to verify or evaluate compliance with applicable development standards.  Under certain circumstances as outlined below, or as permitted by the Town Planner or his/her designee, the site plan submission requirements and/or review process may be simplified.

28 – 901.2 GENERAL

  1. Prerequisite to the issuance of a building permit, a site plan shall be submitted to the Town Planner for review by the Planning and Zoning Commission for multi-family commercial, industrial, and institutional structures of 5,000 or more square feet gross floor area.
  2. All new construction involving institutional, commercial, and industrial structures of less than 5,000 square feet gross floor area shall be subject to approval by the Town Planner or the Planner's designee during the building permit review process.  The Town Planner, Planner's designee, or the applicant may require Planning and Zoning Commission site plan review as provided for in Subsection 28 – 901.3.
  3. The site plan format and informational requirements for institutional, commercial, or industrial structures of 5,000 square feet or greater are as outlined in Subsection 28 – 901.3 below.
  4. For applications involving multi-family, institutional, commercial, or industrial structures less than 5,000 square feet, some informational requirements may be waived at the discretion of the Town Planner or designee.  In addition, if warranted by the simplicity of the request, the review process may be modified such that the application may be reviewed as per the standards and procedures for a single-family home.
  5. Applications for additions shall not be subject to Planning and Zoning Commission approval if either the gross floor area after the addition is built remains under the threshold described above, or the proposed addition represents less than a 10% increase in the floor area of the building.   This provision shall apply cumulatively over time.
  6. Site plan submission is not required for single-family, two-family or duplex dwelling units unless planned as part of a Planned Unit Development, or specifically required elsewhere in this Ordinance, other than that information which is required to be included with a residential building permit application.
  7. Where the submission of a site plan for a proposed use or development activity is required under this section, the site plan shall not be approved unless:

1. the site plan meets the design principles and standards and required improvements set forth in this Ordinance, the Town Comprehensive Plan, the Town of Easton Subdivision Regulations, and other ordinances, regulations, and policies established by the Town of Easton;

2.the site plan avoids or minimizes adverse impacts upon features (whether on-site or off-site) of historical, cultural or ecological significance;

3. the proposed use or development activity will not substantially increase traffic hazards due to traffic generated by the proposed use, the location of curb cuts or the layout of internal traffic circulation;

4. the site plan and the proposed use or uses do not cause any adverse impact upon the health or safety of persons residing  or working in the area surrounding the site or upon the character of the neighborhood surrounding the site; and

5. the site plan improves the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries.

H. Contiguous property owner notification is required for all site plans which require Planning and Zoning Commission or Board of Zoning Appeals (in the case of an Appealed Decision) review.

1. The Town Planner shall notify all owners of property located within 400 feet of any portion of the subject property.

2. This notification shall be the responsibility of the Town Planner and the notice shall be provided 14 days in advance of the meeting at which the Sketch level site plan is scheduled to be discussed by the Planning and Zoning Commission.  Notice shall be provided by First Class mail and shall be sent by the Planning Office.   The Town Planner shall also post the subject property at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting at which the sketch site plan is scheduled to be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission.   Notice shall also be posted on the Town of Easton’s website at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting at which the sketch site plan is scheduled to be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

3. The cost of notification shall be borne by the applicant for site plan rev.

Any site plan which does not satisfy the above stated requirements can and shall be denied by the Planning and Zoning Commission or the Town Planner.


Site plan approval for any use or structure requiring such review and approval under this Section involves a three (3) step process, Sketch, Preliminary, and Final Site plans.  Sketch, Development Site plans and Final Site plans shall be prepared by a registered professional engineer, registered architect, registered landscape architect, registered land surveyor, or professional planner (AICP) who is operating within the scope of his license with respect to the services provided.  Applicants are also advised to contact other governmental agencies (e.g. Easton Utilities, Maryland State Highway Administration, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, etc.) to obtain information as early as possible concerning any additional requirements those agencies may impose as a result of the proposed development. The information and format of the various plans shall be as follows:

A. Sketch Plan

A preliminary consultation shall be held with the Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss the general concept, use and design of the proposal. Twelve (12) copies of a generalized sketch or plat of the proposed site plan shall be submitted to the Town Planner who shall schedule the preliminary consultation for the next available Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.  Such sketch plan shall consist of:

  1. Location map,
  2. Boundary,
  3. Topography,
  4. General proposed land uses drawn to scale, and
  5. The Forest Stand Delineations as detailed in the Town of Easton’s Forest Conservation Ordinance.
  6. The location of any easements, rights-of-way or any other encumbrances which pertain to the property subject to the site plan review.
  7. Conditions of concern, for example, water courses, wetlands, floodplains, or other environmentally sensitive features.
  8. Locations of refuse collection, exterior lighting, fencing, and all pedestrian walkways and sidewalks.
  9. General location and description (i.e. intended function, proposed species, etc.) of proposed landscaping.
  10.  Location of parking including layout and landscaping.
  11.  Conceptual building elevations or renderings illustrating the character, scale, and materials of all proposed structures.  Such elevations or renderings shall be sealed by a licensed professional as described above.  Architecture should be in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan and Architectural Guidelines adopted by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
  12. Digital 3D renderings accurately depicting all building facades as well as those on all buildings within 200 feet in either direction on the same block as the proposed building.
  13.  A statement describing the extent to which the application complies with the Recommended Design Principles for Easton set forth in the Comprehensive Plan.

The Planning and Zoning Commission shall review and return comments following this preliminary consultation. The applicant shall incorporate the Planning and Zoning Commission’s comments and re-file the sketch plan. This process shall be repeated until approval is obtained. At that time the applicant may proceed to file a Development site plan.

B. Development Site Plan

A minimum of four (4) paper copies and one (1) reproducible copy of the site plan prepared in accordance with the following standards shall be submitted to the Town Planner for review.  The Town Planner will route the plans to the Town Engineer’s office and any other agency which may have an interest in a given application (e.g. Other Utility companies, the Easton Volunteer Fire Department, Easton Police Department, State Highway Administration, etc.).  The Town Planner will consolidate all agency comments and communicate with the applicant until all concerns have been satisfied.

  1. Vicinity map showing relationship to surroundings, including existing, proposed, or mapped streets within 1,000 feet and municipal boundaries within 1,000 feet of the tract.
  2. Each sheet numbered and the relationship shown to total number of sheets.
  3. Dimensions in feet and decimal parts.
  4. North arrow and cardinal directions.
  5. Boundary survey or survey of record of the property showing courses, distances and area.
  6. Detailed plans drawn at a scale that is legible, preferably on one (1) sheet.
  7. Existing contours with intervals not more than one (1) foot.  Elevations shall be based on the United States Geological Survey or equivalent adjusted datum.  (Source of contour data referenced on site plan; include a benchmark with elevation and location on the plan.)
  8. Location, width and names of existing platted streets or other public streets, railroad and utility rights of way, parks, open space areas, and municipal corporation lines within or adjoining the tract.
  9. Proposed public improvements, highways, or other major improvements planned on or near the site.
  10. Rights of way for all drainage purposes and utilities
  11.  All existing and proposed utilities, including location, grade and size of:
  1. Storm drain (including invert elevations and profiles).
  2. Sewerage facilities (including invert elevations and profiles).
  3. Catch Basins.
  4. Drainage ways, channels.
  5. Pumping Stations.
  6. Water mains.
  7. Street Lights.
  8. Electric, telephone, and/or cable television lines.
  9. Fire hydrants.
  10. Direction or, distance to and size of nearest water mains and sewers if not located on or adjacent to the site.

12.Conditions on adjoining lands; direction and gradient of ground slope, embankments, retaining walls, railroads and towers or other influences when identified by the applicant or Town Planner to be of concern.

13. Locations of all existing or proposed buildings, structures, parking facilities and other improvements.  Submission shall include a scale dimension from the property line to the proposed building.

14. If alteration is made to an existing building, structure, or other improvement, dotted lines shall denote features or locations to be abandoned and solid lines shall denote proposed features.

15. Building setback lines.

16. Signature and seal of registered land surveyor, registered professional engineer, registered architect, registered landscape architect or professional planner (AICP), responsible for the accuracy of the site plan.

17. Drainage calculations and certification.

18. Legend which clearly indicates existing and proposed improvements and natural features.  The legend or title block must include the following information:

a.  Zoning district.

b. Tax map and parcel number.

c. Developer’s name and address

d. Owner’s name and address.

e. Scale.

f. Date of drawing; date and type of revisions.

g. Utility symbols.

h. Name of projects.

19. Notes which identify:

a. Board of Appeals’ case number/approval date (if applicable)

b. Projected building schedule

i. Start

ii. Finish

c. Number of parking spaces:

i. Existing

ii. Proposed


d.  Number of residential units by type (if applicable).

e. Residential density in units per acre (if applicable).

20. Location of refuse collection, exterior lighting, fencing, and all pedestrian walkways and sidewalks.

21. The location, size, height, number, and orientation of all proposed signs.

22. Landscaping plan and legend prepared in accordance with Section 28 – 1014 of this Ordinance.

23. If residential development, include homeowner's association documentation when common open space and buffer areas are provided.

24. Certificates and statements.

23. Sedimentation and erosion control plan.

26. The Forest Conservation Plan and Forest Conservation Worksheet shall be submitted in accordance with the provisions of the Town of Easton's Forest Conservation Ordinance.

27. Renderings or sketches which accurately depict the architecture of any proposed structures.

C. Final Site Plan

The developer or engineer shall furnish the Town Planner with "As Built" mylar reproducible drawings at the completion of the project indicating infrastructure and structures.  These drawings shall include a signature block and certification indicating that all improvements associated with the project have been constructed or installed in accordance with the approved development site plan.  A falsely certified final site plan shall represent a violation of this Ordinance and be subject to the penalties prescribed for such actions, in addition to whatever punitive actions may be brought to bear upon the person signing the site plan by any professional association involved with the design professional’s field of practice (i.e. engineering, surveying, landscape architecture, etc.).

D. Amendments to Approved Site Plans

Any amendment to an approved site plan, as determined by the Town Planner to be insignificant shall be reviewed and approved or denied by the Town Planner.  Major or significant changes shall be subject to Planning and Zoning Commission review and approval.


A. Sketch Plan

Sketch Plan approval shall confer upon the applicant the following rights for a period of at least two (2) years, or for a longer period is determined by the Planning and Zoning Commission:

1. The total number of residential dwelling units, and the general type (townhouses, garden apartments, etc.)

2. The amount and type of non-residential gross floor area.

The Planning and Zoning Commission shall indicate the following which shall not vest, but still be presumed to be valid at Preliminary Site Plan Approval subject to engineering and environmental considerations:

1. The classification and location of major roads.

2. The general location of the different uses and density by land-use area.

B. Development Site Plan

Development Site Plan approval shall confer upon the applicant the following rights for a two (2) year period from the date of the preliminary approval

1. That the general terms and conditions on which preliminary approval was granted shall not be changed.

2. That the applicant may submit for final approval on or before the expiration date of preliminary approval the whole, or a section, or sections of the preliminary site plan; and 

3.That the applicant may apply for and the Planning and Zoning Commission may grant extensions on such preliminary approval for additional periods of at least (1) year but not to exceed a total extension of two (2) years.

C. Final Site Plan

Final Site Plan approval shall confer upon the applicant the following rights:

1. The zoning requirements applicable to the preliminary approval granted and all other rights conferred upon the developer pursuant to preliminary approval whether conditionally or otherwise shall not be changed for a period of three (3) years after the date of final approval.

2. If the developer has followed the standards prescribed for Final Site Plan approval, the Planning and Zoning Commission may extend such period of protection for extensions of one (1) year, but not to exceed three (3) extensions.