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Permit and Plan Review Process

Jackson County has created a Plan Review Process to assist Developers, Design Professionals, Contractors and Property Owners who are seeking approval of site development applications for commercial, industrial, multi-family projects or projects having to meet the criteria established in the Jackson County Subdivision Ordinance. The review process includes most proposed projects within the County and in zoned jurisdictions. For more information regarding the Plan Review Process and Applications, please click on the appropriate link below or call the Jackson County Permit Center at 828-586-7560.

What is a Site Development Plan?

A site development plan is a set of scaled drawings which shows how the site will be developed and what the building will look like when it is completed. At a minimum the plans should include a Site Plan, Grading and Storm Drainage Plan, Erosion Control Plan, Utility Plan and Landscape Plan. The review procedures provide for an informal preliminary review (if requested by the applicant) and a final site development plan review. Site development plans are necessary to encourage the efficient use of land and to promote high standards in building layout, design, landscaping and construction. The site development plans are also intended to promote the goals of the jurisdiction's Comprehensive Plan, the Design Guidelines for Commercial/Industrial Corridors and any Ordinance requirements of the County or specific jurisdiction where the property is being developed.

When Site Development Plans are required

Site development plans are required when any of the following occur.

  • New construction, reconstruction, or expansion in any zoning district, except for single family detached houses or duplexes in residential districts.
  • The development of public or semi-public buildings.
  • Any exterior or site changes to a previously approved site development plan.
  • Projects that are required to meet the Jackson County Subdivision Ordinance standards.

      Administrative preliminary review of a project is not required, but encouraged. The preliminary review affords the applicant insights, which may ultimately save time and money with their project. At the time of full site plan review, two (2) copies and/or sets of drawings and a "PDF" file must be received by the Permit Center 7 days prior to the Plan Review Committee meeting. Review Committee meetings are held every third Thursday of the month; submission deadlines and meeting dates are available at the Jackson County Permit Center. Applications, which are incomplete or not accompanied by the appropriate fee and checklists, will not be placed on the agenda. In addition, the applicant or agent is required to show ownership or control of the site.

      Review Procedure

      All preliminary and final site plans are reviewed by the Plan Review Committee and are subject to the same review procedure. Once the plans are received by the Permit Center, they are routed to the appropriate department for review and comment. The Planning Department reviews the site plan for compliance with zoning regulations such as building height, setbacks, parking requirements and landscaping, property use and other applicable jurisdictional regulations. Building and Code Enforcement reviews the plans for compliance with the State Building Code and Erosion Control measures. The appropriate Fire District reviews the site plan as to the accessibility of fire equipment, fire hydrant locations, and building hook-up locations. The Health Department will review the plan for appropriate on-site sanitary and potable water systems. Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority (TWSA) will review the site plans for proposed public utilities lines or service connections. In addition, the applicant may be required to submit site plans for review to separate state or federal agencies if applicable. A representative from one (or more) County departments may contact the applicant should questions arise during the review of the project. Comments regarding the project from all the departments having review responsibilities are returned to the Permit Center where comments are then compiled  and a comprehensive report is prepared detailing the project and any administrative questions or concerns. A copy of the staff report is sent to the applicant; additional copies can be mailed or emailed to the applicant's engineer or architect upon request. At the (preliminary) Plan Review Committee meeting, the applicant (or his/her representative) should be prepared to make a brief presentation and answer questions that the Committee may have. The Committee may approve the the concept site development plan, approve the plan with stipulations or conditions, "table" the plan if they have additional questions or deny the application. Approval of a final site development plan expires twelve (12) months from the date of Plan Review Committee approval, unless a building permit has been obtained. The Committee, upon written request, may grant a single six-month extension to the applicant. Any project that is proposed in a jurisdiction governed by a Planning Council, shall be required to receive project approval from the governing council prior to submitting site development plans to the Permit Center for plan approval.

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