SECTION 1208.01 PURPOSE:
Based upon the established Comprehensive Plan, it is the policy of the City of Sunfish Lake to preserve and promote an attractive, stable residential environment for its citizens which is in keeping with the open, natural character of the community. As a means to maintain and achieve this objective every property owner shall, before the alteration of land and/or commencing the construction or exterior alteration of a structure and/or buildings, make application for and process before the City, a site and building plan. Said plan approval may also be required in conjunction with interim use, conditional use and/or variance consideration. The following rules shall govern applications for site and building plan approval.
SECTION 1208.02 CLASSIFICATION:
A. For the purpose of this Ordinance, site and/or building alterations and new structures shall be classified as either major or minor.
B. Minor site and/or building alteration or new structures include:
a. The removal of five (5) or less significant trees within the required lot setback areas, within a two (2) year period, shall be exempt from this section but shall be subject to the approval of the City Forester.
b. The removal of six (6) or more significant trees within the required lot setback areas, within a two (2) year period, shall be subject to this section.
c. Except as provided in the Shoreland Overlay District, the removal of significant trees internal to a lot and outside the required setback areas shall be exempt from this section, except that the removal of ten (10) or more such trees over a two (2) year period shall be subject to the approval of the City Forester.
2. Except as provided in the Shoreland Overlay District, the grading, excavation, removal and/or filling of less than fifty (50) cubic yards of dirt, sand, gravel/rock, mulch, or other natural material provided site drainage is not altered. Such activities commonly associated with gardening (e.g., soil amendments, tree/shrub planting, reseeding and rototilling) and grading associated with the resurfacing or top dressing of existing driveways, provided they do not alter site drainage, shall be exempt from any processing requirements.
a. When associated with building additions/alterations or other construction activities requiring a building permit, a separate grading permit shall not be required.
b. A grading permit shall be required for all other earth disturbing activities and shall be issued at the discretion of the City Building Official, who may confer with other City Consultants regarding acceptability of the proposed grading or excavation activity. Should it be determined that the project impacts site drainage or will alter the land to an extent that may impact neighboring properties, review of the project will be necessary through the Minor Site and Building Plan process, and formal application shall be made with the City Planner, accompanied by a fee as provided for by City Council resolution.
c. In any case, all projects must comply with the grading and filling standards in the City's Stormwater Management Ordinance (Section 1216.04.F).
3. The hard surfacing of an area one thousand (1,000) square feet or less, or the hard surfacing of an existing driveway or a new driveway provided that, in any such case, the site drainage is unaltered and equal to that before construction. The hard surfacing of an area not exceeding two hundred (200) square feet within any consecutive three year period is exempt from this section provided that the site drainage is unaltered and all performance standards contained herein are met.
4. Existing building alterations which:
a. Are less than one thousand (1,000) square feet in total area.
b. Do not increase an existing building's footprint greater than one thousand (1,000) square feet.
c. Does not result in a structure greater than thirty (30) feet in height.
d. Maintains the architectural character and appearance of the principal structure.
e. Does not adversely impact neighboring properties.
5. Accessory building construction of one thousand (1,000) square feet or less which:
a. Does not require a conditional use permit or variance.
b. Maintains the architectural and design character and appearance of the principal structure.
c. Does not adversely impact neighboring properties.
C. Site and/or building alterations or new structures not qualifying as minor projects shall be classified as major.
SECTION 1208.03 PROCEDURES:
Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 15.99, as may be amended, an application for site and building plan review shall be approved or denied within sixty (60) days from the date of its official and complete submission unless notice of extension is provided by the City or a time waiver is granted by the applicant. If applicable, processing of the application through required state or federal agencies shall extend the review and decision-making period an additional sixty (60) days unless this limitation is waived by the applicant. Additional City requirements are as follows:
A. Minor Projects:
1. Requests for minor site building plan project approval, as provided by this Ordinance, shall be filed with the City Planner on an official application form. Such application shall be accompanied by a fee as provided for by City Council resolution. Such application shall also be accompanied by three (3) large scale copies and one (1) reduced scale (11" x 17") copy of detailed written and graphic materials fully explaining the proposed change, development, or use.
2. The City Planner shall instruct the appropriate staff persons to prepare technical reports when deemed necessary and shall conduct a technical review and be responsible for the processing and approval or denial of the request.
3. The City staff shall have the authority to request additional information from the applicant concerning project details or operational factors, or to retain expert testimony with the consent, and at the expense of the applicant, concerning operational factors. Said information is to be declared necessary to evaluate the request and/or establish performance conditions in relation to all pertinent sections of this Ordinance. Failure on the part of the applicant to supply all necessary supportive information may be grounds for denial of the request.
4. At least seven (7) days prior to a decision on the project, the City Planner shall notify in writing the City Council and the immediately abutting property owners of the proposed project.
5. The City Planner shall have the authority to require the project to be processed as a major site and building plan if it is determined that significant issues are generated which require policy direction or cause area-wide concern.
6. The City Planner shall deny the project or shall approve the project plus impose such conditions or requirements as may be deemed necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of this Ordinance.
B. Major Projects:
1. Request for site and building plan approval, as provided within this Ordinance shall be filed with the City Planner on an official application form. Such application shall be accompanied by a fee as provided for by City Council Resolution. Such application shall also be accompanied by five (5) large scale copies and one (1) reduced scale (11" x 17") copy of detailed written and graphic materials fully explaining the proposed change, development, or use. The request for site and building plan approval shall be placed on the agenda of the first possible Planning Commission meeting occurring after thirty (30) working days from the date of submission. The request shall be considered as being officially submitted when all the information requirements are complied with.
2. Written notification of said meeting shall be mailed at least ten (10) days prior to all owners of land within one thousand (1,000) feet of the boundary of the property in question (public right-of-way shall not be included in the one thousand (1,000) foot measurement). The City Planner shall have the right to provide additional property owners notification beyond the one thousand (1,000) foot distance if it is judged that the request will have impact upon additional properties. The County Assessors records shall be deemed sufficient for determining the location and ownership of said property. A copy of the notice and a list of the property owners and addresses to which the notice was sent shall be made a part of City records.
3. Proof of Ownership or Authorization: The applicant shall supply proof of title and the legal description of the property for which the site and building plan approval is requested, consisting of an abstract of title or registered property abstract currently certified together with any unrecorded documents whereby the petitioners acquire a legal ownership or equitable ownership interest or supply written authorization from the owner(s) of the property in question to proceed with the requested site and building plan approval.
4. The City Planner shall instruct the appropriate staff persons to prepare technical reports where appropriate, and provide general assistance in preparing a recommendation on the action to the Planning Commission and the City Council.
5. The City Forester will make an assessment of invasive species at a building site. Invasive species are defined by Section 1202.02 of this Ordinance. A copy of the assessment will be given to the property owner and the Planning Commission and City Council. The property owner will also be given education materials relating to invasive species control.
6. The Planning Commission and City staff shall have the authority to request additional information from the applicant concerning operational factors or to retain expert testimony with the consent and at the expense of the applicant concerning operational factors. Said information is to be declared necessary to evaluate the request and/or to establish performance conditions in relation to all pertinent sections of this Ordinance. Failure on the part of the applicant to supply all necessary supportive information may be grounds for denial of the request.
7. The applicant or a representative thereof shall appear before the Planning Commission in order to answer questions concerning the proposed request.
8. The Planning Commission shall recommend such actions or conditions relating to the request as they deem necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of this Ordinance.
9. The City Council shall not consider a site and building plan application until they have received a report and recommendation from the Planning Commission. If, however, the Planning Commission has not acted upon the request after sixty (60) days from the first regular meeting at which the request was considered, the City Council may proceed with its consideration and action on the request.
10. Upon receiving the report and recommendation of the Planning Commission, the City shall place the report and recommendation on the agenda for the next regular City Council meeting. Such reports and recommendations shall be entered in and made part of the permanent written record of the City Council meeting.
11. The applicant or a representative thereof shall appear before the City Council in order to answer questions concerning the proposed request.
12. Approval of a request shall require passage by three of five (3 of 5) votes of the entire City Council.
SECTION 1208.04 EVALUATION CRITERIA:
The City Planner, with respect to minor projects, and the Planning Commission, as its basis of recommendation, and the City Council, as its basis for decision on major projects, shall evaluate the effects of the proposed site and building plans. This review shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
A. Whether the proposed improvements are compatible and in harmony with the existing structures in the surrounding community.
B. Whether the proposed improvements preserve the character and nature of the surrounding community, including the natural landscape and woodland characteristics of the community.
C. Whether the proposed improvements are not constructed of unsightly, improper or unsuitable materials.
D. Whether the proposed improvements will not materially adversely affect any natural resources in the community, except when there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the proposed location of the improvements. For purposes of this clause, "natural resources" shall include, but not be limited to, all mineral, animal, botanical, air, water, land, timber, soil, quietude, recreational, historical, scenic and aesthetic resources.
E. Whether the proposed site and improvements shall have an appearance that will not have an adverse effect upon adjacent residential properties.
F. Whether the proposed site improvement complies with drainage requirements, as provided in Section 1216.04 of this Ordinance.
G. Whether the proposed site and improvements are consistent with the purposes of this Ordinance and the Property Owner Reference & Development Guide Manual, as established by City Council resolution.
SECTION 1208.05 INFORMATION REQUIREMENT:
The information required for all site and building plan applications generally consists of the following items, and shall be submitted when requested by the City:
A. Existing Information:
1. Names, addresses, and phone numbers of property owner(s), applicant, surveyor, architect, engineer, or other persons associated with the project.
2. Proof of title and the legal description of the property.
3. Property boundary lines in relation to a known section, quarter section, or quarter-quarter section line(s) comprising a legal description of the property and including bearings, distances, curve data, and total acreage of parcel.
4. Lot dimensions, including width as measured at the front building setback line.
5. Building setbacks, existing and proposed.
6. North arrow and scale no smaller than 1 inch = 100 feet.
7. Existing land uses.
8. Layout of buildings, old foundations, septic systems, wells, and other site elements which currently exist on the property and those on adjacent properties to within three hundred fifty (350) feet.
9. Adjacent streets and/or rights-of-way (public or private), curb cuts, driveways, etc.
10. Existing topography, unless waived by the City Planner.
11. Location, size, species, and present condition of all significant trees/vegetation on site.
12. Shoreline, water elevation, 100-Year Floodplain and Ordinary High Water Mark (if applicable).
13. Formal delineation of wetlands, lakes, streams, and other waters on or immediately adjacent to the site, certified by a registered engineer, in accordance with the 1991 Wetland Conservation Act.
14. Location, dimension and purpose of all easements.
15. Location, size, and elevations of any existing utilities, drainage control devices, or other underground facilities on or adjacent to the property.
16. Subsurface conditions on tracts for subdivisions utilizing individual water and sewage disposal systems; location and results of tests to ascertain subsurface soil, rock and ground water conditions and availability; location and results of soil percolation tests; and proof that no hydric soils exist in the area of development.
17. Location and dimensions of existing storm water drainage systems and natural overland drainage patterns, including a calculation (by a qualified engineer) of storm water runoff before construction.
B. Proposed Design Features:
1. Proposed layout of principal and accessory buildings, septic systems, wells, fences, retaining walls, entry monuments and other site elements.
2. Architectural elevations (type and materials used in all exterior surfaces) inclusive of top of foundation, finished floor, garage floor, and basement elevations for all structures.
3. House plans must show footprint size, total square footage and finished floor area for each level of the structure.
4. Building height calculations shall be indicated on site and building plans.
The building height limitation shall be determined by taking the average existing grade of the structure and adding thirty (30) feet. The existing grade shall be determined by taking spot elevations at all points around the perimeter of the house and finding the average. The building height as measured on the elevation drawings shall be the distance between the top of foundation and peak of the roof which when added to the top of foundation elevation may not exceed the building height limitation as defined above.
5. Proposed driveway(s), curb cuts, streets and/or rights-of-way (public or private).
6. The location and sizing of proposed on-site water (well) systems.
7. The location and size of proposed on-site waste disposal systems (primary and back-up facilities).
8. Grading plan with minimum two (2) foot contours which shall include the proposed grading and drainage of the site, including provisions for surface water ponding and drainage. Also to be stipulated are the garage floor, first floor, and basement elevations of all structures.
9. A plan for soil erosion and sediment control both during construction (erosion control fencing, hay bale checks, etc.) and following final grading, after development has been completed.
10. A drainage plan of the developed site, prepared by a qualified engineer, delineating in which direction and at what rate storm water runoff will be conveyed from the site and setting forth the areas of the site where storm water will be allowed to collect.
11. Locations and dimensions of all temporary soil or dirt stockpiles.
12. Proposed fill, levees, channel modifications, and other methods to overcome flood or erosion hazard areas in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance and applicable state statutes.
13. A vegetation preservation and protection plan that shows those trees proposed to be removed, those to remain, the types and locations of trees and other vegetation that are to be planted may also be required.
14. A landscape plan showing the proposed species, number and sizes of trees and shrubs utilized for screening of the structure from neighboring properties and buffering of garage areas, lighting, fencing, mechanical equipment, and other utilitarian type elements. The plan should also show the types and locations of ground covers used to permanently stabilize areas disturbed during construction.
15. A lighting plan and fixture specifications showing the location, size, type/style, and wattage/ lumens of all exterior lights on site. The source of light shall not be visible from adjacent properties or lakes and all fixtures must be hooded to control the direction of light and glare.
16. Where structures are to be placed on lots of five (5) acres or more which are subject to potential replat, the site plan shall indicate a logical way in which the lots could possibly be re-subdivided in the future.
17. Applications, statements and supporting documentation and plans for rezoning, variances, conditional use permits or other requests being sought in association with site plan/building permit approval.
18. Optional fire protection measures such as a sprinkler system in all new construction and/or a dry hydrant or standpipe for utilization of swimming pool water.
19. Where applicable, compliance with Airport Noise Abatement regulations must be demonstrated.
20. Fences, gates, sheds, freestanding decks, patios or screened porches, docks, and all other accessory structures (proposed and existing) must be shown on plans and will be subject to specific standards outlined in the City's Zoning Ordinance.
21. Such other applicable information as may be required by the City.
SECTION 1208.06 AMENDED SITE PLAN APPROVAL PROCEDURES:
An amended site and building plan may be applied for and administered in a manner similar to that required for a new site and building plan approval.
SECTION 1208.07 LAPSE OF APPROVAL:
A. Unless the City Planner on minor projects and the City Council on major projects specifically approves a different time, when action is officially taken on the request, the site and building plan approval shall become null and void twelve (12) months after the date of approval, unless the property owner or applicant has substantially started the construction of any building, structure, addition or alteration, or use requested as part of the approved plan. The property owner or applicant shall have the right to submit an application for time extension in accordance with this section.
B. An application to extend the approval of a site and building plan approval shall be submitted to the City Planner not less than thirty (30) days before the expiration of said approval.Such an application shall state the facts of the request, showing a good faith attempt to utilize the site and building plan approval, and it shall state the additional time being requested to begin the proposed construction. The request shall be heard and decided by the City Planner or by the City Council, as applicable, prior to the lapse of approval of the original request.
C. In making its determination on whether an applicant has made a good faith attempt to utilize the site and building plan approval, the City Planner or the City Council, as applicable, shall consider such factors as the type, design, and size of the proposed construction, any applicable restrictions on financing, or special and/or unique circumstances beyond the control of the applicant which have caused the delay.
SECTION 1208.08 PERFORMANCE SECURITY:
A. Upon approval of a site and building plan, the City shall be provided, when deemed necessary by the City Planner or the City Council as may be applicable, with a letter of credit or other form of security determined acceptable by the City Council, upon recommendation by the City Attorney. Said security shall be provided to the City prior to the issuing of building permits or initiation of work on the proposed improvement or development. Said security shall cover performance stipulation imposed by the City Planner or the City Council, as may be applicable, and shall be non-cancelable and shall guarantee conformance and compliance with the conditions of the site and building plan approval and ordinances of the City.
B. The security shall be in the amount equal to one hundred twenty-five (125) percent of the City Engineer's or City Building Official's estimated costs of labor and materials for the proposed improvements. Said project can be handled in stages upon the discretion of the City Engineer and Building Official.
C. The City shall hold the security until completion of the proposed improvements or development and a certificate of occupancy indicating compliance with the approved site and building plan and ordinances of the City has been issued by the City Building Official.
D. Failure to comply with the conditions of the site and building plan approval or the ordinances of the City shall result in forfeiture of the security.
E. Whenever a performance guarantee is imposed by the City, the applicant shall be required to enter into a performance agreement with the City. This agreement is to provide authorization to the City to utilize the posted security and complete stipulated work should the applicant fail to meet the terms and conditions of the site and building plan approval. Said agreement shall hold harmless the City for completion of the work and address other matters as may be determined by the City Attorney.
SECTION 1208.09 BUILDING CODE:
The review and approval of site improvements and/or construction plans pursuant to the requirements of the Uniform Building Code or other City ordinances shall be in addition to the site and building plan review process established under this section.