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Site Plan Review

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Community Development COVID-19 Limited Operations Notice
COVID-19 Agency Update

The Community Development Agency, including all listed divisions, will continue operations at limited capacity, effective March 18, 2020: Business License, Code Enforcement, Planning & Economic Development, Development & Inspections, Erosion Control, and Zoning. All front-facing divisions are following special procedures explained in this article.

PLEASE NOTE: We will be inspecting commercial and new construction; however, given the current health concerns, we will not be inspecting inside homes that are occupied (for instance, basement remodels, etc.) in order to minimize the risk to our inspectors and community.

NOTICE | AVISO

Updated Georgia State Minimum Standard Codes are effective January 1, 2020. 
The 2018 codes and GA amendments include: IBC, IRC, IMC, IPC, IFGC, and ISPSC. GA adopted the 2015 IECC with GA amendments.

Los códigos estándar mínimos actualizados del estado de Georgia entran en vigencia el 1 de Enero de 2020.
Los códigos de 2018 y las enmiendas de GA incluyen: IBC, IRC, IMC, IPC, IFGC e ISPSC. GA adoptó el IECC 2015 con enmiendas GA.

Land Disturbance Permit Processes

Standard Land Disturbance Permit Process

  1.  Wednesday: Plan Submittal Day
    1.  Applicant submits 3 plan sets to Community Development Site Plan Review Section located at 1150 Powder Springs Street, Suite 400, in Marietta, GA.
    2. Plan set includes:
      1. Cover Sheet
      2. Site Plan
      3. Grading Plan
      4. Storm drainage plan and profiles
      5. Sanitary sewer plan and profiles
      6. Tree plan
      7. Street plan and profiles
      8. Erosion control plans and details
      9. Hydrology report
      10. PDF copy of plans on a CD
         
  2. Site Plan Review assigns meeting time on following week’s Thursday Plan Review Meeting. The project data is entered and plan images scanned into the document management system. The Reviewers access plans and data on their computers and post their comments to the system.
    1. Reviewers include representatives from:
      1. Storm Water Management
      2. Water Systems
      3. Planning Division
      4. Department of Transportation
      5. Zoning Division
      6. Arborist
      7. Fire Department
      8. Erosion Control
         
  3. Thursday: Site Plan Review Meeting
    1. Applicant meets with all plan reviewers and discusses any comments.
       
  4. Plan Revisions
    1. Applicant revises plans in response to staff comments. The applicant then sends revised plans to each reviewer.
       
  5. One-Stop Admittance
    1. Each department staff reviewer notifies the Site Plan Review Section that the plan is ready to permit. When all reviewers have responded, the projects is placed on the On-Stop schedule.
       
  6. Monday: One-Stop Approval Meeting
    1. Applicant meets with all reviewers for On-Stop approval.

E-Plan Land Disturbance Permit Process

  1. Wednesday: Plan Submittal Day
    1. Applicant submits plan set to Community Development Site Plan Review e-Plan portal
      1. Access the e-Plan portal
         
    2. Plan set includes:
      1. Cover Sheet
      2. Site Plan
      3. Grading Plan
      4. Storm drainage plan and profiles
      5. Sanitary sewer plan and profiles
      6. Tree plan
      7. Street plan and profiles
      8. Erosion control plans and details
      9. Hydrology report
         
  2. SPR coordinator distributes the plan set to review departments. Reviewers access plans and data on their computers and post their comments to the system.
    1. Reviewers include representatives from:
      1. Storm Water Management
      2. Water Systems
      3. Planning Division
      4. Department of Transportation
      5. Zoning Division
      6. Arborist
      7. Fire Department
      8. Erosion Control
         
  3. Reviewer Comments
    1. Applicant receives staff comments and marked drawings from Site Plan Review staff
       
  4. Plan Revisions
    1. Applicant revises plans in response to staff comments. The Applicant then must send revised plans (PDF) to each reviewer.
       
  5. Revised Plan Upload
    1. Once all departments have given preliminary approval, applicant uploads revised plans into the e-Plan system.
       
  6. Plan Redistribution to Reviewers
    1. Site Plan Review Coordinator distributes the uploaded revised plans to review departments for final review. Reviewers verify that plans in the e-Plan system match what was provided in PDF format.
       
  7. Departmental Approval and Stamping
    1. Project is eligible for final stamping once all departments have confirmed project eligibility. Reviewers apply their department approval stamp. The Site Plan Review Coordinator notifies the applicant of final approval and availability or plan download.
       
  8. Final Land Disturbance Permit Requirements
    1. The Applicant downloads plans and supplies hard copy sets and Permit Fees to the Site Plan Review Division at 1150 Powder Springs Street, Suite

Unless otherwise exempted, all land-disturbing activities in unincorporated Cobb County must be regulated via the issuance of a Land Disturbance Permit (LDP).  The Site Plan Review Section coordinates the review and approval process for all site construction documents submitted to Cobb County for a LDP.

All LDPs are issued by the Site Plan Review Section under the issuing authority of the Community Development Agency.

There are three types of land disturbance permits:

  1. Clearing Only: allows for trees to be cut and removed. Tree stumps may not be extracted, nor is any other type of soil disturbance permitted.
  2. Grading Only: allows for tree removal as well as site grading.  Full erosion and sediment control methods must be implemented, and no infrastructure may be installed.
  3. Full Site: allows for tree removal, site grading, and installation of project infrastructure.

Submit a Land Disturbance Permit Application

Cobb County Offers Two Methods for submitting a Land Disturbance Permit (LDP) application.

Hard Copy Submittal

Paper plans are submitted to the Site Plan Review Office. Applicants are assigned 30 minute meeting time slots in sequential order based on the order that their plans are submitted. The deadline for submittal for any Thursday plan review meeting is 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday of the previous week.

After all departmental comments have been addressed, a One-Stop appointment can be scheduled for final plan approval.

Electronic Submittal

Applicants submit plans for review by uploading them directly into the Cobb Electronic Plan Review (ePlan) system. Once the plans are accepted for review by Cobb County, applicants will receive comments and red-lined plans electronically within six business days. After all departmental review comments have been addressed, applicants will upload revised plans for final approval. Once all departments have stamped the plans, they will be available for download and printing. View instructions for ACA and ePlan

ACA: Applications     ePlan: Plan Submittal 

NOTICE: ACA stands for Accela Citizens Access. This page is for registration purposes and to create or continue applications. The ePlan portal is for uploading documents, receiving feedback from reviewers, and editing projects after review cycles. ACA and ePlan are linked, and run parallel to one another. The username created for the ACA page MUST BE IDENTICAL to the username used for the ePlan portal. For example: "password" and "password1" will result in an error. Spaces and punctuation are included: "Pass word" is NOT identical to "password". 

A Reminder:

  • The plan review fee and land disturbance permit fees are the same for both methods.
  • The Eplan review process does not include a scheduled Site Plan Review meeting.
  • For questions, please contact the Site Plan Review Section at (770) 528-2147.

Weekly Plan Review & One-Stop

The Site Plan Review Committee holds a weekly plan review meeting every Thursday in the Community Development public conference room.

The process:

  1. Each reviewer provides the applicant with written comments and red-lined copies of the construction drawings
  2. The applicant must revise the plans accordingly, addressing the comments of each reviewer.
  3. The applicant resubmits their plans directly to any department that did not initially mark the plans as One-Stop eligible.
    • Once each department has re-reviewed the plans and made the project One-Stop eligible, the applicant can schedule a One-Stop meeting appointment.

One-Stop meetings are held every Monday morning in the Community Development public conference room. 

The process:

  1. The applicant brings hard copies of their revised plans to the meeting
  2. The reviewers place their approval stamps on the drawings
  3. The applicant then has the plans scanned onto a CD in pdf format and submits the disc to SPR
  4. The applicant pays the LDP fees
  5. LDP is issued

During the course of construction, any required changes to plans must be approved by SPR as a plan revision. The plans must be revised to reflect the as-built project if there have been any field adjustments.

Cobb County also offers a conceptual plan review via the same process.  Applicants can submit a preliminary site plan and receive initial comments from the Site Plan Review Committee.  These plans are not marked eligible or ineligible for one-stop.  Fully engineered civil plans must be reviewed and approved before a LDP can be issued.

Plat Review

Cobb County requires that the subdivision of land into two or more parcels or lots shall be platted in accordance with the Georgia Plat Act and electronically filed with the Cobb County Clerk of Superior Court.  The Site Plan Review (SPR) section coordinates the plat review and approval for e-filing for commercial and residential projects.  The applicant e-files the signed, approved plat.

The process:

  1. One paper copy of the plat, a plat review application, and associated fees are submitted to SPR to initiate the review process.
  2. The plat is distributed to applicable County departments for comments.
  3. SPR compiles the departmental comments are provides them to the surveyor for revisions.
  4. The surveyor will email a pdf of the revised plat to each department for re-review.
  5. Once each department has verified that all comments have been addresses, the surveyor takes the paper plat to Cobb County Water System (CCWS) for signature (if required, a signature from the Environmental Health Division is obtained first).
  6. The signed paper plat is provided to SPR, which will then obtain all other required signatures.
  7. Once all signatures are obtained, SPR scans and emails a pdf of the signed plat to the surveyor.
  8. The surveyor e-files the plat with Cobb County Clerk of Superior Court for recording.
  9. The surveyor must email a pdf of the recorded plat to SPR before any building permits can be issued.

Building Permit Review

The Site Plan Review Section reviews individual single family lot plans, building additions, swimming pools, retaining walls, decks, and accessory structures. These plans are compared to the civil engineer plans and final plat for the subdivision to ensure compliance with the Tree Ordinance, State water buffer guidelines, Stormwater Management guidelines, and other Cobb County regulations. In addition, staff verifies that the proposed project does not encroach into or conflict with any overhead or underground utility line or easement.

Cobb County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Cobb strictly regulates development in or near the 100 year Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Compliance with SFHA restrictions is confirmed via the use of the FEMA elevation certificate. During permit reviews, SPR staff verifies that the proposed building project meets or exceeds minimum floor elevations as shown on the subdivision final plat.  A condition is then placed on the permit which requires that an elevation certificate be provided to SPR staff before a framing inspection can occur. 

County Tree Ordinance

The Site Plan Review Section administers the County's Tree Ordinance. A County Arborist and Landscape Architect review projects for compliance with this ordinance and other environmentally related regulations.

These regulations may include the following:

  • Storm drainage
  • Erosion
  • Sedimentation control
  • Wetlands
  • Threatened endangered species
  • State or county required stream buffers
  • Zoning required landscape buffers

Enforcement of the Tree Ordinance typically involves several steps:

  1. Preliminary consultations with design professionals and developers
  2. Plan review and site visit(s)
    • During the Site Plan Review Process
  3. Once the permit has been issued, staff monitors the project while it is under construction to ensure compliance with the approved Tree Protection and Replacement Plan.
  4. Post-construction inspection of tree plantings and/or tree save areas to ensure that the ordinance requirements have been satisfied.
  5. Certificate of Occupancy issued

For commercial projects, maintenance inspections are performed approximately 18-30 months after final inspections are completed to ensure all trees are alive and healthy.