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The Parts of a Land Development Plan

Construction Plans

A land development plan usually refers to the full set of plans created by a civil engineer to be reviewed and approved by a municipality so that it can be ready to be used for construction of a proposed land development project.

A common size for the individual plan sheets is 24 inches wide by 36 inches long but it can be larger. The scale for the plan views within the sheets can range from one inch equals ten feet (1″=10′) to one inch equals 100 feet (1″=100′). The north arrow, graphic scale bar, title block, and location map are plan elements that are common to many of the individual plan sheets.

The following are the various individual plan sheets that are commonly included in a land development plan.

1) Cover Sheet
2) Subdivision Plan
3) Layout Plan
4) Existing Conditions Plan
5) Stormwater Management and Grading Plan
6) Storm Sewer and Utilities Profiles Sheet
7) Erosion and Sediment Control Plan
8) Construction Details Sheet
9) Driveway Plan and Profiles Sheet
10) Landscaping and Lighting Plan

1. Cover Sheet

Although not required for every project, some land development plans will have a first sheet that is designed specifically to be the cover sheet for the plan. In addition to the name and location of the project, the cover sheet might also have a large location map, general project notes, and the plan sheet index.

2. Subdivision Plan

If the proposed project includes the subdivision of existing land parcels with the subdivision to be approved at the same time that the land development plan is approved, a subdivision plan sheet showing the new lot lines would have to be included as part of the land development plan.


3. Layout Plan

A typical land development plan should have a plan sheet that shows just the proposed layout of buildings, driveways, parking areas, retaining walls, the stormwater management system, the storm sewer collection system, and utilities. Even though this sheet normally does not include any existing contours, it would include existing site features such as buildings, paved areas, utility lines, waterways, wetlands, and floodplain boundaries.

This plan sheet would also show existing and proposed right-of-way lines and easements as well as proposed building setback lines.

The layout plan would also include a zoning table listing the various zoning ordinance requirements along with proposed information showing how the project complies with local regulations. This sheet might also include impervious area calculations to show that the proposed impervious area is less than the maximum impervious area allowed.

4. Existing Conditions Plan

The existing conditions plan would show existing features in addition to existing contours. It should also show soil boundaries with associated soil types. There would also be a table listing the different soil types along with various information pertaining to each soil type.

5. Stormwater Management and Grading Plan

This plan would show what is on the layout plan in addition to the land grading contours. It would also include more detailed information for the stormwater management system and storm sewer collection system. This information would include labels identifying structure names, inlet types, pipe inverts, and pipe slopes.

This plan sheet would provide enough information for someone to determine stormwater management system volumes, calculate earthwork quantities, and figure out land slopes. It could also have construction details associated with the stormwater management design.

Related: Stormwater Management (A Guide for the Non-Professional)

6. Storm Sewer and Utilities Profiles Sheet

A municipality might require profiles of proposed storm sewer or utilities (usually sewer lines and water lines). These profiles are side view representations of the proposed ground showing the proposed pipe systems under the proposed grade lines.

The profiles would show that a sufficient amount of ground cover is provided over the proposed pipe layouts and that there is the required amount of vertical separation distance between pipes at proposed crossings.

7. Erosion and Sediment Control Plan

The start of a new construction project means the opportunity for erosion and the creation of sediment to occur during rainfall events with the presence of bare earth. An erosion and sediment control plan would have to be designed and included in the land development plan to show what measures are proposed to be used during construction to properly manage erosion and sediment.

This plan would show such things as rock construction entrances, silt fences, silt socks, topsoil stockpile locations, erosion control matting, sediment traps, and sediment basins along with associated construction details. The plan should also include a sequence of construction that provides the steps that the site contractor would have to follow for the plan to function as designed.


8. Construction Notes and Details Sheet

Along with extra notes and construction details associated with the stormwater management design and erosion and sediment control plan design, this sheet would also contain miscellaneous notes and details associated with other areas of the site construction such as utility installation and paving.

9. Driveway Plan and Profiles Sheet

The reviewing municipality might require a profile (side view representation) for any proposed roads or driveways. A sheet with a profile should also include the corresponding plan view of the road or driveway that would show the alignment and stationing (horizontal distance labeling along the alignment) used for the profile.

10. Landscaping and Lighting Plan

A landscaping and lighting plan is often included in a land development plan to show compliance with local ordinances. There are times when the actual landscaping or lighting design is prepared by a company that is different from the civil engineering company designing the land development plan with the separate design added into the main plans accordingly.

The Plans Should Be Buildable

There are many elements involved with preparing a full land development plan. One of the main goals during this process is to create a plan that is buildable in that there is enough information and there are enough details for the site contractor to be able to construct the project without having to make many assumptions and without having to constantly contact the design engineer or municipality with questions.

Related: Recommendations for Land Development Books

Posted in Land Development

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