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  • Process for Site Permitting

    HB2212 Required Language for Pima County Permit, License, and Application Forms

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    General Development Approval Instruments

    Please note that the below instruments do not include the review of requirements associated with utilities (with the exception of Pima County Regional Wastewater Department), fire departments and other agencies (such as ADOT) which may have a regulatory role in the development or from which the applicant may desire a service.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact these entities directly.  Subdivision tentative plats shall not be approved by the County until written approval is provided from the servicing water, sewer and electrical utility.

    Development Concept Permit

    A Development Concept Permit (formally designated as “Development Plan”) is a document described in Pima County Code (PCC) Chapter 18.71 that establishes the conditions and requirements related to the development of a commercial site for a proposed use and layout. A Development Concept Permit does not authorize construction but is available to clients seeking entitlements for the specific use of a site. As complete engineering is not required or reviewed for this instrument, final layout approval of a subsequent site construction permit application is contingent on the validity of the development concept preliminary engineering.  Please note that  Clients with complete engineering are encouraged to bypass the Development Concept Permit and move straight to Site Construction permitting at their discretion.  Development Concept Permits are available for projects of the following scope:

    • New commercial development (or more than three residential units located on an individual lot)
    • An expansion of more than 2000 square feet of gross floor area and/or land use area for an existing commercial development

    Subdivision Plat

    A subdivision plat is required for residential projects, and commercial/industrial projects when required as a condition of rezoning, where property is divided into six or more lots, less than 36 acres each. Tentative Plat approval is a pre-requisite for a Site Construction Permit.  While the platting process is not covered within this document, the instrument is listed here for context.

    Site Construction Permit

    A Site Construction Permit (formally designated as “Paving & Grading Improvement Plans”, “Type II Grading Permit" and “ROW Use Permit”) is an engineering document that authorizes grading, paving and sewer design/DEQ Construction Authorization (CA) of a project site and associated off-site ROW work. If a separate Development Concept Permit has not been previously issued, the Site Construction Permit will include verification of conformance to PCC Chapter 18.71.  Application for a Site Construction Permit does not require prior approval of a Development Concept Permit. Site Construction Permits are required for projects of the following scope:

    • New development of more than one commercial building (or more than three residential units located on an individual lot)
    • A cumulative expansion of more than 2000 square feet of gross floor area and/or land use area for an existing commercial development
    • Grading and paving of subdivisions
    • Stockpiling of more than 50,000 cubic yards of material

    Building/Site Construction Permit

    A Building/Site Permit authorizes the construction of regulated structures (one building) along with concurrent site construction for commercial sites (to include all requirements covered in Site Construction Permit).  Building Permits and Building/Site Construction Permits are available for the following types of projects:

    • Building and site construction combo: For building and site improvements on a site that does not have a previously issued Site Construction Permit or Building/Site Construction Permit.  The applicant shall submit to support the building and site construction for concurrent review.
    • Building and amended site construction combo:  For a new building or an addition/alteration to an existing building that is not in conformance with a previously issued Site Construction Permit or Building/Site Construction Permit and for which an amendment is required. The applicant shall submit information to support the amended Site Construction Permit or Building/Site Construction Permit for concurrent review.   

    As such, proposals for initial site construction or revision to previously approved site construction may be submitted as an application for a Site Construction Permit or a Building/Site Construction Permit.  The most recent revision to the site will be reflected in the latest updated version of a Site Construction Permit or a Building/Site Construction Permit (see phasing of large projects).

    Other Combined Submittal Processes

    Clients wishing to submit simultaneously various combinations of tentative plat, final plat and site construction permit, may do so under a single submittal.

    Phased Developments

    For phased projects, applicants may submit an application for a portion of the overall site within any permitting instrument.  The following information shall be reflected within the application:

    • Complete engineered design for the phase of the overall project to be covered by the requested permit and the preliminary design layout for all future project phases consistent with the most recent Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) approved at rezoning.  Only the engineered designed portion of the site will be granted permit approval.  Future phases shall require an approved engineered design in order to obtain a permit.
    • The engineered design for the phase of the project to be covered by the requested permit shall include all on-site infrastructure including parking, interior streets, sewers, retention/detention and other drainage infrastructure necessary for the project phase to meet all applicable County regulations independent of other/future project phases.  Information on existing drainage conditions, however, shall be provided for the overall project site at the time of submittal of the phase to be covered by the permit.
    • A Traffic Impact Study and identification of off-site drainage conditions shall be provided at the time of submittal of the phase to be covered by the permit to determine whether off-site infrastructure improvements will be required.  Off-site improvements shall be constructed whenever the traffic or drainage threshold is met during the phasing process as determined by Regional Flood Control District and Department of Transportation standards.

    Project  Submittal

    Electronic submittal is required for Development Concept Permits, Site Construction Permits and Building/Site Construction Permits. Clients shall submit an electronic application package to Building & Site Development of the documents required in accordance with the submittal criteria for the particular instrument.  The electronic package may be submitted via email (site@pima.gov), disc or made available for download from an FTP site, and shall consist of PDF files of all documents and in addition a DWG project boundary file that corresponds to the PDF plan set submittal. Each document, such as the plan set,  shall consist of a single consolidated file.  Submittal of vector PDFs is strongly recommended in lieu of scanned paper. Please note that submittal of raster (non-vector) files may result in a request for additional dimensioning and scaling information during substantive review. Emailed submittals should identify the requested permit type as well as contain contact information for the applicant to include: name, address, phone number and email address, if different from sender’s email address.

    Should addressing be sought as part of the project approval, so indicate in the email submittal.  Alternatively, addressing may be requested by separate process.

    Should Right-of-Way permitting be sought as part of the project approval, the submittal shall include a Right-of-Way application.  Alternatively, Right-of-Way permitting may be requested by separate ROW Use permit. RWRD sewer construction permits shall be requested directly from RWRD.

    Upon receipt of the submittal, Building & Site Development shall:

    • Initialize a permitting system activity
    • Attach project PDF files to the permitting activity
    • Screen the submittal against posted administrative review requirements
    • Forward the DWG file to the GIS group to geo-reference site plan in the land base

    Note that projects including construction of offsite RWRD public sewer exceeding two hundred feet shall require separate sewer sheets included within the Site Construction Permit submittal.

    Other Combined Instrument Submittals

    Clients wishing to submit simultaneously various combinations of tentative plat, final plat and site construction permit, may do so under a single submittal. The combined submittal should reflect administrative review requirements from each applicable instrument checklist and will receive a consolidated review by the County, tracked under a single workflow.

    Substantive Review

    If the application is administratively incomplete, Building & Site Development shall issue client a Notice of Administrative Review Deficiency and await client re-submittal.  If application is administratively complete, Building & Site Development shall create a permitting system workflow reflecting project scope by selecting among the following potential review groups:

    • DOT (off-site improvements or on-site streets)
    • DSD (zoning, landscaping, addressing, legal, structures, septic systems, DEQ sewer construction and discharge authorization, RWRD public sewers/connections, and other site improvements)
    • NRPR (recreation areas & trails)
    • OSC (cultural resources)
    • RFCD (drainage, floodplain & riparian)

    While the County shall strive for a review turn-around timeframe of five business days, it shall guarantee a review timeframe of fifteen business days.  Assigned review tasks shall be retrievable in real time for reviewers via SQL Reporting Services or a workload report may be emailed daily.  Reviewers assigned tasks shall be responsible for:

    • Identifying assigned review tasks based on reporting
    • Reviewing documents posted in permitting system
    • Adding conditions to permitting system, if needed
    • Requesting additional information, if needed, by providing comments in text form within permitting system or redlining PDF docs
    • Changing workflow task status to “approved” or to “request for corrections”

    Review Processing

    Upon status change of all workflow tasks, Building & Site Development shall either issue approved permit or return to client a composite Notice of Request for Corrections as follows:

    • If all review tasks are approved, County approval watermark shall be burned in all approved PDF documents, permit document shall be generated and following payment of balance due, approved package shall be returned to client.
    • If one or more review task is not approved, Building & Site Development shall collate all reviewer comments, verify and mitigate potential reviewer comment conflicts, and create a composite Notice of Request for Corrections.  Notice shall be returned along with marked-up PDF, if needed, to client via email or disk, depending on file size. Upon resubmittal of application by client to Building & Site Development (resubmitted documents need to contain all sheets consolidated within a single file), updated/new files shall be attached to the permitting system and application shall be processed per above “Substantive Review” section.

    Partial Site Construction Approvals

     If a client wishes to initiate construction prior to obtaining full project approval, partial construction approval may be issued under separate permit for the following scenarios:

    • Sewer or grading approval prior to paving approval on applications for Site Construction or Building/Site Construction permits requires prior approval of the following:
      • Native Plant Preservation Plan
      • Cultural Resource Clearance
      • Drainage Report (for grading partial only)
      • Riparian Habitat Mitigation Plan, if applicable
    • Paving approval prior to building approval on applications for Building/Site Construction permits requires prior approval for all items covered in the Site Construction Permit submittal checklist

    While partial site construction approvals are provided in order to accommodate applicant construction schedules, any such accommodations are provided entirely at risk and applicant assumes all liability and costs in proceeding with partial permit approvals.

    Inspections

    Required inspections shall be listed on the permit and it shall be the applicant’s responsibility to schedule inspections and to obtain approval thereof prior to final project approval.  Should applicant have RWRD public sewer associated with project, a separate RWRD Sewer Construction Permit shall be required. Developer produced Discharge Authorization (DA) submittal package (as-built plans, Engineer’s Certificate of Completion and sewer/manhole testing results) for private sewers and non-RWRD public sewers shall be submitted to Development Services at site@pima.gov for approval of the DEQ delegated DA.  For RWRD projects, client shall submit the as-built plans directly to RWRD as part of the RWRD Sewer Construction Permit. RWRD shall then submit the DA package to Development Services who shall return it upon approval to RWRD for closing out the RWRD Sewer Construction Permit.

    RWRD Public Sewer Capacity Approval

    Note that Development Concept Permit and Tentative Plat projects intending to connect to RWRD public sewers shall result in a Type II capacity approval upon project approval.  At client’s option, Type III capacity approval may be requested concurrent with a Development Concept Permit or Tentative Plat submittal (although this option shall require submittal of sewer construction drawings).

    Appending Project to GIS Environment

    Post project approval, and in order to keep the County GIS system current, it is requested that applicant provide a project DWG file of the following layers:

    • Subdivision or development project boundary
    • Boundary Survey corners ties
    • Parcel\lot boundaries
    • Common areas
    • Natural Open Space areas
    • Parks
    • Road Rights-Of-Way
    • Street centerlines
    • Street names
    • Easements (utilities, access, conservation, natural open space, etc.)
    • Building footprints
    • Drainage ways
    • Post-construction  regulatory Floodplains
    • Post-construction Erosion Hazard Setbacks
    • Maximum encroachment limits
    • Basins (retention/detention)
    • Post construction Riparian Habitat mitigation areas
    • Trails
    • Lakes
    • Wells

    File(s) referencing project number should be sent to CADsubmittals@pima.gov or link to FTP site should be provided for files over 20MB.

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    Development Services

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    Daniel Ice
    Chief Building Official

    Lauren A. Ortega, PE
    Deputy Director

    Joseph Godoy
    Principal Site Review Manager

    Mark Masek
    Plans Examiner Supervisor

    Robin Freiman
    Addressing Official