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When a developer or property owner submits a proposal for a new development to a government, it is standard practice for professional planners to conduct a site visit. A site visit's purpose is to obtain current, firsthand knowledge of the site and surrounding properties for eventual incorporation into a staff report.
The conditions affecting each development are unique, and professional planners must account for them in determining whether planning policies and approval standards and criteria are satisfied. Even if a planner made previous visits to a site, changed conditions and the dimming of memory make a new visit for a new proposal an imperative.
This issue of Zoning Practice discusses recommended practices for site visits, including what to take to the site and which site characteristics to record.
About the Author
Stuart Meck, FAICP
My website: http://bloustein.rutgers.edu/meck/