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site plan

what is a site plan?

A site plan is a set of drawings that shows how existing + planned components are arranged on a parcel. Site plans show physical details, which are used by architects/engineers to inform their designs. This gives people an idea of how their land can be used and how it relates to surrounding spaces while also ensuring that proposed plans follow relevant building requirements.

When a site plan survey is completed, ALS will create a set of plans to show existing and (if requested) planned structures/elements on a parcel. 

site plan


Site plans give crucial land information that impacts building design and construction. Designers, contractors, and landowners alike use them to identify obstacles, hazards, and environmental concerns for safe and feasible plans. Unlike topographic surveys, site plan surveys do not measure elevation or contours.


Use site plans in the construction process to verify parcel measurements and code regulations. This includes construction stages such as underground utilities, retaining walls, buildings, site lighting, and paving. For commercial use, a binding site plan is an option but must be reviewed and approved by local governments.

residential landowners

Building on private land requires consideration of many physical and legal factors. Site plans identify discrepancies and non-compliances in proposed plans while helping to determine necessary changes to meet government regulation. They help avoid future problems with any land improvements and are useful even if authorities do not require them.


If a site is in a flood plain, designers may need to look at a site plan in order to come up with a strategy for grading the land. They can also serve as a measure for accuracy to ensure plans will fit on the parcel correctly.

site plan

design elements

Site plan surveys are most often requested to obtain building permits for a home extension or create new outdoor walls/fences in order to meet city requirements. Here are just some of the types of planned addition/renovation projects that would benefit from a site plan survey:


Outdoor organic elements, such as garden beds, small pathways, planters, trees, ponds, etc.


Outdoor permanent structural elements, such as outdoor kitchens, porches, covered patios, etc.


Eaves and awnings that extend from structures, emphasizing drip lines


Sheds, DADUs, detatched garages, treehouses, barns, etc.


Swimming pools and surrounding infrastructure

types of

site plan surveys

Site plan surveys vary in type and each has unique benefits according to individual needs. It is crucial to comprehend these differences to make an informed decision.

binding site

Use of parcel division for commercial purposes, mobile home parks or condos. An alternative to subdivision, they include location details and infrastructure requirements.


Identify, measure, and tag important trees on the property that meet design needs or community landscape requirements. Tagged trees will be shown on the property survey.

site layout

After design approval, physical staking defines underground lines & above-ground features like building corners, interior grid lines, + onsite items such as catch basins.


Traditional site plan that locates and map all structures + site elements on the parcel.