City of Saginaw, Michigan


Site Plan Review is a process whereby documents and drawings specified in the zoning ordinance are reviewed to ensure that a development proposal complies with local, state, and federal regulations. The Site Plan is a plan, drawn to scale, showing the layout of proposed uses and structures.

The purpose of Site Plan Review is to promote the orderly development of the City, the stability of land values and investments and the general welfare and to help prevent the impairment or depreciation of land values and development by the erection of structures or additions or alterations thereto without proper attention to siting and appearance. Prior to the erection of any building or structure, in any zoning district in the City and any land use requiring special approval or any planned unit development, a site plan shall be submitted for review and approval. This review and approval shall be performed by the Chief Inspector or by the City Planning Commission as follows:

Site plan review by the chief inspector

Residential structures having four (4) or less dwelling units and accessory buildings, structures and uses thereto.

A change in the use of a structure or land which does not require additional parking and does not involve exterior structural alterations.

An accessory building containing less than 1,000 sq. ft.

An addition to an existing structure if such addition totals 25 percent or less of the floor area of the existing structure; and only if the exterior of the addition will be surfaced with material or materials which do not differ from material or materials on the existing structure.

Site plan review by the city planning commission

All other structures and uses of land or buildings shall be reviewed by the City Planning Commission.

Site plan review procedure

To request site plan approval, contact:

Planning and Zoning
City Hall RM. 208
1315 Washington Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48601

Telephone: (989) 759-1308

Step 1

The applicant should contact the zoning staff at City Hall and discuss the proposed construction plans to ensure that the necessary forms are obtained and to determine if a special land use permit, variance or rezoning is necessary. Download the Site Plan Review Form

Step 2

The applicant should have a site plan prepared according to the checklist found in this handbook. A preliminary plan can be submitted to the zoning staff prior to formal submission to give both the City and Developer a chance to determine that all required information is shown on the plan. This is important as it may save time later on and make the process go a lot smoother if all questions are answered before the final plans are submitted.

Site plan review checklist

  • Name and address of applicant
  • Legal description of the property under review
  • Area of subject parcel of land in acres or square feet
  • Present zoning classification of the subject parcel
  • General description of the proposed development
  • Site plan drawn at appropriate scale 1” : 50’ @ 3 acres or 1” : 100’ over 3 acres
  • Site plan legend, north arrow, scale, date, name and address of preparer of site plan.
  • Lot lines, dimensions, angles, and size to correlate with legal description.
  • Vicinity map to locate site.
  • Location of buildings with finish floor grades.
  • Size of main and accessory buildings.
  • Show all existing buildings on the site.
  • Height of all buildings and square footage of floor areas.
  • Density schedule for multifamily developments showing dwelling units per acre, type of units and total number of units.
  • Existing and proposed streets, driveways, sidewalks and other vehicle and pedestrian circulation on and adjacent to the site. All removal/demolition sheets are to be shown on separate sheets from new/proposed construction.
  • Location and size of all parking spaces, any required parking wheel stops, service drives, delivery and loading areas.
  • Open space location, landscaping, screening, fencing, wells, topography changes, other natural features.
  • Impact on adjacent property shown, adjacent structures, drives, and parking within 100’.
  • On site lighting, drive accesses, sidewalk, signage and landscaping. For questions on the following items, please contact the Engineering Department at 989-759-1410.
  • Topography of site at 2’ contours.
  • Surface water drainage and grading plan, and any plans for storm water retention.
  • Drainage calculations including impervious calculations and proposed ten year event run-off calculations, including proposed retention.
  • Water and sewer and other public utility connections and proposed utilities, including proposed material, structure details, and rim and invert elevations of all structures.
  • If on a state highway, approval from MDOT- Apply before submitting site plan.
  • Distinguish between permeable and non-permeable ground
  • Location of existing drainage courses, floodplains, lakes and streams, with elevations.
  • Typical cross-section of proposed roads, parking lots, sidewalks and driveways.
  • Curb, sidewalk, and driveway details.

Step 3

Please submit a site plan, an elevation plan and the completed site plan review form  at least 15 days before the next regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting. (The Commission meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month).  You may submit either a hard copy or a digital copy.  A digital copy is preferred.  Hard copies can be sent to:

Planning and Zoning
City Hall RM. 208
1315 Washington Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48601
telephone (989) 759-1308 


Digital Copies may be emailed to either:

Robert Gollin at 
Cassi Zimmerman at

Step 4

After the site plan is filed, zoning staff will forward it to the appropriate City Divisions (Public Works and Engineering, Traffic Engineering and Public Utilities) for review and comment.

Step 5

Zoning staff will prepare a communication to the Planning Commission describing the proposal and also including the recommendations received from the City Divisions. A copy of the communication is sent to the developer and to the architect or engineer prior to the Planning Commission Site Plan Review, to allow time for review and provide an opportunity to work out any problems that may have been identified.

Step 6

The Planning Commission will review the Plan and do one of the following:

  • Approve Site Plan as presented.
  • Approve Site Plan with conditions.
  • Table Site Plan and indicate to developer any additional information which needed.
  • Reject the Site Plan if it does not meet zoning standards for approval.

The developer or a representative should be present at the Commission meeting when the site plan is to be considered to answer any questions the Commission might have. It should be noted that if the site plan is approved, the Commission will normally place a deadline for completion, so the developer needs to plan his construction schedule accordingly.

Step 7

If the site plan is approved, the applicant will receive a site plan approval letter, which will contain any conditions that were required in the Site Plan Approval.

Step 8

If the site plan is approved, the applicant should then submit construction drawings to the Building Inspections Division for review and permit issuance. Construction drawings may be submitted at any time during the Site Plan Review Process to save time.