Site Design & Permitting

Every aspect of design leads to permitting. That is our specialty. We provide all elements of a site design from surveys through grading, drainage, utilities, septic, sewerage, and erosion control. We prepare and present all plans and reports to the approval authorities, such as the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, and Board or Health. And we get your permits. After approvals are obtained we provide construction layout and inspection services; and finally, as-built plans. We keep your project on track straight through to final occupancy.

common driveway designsWhen a property is not directly accessible along its own legal frontage due to obstacles, such as a wetland or steep slope, access by a driveway that is shared in common by more than one lot is often allowed. A Special Permit is usually required for this and detailed plans must be prepared along with other design data, such as drainage calculations.

construction layout designOnce a project has been approved for construction the site details must be marked on the ground so that the contractor can build the project. This usually involves transferring the designed elements from the approved plans, such as buildings, roads, driveways and utilities to the site by instrument survey.

drainage systemsWhen a project is developed it usually involves the replacement of more heavily vegetated areas with buildings, pavement and landscaped areas. These changes in land surfaces cause a change in the surface water drainage characteristics of the property. This results in more water running off the land, and at a higher rate. Drainage systems must be designed to decrease the quantity and rate of run off to mimic the pre-development conditions. This is accomplished through a series of structural and non-structural methods to collect, infiltrate, store and release run off water.

NPDESThe Environmental Protection Agency requires that all land development projects that would disturb more than one acre of land obtain a permit under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. This requires the preparation of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and a Stormwater Management analysis.

The preparation of plans and other data for a project usually involves obtaining permits from several different approval authorities who may include the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Board of Health, Board of Appeals, Board of Selectmen, and others. Permits may also be needed from state and federal authorities as well. The permitting process requires expert communication skills in the preparation of plans and reports and in the presentation of the project at public meetings. It is imperative to have a knowledge and understanding of bylaws, codes and regulations; and the timing and coordination requirements among the many authorities is critical.

sewage disposal systemsA septic system, as they are commonly called, must be designed for areas where a municipal sewage collection system is not available. Designs include traditional stone and pipe systems as well as many innovative and alternative type systems. Replacement systems for existing homes can be particularly challenging to avoid the mounded systems that detract from the appearance of a property.

sewer designWhen municipal sewage collection is available to a property a sewer system must be designed to connect to the existing sewer pipes. In areas where no sewer exists a municipal sewer extension may be an option. These public systems may also require the design of sewage pumping stations.

site developmentWhen a proposed land development project involves a large residential, commercial or industrial use a Site Plan Special Permit is usually required. This involves preparing plans such as layout & utilities, grading & drainage, landscaping, erosion & sediment control, and details & specifications. Other items must also be addressed in a narrative format such as traffic control, parking, drainage, community impact, and environmental issues.

soil evaluationsSubsurface soils must be analyzed and classified for the design of sewage disposal systems. Of most importance is the depth to seasonal high groundwater and the percolation rate of the soil to determine the height and area of the system. Soils evaluation data along with other testing procedures may also be used for drainage system designs.

stormwater managementIn addition to drainage system designs that address the quantity and rate of surface water runoff, it is also necessary to address issues that relate to the quality of the runoff. This type of analysis results in the design of such elements as bio-retention cells, water quality wetlands, infiltration basins, porous pavement and other facilities that address treatment, conveyance, and infiltration.

subdivision designWhen a property is divided into new lots that do not have frontage on an existing roadway, a subdivision design is required. This involves preparing plans such as a lot line plan, profile of the roadway, overall grading, drainage, landscaping, erosion & sediment control, and details & specifications. Other items must also be addressed in a narrative form such as traffic control, parking, drainage, community impact, and environmental issues.

wetlands designAny work that is proposed in or within one hundred feet of a wetland area or within two hundred feet of a perennial stream requires filing with the local Conservation Commission and State Dept. of Environmental Protection. Other areas of concern include the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, Outstanding Resource Waterways, floodplain areas, and Corps. of Engineers issues.