What We Do
Benchmark has a staff of highly trained civil engineers and surveyors with many years of experience. Whether the project is a multi-unit residential development, a commercial complex, an industrial site, or an institutional complex, Benchmark is capable of managing your project from the initial planning, through the design process, obtaining regulatory permits and throughout the construction phase. Through a coordinated effort, many aspects of a site improvement project, including permitting, stormwater management, zoning, DOT improvements (PA, NJ, NY), and surveying (PA & NY), Benchmark has the professional staff to meet our client’s needs.
No Project is Typical
No project is typical. At Benchmark, we have been involved in projects such as dividing a single lot into a two lot subdivision, small commercial improvements, fast food restaurants, big-box commercial sites, large residential land developments, and various types of industrial site improvements including large warehousing and large rail spur expansion. With a specific focus on the client’s needs, and a broad array of civil engineering experience, our professionals at Benchmark stand ready to assist in any size of land development improvement project.
Benchmark offers the following services to our clients:
Stormwater hydrology analysis and design
Erosion control plans and permitting
Post construction stormwater management
- Lighting and landscape design
Lot grading plans
Septic plans and permits
Land development for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional uses
Environmental impact studies
I have a piece of land that I want to develop, what approvals do I usually need?
The primary approval is from the municipality that the property is located in, based on their ordinances including the zoning ordinance and the subdivision and land development ordinance (SALDO). Depending on the size of the development and how much of the property is involved, additional approval may be required from other local, state, and even federal agencies. Buildings must conform to ADA standards, and to adopted building and fire codes.
All but the smallest projects require environmental clearances in the form of Act 167 approvals from the local county planning commission, erosion and sedimentation control approvals from the county conservation district, and post construction stormwater management and NPDES approval from the State Department of Environmental Protection. The state Department of Environmental Protection will also review a planning module for septic or sanitary sewer to serve the site. If the property involves a flood plain or wetlands additional review and permits from the Army Corps of Engineers may be required. The municipality will also be looking at these items.
If the property will be accessing a state highway, a Highway Occupancy Permit (HOP) will be required from the state Department of Transportation, and a traffic impact study may be required by the municipality, even if the site accesses a local road.
Additional permitting or remediation may be required if there are historical artifacts or buildings on the property, or if there is contamination on the property. Certain types of developments may even need approval from the Department of Labor and Industry.