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.
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