Draw a Site Plan for My Residential Building Project

An accurate, scaled site plan is required for most residential building permit applications for new construction or additions.

What Is a Site Plan?

A site plan is a map of your entire parcel drawn to scale showing all existing and proposed structures (above or below ground) and other information needed to review your project. The following is a guide and checklist for drawing a site plan. You may draw your own or have a designer, architect, or other professional prepare one for you. Whether you prepare it yourself or have someone else do it, you are responsible for its accuracy and completeness.

See a good YouTube video about how to draw a site plan (7 minutes long).

How to Draw a Site Plan

1. Determine Lot Shape & Dimensions

The City has a variety of tools you can use to provide you with property information and a parcel map with the lot's shape and dimensions:

2. Select Size & Scale

The site plan must be drawn to scale, which means that distances in the "real world" correspond to distances on the site plan (e.g. one inch on the paper equals twenty feet on the ground).

You may use an architect's scape or an engineer's scale. You may also use graph paper for simple site plans.

The site plan should show the entire parcel on a single sheet of 8.5-by-11-inch or 11-by-17-inche paper at a scale that allows easy reading of all the details on the plan.

3. Drawing the Site Plan

Include all of the items in the following checklist (where relevant), making sure to label each feature and show all relevant dimensions of each:

  • North arrow and scale indicator
  • Site / parcel address
  • Parcel number
  • Property lines - dimension the length of each line. (all sides and segments) Where break lines are used, indicate the length on each side of the break.
  • Property owner
  • Sewer service line - indicate location
  • Water service line - indicate location
  • Storm service or infiltration system
  • Street names adjacent to the property.
  • Easements - indicate location of any private/public easements. These may be shown on the recorded plat of the property, or else are listed in the plat notes.
  • Driveways - indicate location and dimensions.
  • Existing trees - show location of all existing trees on site with drip line and trunk diameter
  • Water features, streams, drainage and seasonal swales.
  • Footprint of all existing and proposed structures. Label "Existing", "Proposed", or "To be Removed".
  • Dimension existing and proposed structures - all sides
  • Setbacks - indicate distances from property lines to structures.
  • Indicate distances between existing and proposed structures
  • Show all decks, patios, retaining walls, bulkheads, etc. Label "Existing", "Proposed", or "To be Removed".

Got Questions?

Feel free to email Planning or call 503-722-3789 with any Planning questions. You may also email the Building Department or email Public Works.