Commercial Plan Development (Site Plans)

The Community Development Office coordinates the Commercial Development Process through the application of County Ordinance Chapter 15.5. In general, this process coordinates the state and local code based requirements for development through a single submittal and review process. Contact the Community Development Coordinator with questions.

"A plan delineating the overall scheme of development of a tract of land, including but not limited to grading, engineering design, construction details, and survey data for existing and proposed improvements."

Site Plan Process Applicability

A site plan application and approval is required.

Site Plan application and approval is required for commercial development or redevelopment in Gloucester that generates:

  • Greater than 2,500 square feet of ground disturbance
  • An increase in greater than 25 vehicle trips per day
  • Modifies or adds a new entrance to a public road
  • Significantly alters an established internal (parking area) vehicle circulation

Sec. 15.5-1.3. - When plan required; exceptions.

1.  Single-family detached dwellings, two-family dwellings,accessory buildings to a single-family and a two-family dwelling or the land onwhich they are situated or proposed. 

2.  A subdivision for dwellings, mobile homes, or mobile homeparks where a site development plan has been submitted and approved inaccordance with the existing subdivision ordinance of the county. 

3.  Any agricultural, horticultural, or silvicultural activity.

Site Plan Committee

The Site Plan Committee is compromised of representatives from each County Department and State Agency responsible for the review of commercial developments.  The committee is available to meet with applicants twice a month to discuss potential development projects and discuss projects under review.  The meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 3 p.m. and on the fourth Monday of each month at 8:15 a.m. Please Contact the Community Development Coordinator to request time on a meeting agenda.

To view the list of meeting dates and submittal deadlines please click on the following link:
Site Plan Committee Meeting Dates (By Appointment Only) 

Not Sure How To Proceed? Utilize Our Pre-Application Process

A No Cost Pre-Application Form (PDF) can be used to request time on the agenda of a Site Plan Committee meeting for speculative interest. The Site Plan Committee will work with potential applicants to provide insight to assist with early input on concept approvability as well as assist with the development of initial Site Plan documents. The more detail provided at this conceptual stage, the better staff will be able to provide input and guidance. Meeting dates/times, and contact information are listed in the "Site Plan Committee" section above.

Site Plan Submittal Process

  1. Submit the Site Plan Application (PDF).
  2. Submit the Site Plan Checklist (PDF).
  3. Submit the E&S Checklist
  4. Submit the Stormwater Checklist
  5. Submit the site plan application fee of $500 plus $50 per acre or fraction thereof.
  6. Submit 11 sets of the complete site plan drawings signed and sealed by the licensed design professional having responsible charge for preparing the plans (original signature on cover sheet).
  7. Provide a narrative description of the existing site conditions and proposed project.
  8. Submittal should also include Environmental Stormwater and items which include the following:
    1. Submit a check for 50% of the VSMP permit fee.
    2. Include the registration statement.


The fee for the Site Plan application (PDF) is defined by ordinance and is $500 plus $50 for each acre of disturbance or fraction thereof. For example, a project disturbing 0.5 acres has an application fee of $550 ($500 + $50 x 1) while a project disturbing 2.8 acres has an application fee of $650 ($500 + $50 x 3).

Overview Of The Development Process-Beginning Stages To Project Completion

A generalized process flow diagram (PDF)) can be found here showing the necessary steps from project conception to certificate of occupancy. Please contact the Community Development Coordinator with questions.

Project Completion & Certificate of Occupancy

The Community Development Coordinator will work with applicants/developers through the site development process and coordinate with each review agency to confirm that all work that applicant’s commit to complete as represented in their approved Site Plan is actually included at the development site. The final certificate of occupancy (CO) will be issued by the Building Official only after all work is confirmed completed or appropriate financial sureties are in place to secure eventual completion in accordance with County ordinance.