Development Process – How To
The development process can vary significantly depending on the size, type, and location of a proposed development, as well as existing site constraints and limitations.
The town’s Commercial Development Review Applicant Packet and Residential Development Review Applicant Packet provide step-by-step guidance to individuals or companies submitting plans that require detailed staff and TRC review.
Additional information on Wendell’s development process and development plan requirements can be found in Chapters 15 and 16 of the Town’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The section below is intended to provide a more concise overview to prospective developers.
Floodplain Development Permitting Process
The Wendell UDO does not permit new residential development to build or even plot residential lots within the 100 year floodplain. Grandfathered residential lots with floodplain contained within the lot will need to obtain a Flood Elevation Certificate if the structure is within 100 feet of the floodplain. A Flood Elevation Certification is a certificate that is filled out by a Professional Land Surveyor to ensure that the proposed or existing structure is either out of the flood hazard soils area or that the low-ground elevation at the structure’s footprint is above the flood elevation or flood depth in FEMA-mapped floodplains or flood hazard soil areas where a flood study has been performed.
Prior to your footing inspection a Registered Professional Land Surveyor will visit the site and check the structure's location on the ground against your site plan. He must then certify that the structure is out of the flood hazard soils area or that the low-ground elevation at the structure's footprint is above the flood elevation or flood depth (in FEMA-mapped floodplains or flood hazard soil areas where a flood study has been performed) on the Pre-construction Flood Certificate. As long as your house is out of the flood hazard soils area or above the FEMA flood elevation or depth, you will be allowed to proceed with your footing. If the surveyor indicates that the house location is in the floodplain, additional requirements will have to be met. The surveyor will fill out the Post-construction Flood Certificate prior to your scheduling a foundation inspection. This is to verify that the home has been constructed where it was proposed and conditions are the same as observed during his first site visit.
A Floodplain Development Permit with an accompanying Elevation Certificate shall be submitted for any Proposed development within 100 feet of a flood protection zone. Floodplain Development Permits shall be approved by the Administrator.
A link to the Floodplain Development Permitting process can be found here.
A link to the most current FEMA Flood Insurance Manual can be found here.
Water Allocation Policy
At the time of any development projects, water allocation must be requested by the applicant before a project can be approved.
A link to the Water Allocation Policy and application that was adopted on May 28, 2018 can be found here.
Minor Site Plan Application Process
Minor Site Plans are defined by the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) as duplexes, multi-family residential structures with four or fewer units and non-residential structures totaling less than 10,000 square feet.
A link to the Minor Site Plan Application process can be found here.
Major Site Plan Application Process
Major Site Plans are defined by the UDO as multi-family buildings with more than four units, non-residential development 10,000 square feet or greater and industrial development.
A link to the Major Site Plan Application Process can be found here.
Minor Subdivision Application Process
Minor Subdivisions are those which involve five lots or fewer and which in the opinion of the Administrator:
- Do not involve any public street dedication and will not require any new street, public or private, to provide access to interior lots or parcels; and
- Do not involve the extension of public sewerage or water lines or the creation of new drainage easements or dedications; and
- Do not adversely affect the development of the remainder of the parcel or of adjoining property and would not block future street connectivity.
A link to the Minor Subdivision Application Process can be found here.
For more information, see the town’s Minor Plat Application.
Exception Plat Subdivision Application Process
Exception Plat subdivision requirements shall apply in the following situations:
- The combination or recombination of portions of previously subdivided and recorded lots where the total number of lots is not increased and the resultant lots are equal to, or exceed, the standards of the town as required by this ordinance
- The division of land into greater than 10 acres where no street right-of-way dedication is involved;
- The public acquisition by purchase of strips of land for the widening or opening of streets or for public transportation system corridors; or
- The division of a tract in single ownership whose entire area is no greater than 2 acres into not more than three lots, where no street right-of-way dedication is involved and where the resultant lots are equal to, or exceed, the standards of the Town as required by this ordinance.
A link to the Exception Plat Subdivision Application Process can be found here.
Major Subdivision Application Process
A Major Subdivision is a subdivision of land that exceeds the minimum thresholds for Exception Plats and Minor Subdivisions.
A link to the Major Subdivision Application Process can be found here.
For more information, see the town’s Residential Development Review Application.
Text Amendment Process
At times, a prospective developer may find it desirable to attempt to change one or more of the town’s zoning regulations in order to better accommodate his or her project.
An amendment to the text of the town’s Unified Development Ordinance may be initiated by the Board of Commissioners, the Planning Board, the Administrator, or any private citizen by filing an application with the Administrator. Text amendments alter the regulations which apply to the town’s entire zoning jurisdiction and are not site-specific.
All petitions to amend the Wendell Unified Development Ordinance shall be directed to the Administrator, who shall transmit them to the Town Planning Board for review and recommendation.
A link to the Text Amendment Process can be found here.
For more information, see the town’s Text Amendment Application Packet.
Map Amendment Process (Rezoning) Process
Development of a new site, or redevelopment of an existing parcel, may require a map amendment in order for the new use to comply with the town’s zoning regulations. Each zoning district permits specific uses of land and includes minimum dimensional requirements for those uses.
An amendment to the Zoning Map may be initiated by the Board of Commissioners, the Planning Board, the Administrator, or any private citizen by filing an application with the Administrator.
In order for a developer to propose a new set of zoning regulations specific to his or her proposed development area, a conditional district rezoning request must be submitted. This type of development (also known as a Planned Unit Development or “PUD”) is further described in the following section.
A link to the Map Amendment (Rezoning) Process can be found here.
For more information, see the town’s Map Amendment (Rezoning) Applicant packet.
Conditional District Rezoning Process
The purpose of the Conditional Districts is to provide an alternative means of land development and an alternative zoning procedure that may be used to establish residential, commercial, and industrial Conditional Districts at appropriate locations and in accordance with the planning and development objectives of the Town.
A link to the Conditional District Rezoning Process can be found here.
Special Use Permitting Process
Within the town’s zoning code, all allowed uses are listed as ‘Permitted (P)’, ‘Permitted with Additional Standards (PS)’ or are listed as requiring a ‘Special Use Permit’ (SUP). Special Use Permits are reviewed and approved by the Wendell Board of Commissioners at a public hearing.
Special uses are land uses that are generally compatible with the land uses permitted by right in a zoning district, but which require individual review of their location, design, and configuration so as to evaluate the potential for adverse impacts on adjacent property and uses. Special uses ensure the appropriateness of the use at a particular location within a given zoning district.
A link to the Special Use Permitting Process can be found here.
Wendell’s Special Use Application Packet includes the town’s application, submittal and review schedule, as well as sections of the UDO detailing requirements, procedures for approval, and the appeal process.