A site plan is a diagram meant to show proposed and existing improvements to a property.  A site plan is important because it also includes information in regards to the physical characteristics, features, and uses of a property.  The main purpose is to show the exact way the intended land use relates to the features of a parcel and its surrounding area.  A
site plan should show what already exists, in addition to presenting what is being proposed. 

One of the most important features of a site plan is to show the relationship between what already exists, and what it is that you are planning to do.  A site plan is used to ensure that local and state codes are adhered to when it comes to making changes and additions to a specific property, and are retained for historical records.


The site plan may be prepared electronically or by hand, certified or non-certified, and meet the following standards: 

    1. Drawn to scale.
    2. Have a North arrow.
    3. Depict all property boundary lines and dimensions.
    4. Illustrate footprint of existing and proposed structures (example: house, barn, shop, shed, etc.) including dimensions from property lines. Label each structure.
    5. Label all easement(s) and/or rights-of-way.
    6. Provide the location of all existing and proposed utilities (well, springs, septic, drain field, reserve area, sewer lines, water lines).
    7. Demonstrate all property features including slopes, streams, ravines, wetlands, rivers, etc.
    8. If slopes are present, use arrows to show direction of ascending or descending slope(s). Assume an elevation of 100 feet at one property corner and indicate the other corner elevations to it.
    9. Show limits/areas to be cleared, graded, excavated, or otherwise disturbed.

Timely processing of an application starts with an accurate site plan.  If the site plan does not meet the minimum standards, the application will be returned to the applicant or applicant's representative.  All further work will be on hold until a complete and accurate site plan is submitted.  Please take a moment to read the above listed requirements to ensure your application is not delayed.


One of the first steps in planning a project is the development of an accurate site plan.  And, to develop an accurate site plan requires a certain amount of pre-planning and information gathering.  The following is a list of recommended information to obtain to assist in preparing a site plan.

    1. A legal description of the land on which you plan to develop.
    2. A record of survey or a plat map of the parcel, drawn to scale if possible.
    3. Permit history for affected the properties.
    4. The size, location, and use of all easements recorded against the property.
    5. Location of underground and overhead utilities. These could include sewer, water, electric, etc.
    6. Name and/or number of adjacent streets, roads, or highways, and location and size of the rights of way.
    7. Zoning. Limitations on land use, allowable uses and structures, minimum yard requirements, etc.
    8. Critical Areas - wetlands, rivers, creeks, streams, steep slopes, erosion or land slide hazard areas, flood zones, habitat areas, etc.
    9. Proposed location of new structure(s) on the property.
    10. Location of existing structures - above and below ground.
    11. Assigned physical address(es).


A site plan may be certified or non-certified.  A non-certified site plan is one that is created by a property owner, contractor, or landscaper.  It is a drawing where the accuracy and dimensions are verified by the property owner.  A certified site plan is one that is prepared and stamped by an architect, engineer, surveyor, or other professional.  Grays Harbor County (GHC) accepts both certified and non-certified site plans.


Grays Harbor County does not provide site plan services. If a historical site plan of record exists, these may be provided upon requestShould you need assistance preparing a site plan, please contact a consultant in the private sector, a contractor, title company, architect, engineer, surveyor, etc.  







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Grays Harbor County
Planning & Building Division

updated 2-15-2024