Residential Plan Review Process

Did You Know?

  • The Sewer and Water Department maintains over 346 miles of water mains, 217 miles of sanitary sewer, 40 miles of combined sewers and 240 miles of storm sewers.

  • Streets and Highways maintain over 247 mile of local and major roads within the limits of Southfield.

  • The Sewer and Water Department delivers clean dependable drinking water and disposes of it for less than a penny per gallon.

  • A dripping faucet can waste 3 gallons of water a day.

  • A leaking toilet can waste 25,000 gallons per month.




To expedite the review of plans as required by Chapter 19, Southfield City Code, the following requirements are provided to aid Engineers and Surveyors in preparing site drainage plans for submission to the Engineering Department:

A. Initial Requirements:

Chapter 19 Application Form (Interactive PDF) to be submitted with plans

Submit six (6) sealed sets of Drainage Plans for the complete site, signed and sealed by a registered Engineer or Surveyor.

If within 500' of a stream...
Apply for Site Drainage and/or Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit.
Pay a $400.00 inspection deposit and $1000.00 cash bond.
Indicate the soil erosion and sedimentation controls on the drainage plan and include their details.
Submit one (1) additional set of plans for a total of seven (7) sets.

Pay a $250.00 review fee to the Engineering Department.

Submit Soils Engineering Evaluation for houses constructed on steep slope.

B. Requirements after initial review but prior to receiving Building Permits:

Install Soil Erosion Control Fencing, if required by the Engineering Department.

Obtain Engineering Department approval by calling (248)796-4810, 3 days in advance for a soil erosion control fence inspection.

Obtain culvert permit for installation of culvert if required. Cost of permit is $50.00. Engineering Department establishes grades and will stake the grades upon request.

C. Requirements for Certificate of Occupancy:

Submit two (2) copies of the sealed final approved Grading Certificate, (as-built grading plan). Allow 3 days for final Engineering Department inspection. Complete the following:

Site must be fine graded, all walkways and driveways shall be paved prior to final Engineering Department grade inspection. After grading approval, front, side and rear yards must be top soiled, seeded and mulched or top soiled and sodded, if weather permits. (See Building Section for bond requirements).


Elevations to be shown (City of Southfield Datum):
Existing and proposed grades around perimeter of lot
Existing and proposed grades at building corners
Proposed first floor
Finish grade at adjacent buildings proposed
Ditch line
Road centerline and edge
Surrounding area 100 feet beyond site limits (on a grid of 50 feet or less, as required)
Dimensions to be shown:
Site boundaries
Proposed setback and side yards
Setback and side yards of adjacent buildings

Additional information to be shown:
Property description
Benchmark on City of Southfield Datum
Right-of-way width
Type and width of road surface
Proposed drainage pattern
All existing and proposed utilities

The drawing shall be on a maximum 24" x 36" sheet and shall include a location map.
The directional arrow for "North" shall point either toward the top of the page or to the left of the page.
The scale is to be an engineer's scale from 1" =20' to 1" = 100'.
The final building grade shall be established and maintained at an elevation that will provide a minimum five percent (5%) slope away from the building or house for a minimum distance of ten feet (10'), and the balance of the building or house site shall be graded to provide positive surface drainage from that point to the street, ditch or other drainage course.

Example of a typical Residential Site Drainage plan:
  Standard Drawing (DXF Format)259KB
 Standard Drawing (pdf)

Please note: In accordance with Title V, Chapter 49. Permit requirements to undertake a proposed earth change will be as follows:
  1. A prescribed application form shall be provided to the applicant by the Department of Engineering.
  2. An application for a City-prescribed permit shall be submitted to the Department of Engineering by a person proposing to undertake an earth change. In land development the application shall be submitted by the land owner or his authorized agent, whoever is responsible for the earth change.
  3. The application shall be accompanied by a soil erosion and sedimentation control plan and any other document which the Department of Engineering may require.
  4. The soil erosion and sedimentation control plan shall be reviewed and approved by a person designated by the City Engineer who is certified in soil erosion and sedimentation control techniques.
  5. The Department of Engineering shall approve, disapprove or require modification of an application for an earth change permit within thirty calendar days following receipt of the application.
  6. A prescribed permit shall be used by the Department of Engineering and shall include any additional provisions which may be required by the Department of Engineering. The permit shall be available on the site of the earth change for inspection.
  7. Upon a determination that an application has met all the requirements of Chapter 49 if applicable, the Department of Engineering shall issue a permit for the proposed earth change.
  8. An "authorized public agency" is exempt from obtaining a permit from the Department of Engineering but shall notify the Department of Engineering of each proposed earth change.
  9. When an earth change is under the jurisdiction of two or more local or county enforcing agencies, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality shall act as the enforcing agency.

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