A One-Stop Shop for Land Use Development
A One-Stop Shop for Land Use Development
A One-Stop Shop for Land Use Development
2 minute read

Permitting any project can be complex, requiring coordination at every phase. An integrated project team can simplify the navigation process.

Permitting any project — whether a 20-acre commercial development or a transmission line crossing several towns — can be complex, requiring coordination at every phase. An integrated project team can simplify the navigation process.

Burns & McDonnell's land use development group can take a project from site selection to construction administration, with in-house capabilities for due diligence, land use permitting and entitlement services, environmental permitting and compliance, and site engineering and planning. Real estate support, public involvement and communications efforts can also be included.

Having all resources available in one stop can result in significant cost and time savings. "It's like building a car. You wouldn't take it to one place for the engine, another for the body, and somewhere else for the tires," says Keith Stanley, Burns & McDonnell site development practice lead, working from the Richmond, Va., office. "With an integrated team, we're moving constantly, like a conveyor belt system. There's no need for down time to get people up to speed because we're all under one roof."

An economy of scale can be achieved when working with one consultant.

"One example is using attorneys for local land use issues. While there are some benefits to this approach, we have found they can be costly — and in some cases, double our average rate," says Shaun Tweed, Burns & McDonnell practice manager in Richmond. In most instances, these local land use attorneys are merely providing non-legal guidance on these processes. "By incorporating this process within Burns & McDonnell, we have access to more industry-related knowledge, and by integrating that into a comprehensive package, we can deliver cost savings and overall best value."

At Work in Michigan

Project manager Jonathon Schultis worked with the Burns & McDonnell Transmission & Distribution (T&D) Group to provide zoning services and site engineering for New Covert Generating Co. LLC (New Covert Generating Station) on the 345-kV New Covert Switching Station in Covert Township, Mich.

The project included construction of a substation and transmission lines, plus transmission line upgrades to enable the 1,100-megawatt Covert Generating Facility to sell its electricity into the PJM Interconnection market.

Schultis led the permitting portion of the project, representing New Covert Generating Station at local legislative hearings for the rezoning and site plan required for the station. Schultis' team coordinated with the township and Van Buren County for approval of other permits, including erosion and sediment control plans, road commission permits, and local building and zoning permits.

"Working within Burns & McDonnell across the board allowed for more efficient communication and expedited materials," Schultis says. "Providing a horizontal design/engineering structure enables us to deliver a more turnkey solution."

Schultis' team worked with Dan McClanahan, engineer-procure-construct (EPC) project manager in the T&D Group, who supported the permitting effort by providing the engineering required for the permit applications. Working within the company allowed the team to coordinate closely and work quickly to get answers and move forward.

"Because of our integrated team, we were able to expedite permitting drawings and reach resolution more quickly than would have been possible with multiple companies involved, satisfying the Township's concerns," McClanahan says.

Saving Time

Ryan Choquette, who is overseeing the project on behalf of the owner, says having an integrated team provided time savings when changes were requested on short notice.

"It's always beneficial to have a single point of responsibility for these types of projects," Choquette says. "It simplifies and streamlines the permitting process when you don't have to deal with multiple companies trying to coordinate tasks."

That single source of experienced, comprehensive services is the biggest benefit for any client, no matter what the project.

"Whether it's a switching station or a gas station, a site plan is a site plan," Stanley says. "We take away the burden of coordinating efforts with several firms, and enable our clients to focus on one point of contact and one invoice."

For more information, contact Shaun Tweed, 804-200-6320.

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