SITE Program – Development

For sites that have completed the due diligence necessary to demonstrate that the site is suitable for development, applicants may apply to Golden LEAF for funding to begin development of the site. The Golden LEAF Board will prioritize awards to projects located in rural and economically distressed counties and communities.

Golden LEAF funds can be used for:

  • Extension of public utilities (typically water and sewer) to the site
  • Clearing and grading of the site (publicly owned sites only)
  • Stubbing an access road into the site (publicly owned sites only) 
  • Remediation of environmental conditions to enable industrial development (publicly owned sites only)

Eligible expenses include limited due diligence, design and engineering, construction, and related costs. The grantee will procure the contractors for the project.

Golden LEAF Funds may not be used for:

  • Shell buildings or construction of building pads
  • Construction of roads (beyond stubbed access road)
  • Extension of public utilities within the site
  • Grant administration
  • Acquisition of real property

Sites must have completed the due diligence requirements established by Golden LEAF. If there are three or fewer elements of due diligence (see the Due Diligence Checklist on the SITE Program Resources page) not yet completed, the applicant may request funding to complete those elements through the Development phase.

The maximum award in this phase is $1.5 million.


  • Public ownership or control of the site on which the proposed project will be completed. For information regarding public ownership or control, please see the Frequently Asked Questions and Glossary available on the SITE Program Resources page.
  • Evidence that required due diligence has been completed for the site.  Due diligence requirements are listed on the Due Diligence Checklist available on the SITE Program Resources page.
    • An application for site development may also request funding for up to three elements of due diligence not previously conducted; however, funds for development will not be released until the due diligence is completed.
  • Successful applicants will be able to show a plan for economic development and how development of the site will further the goals of that plan.
  • 15% match commitment for projects in certain counties. For more information about the match requirement, see the SITE Program Resources page.



Available resources include:

  • Frequently Asked Questions and Glossary
  • Guidelines for each phase of the program including all application questions and checklist for required attachments
  • Due Diligence Overview (explanation of technical requirements)
  • Access to application portal 

Application Deadline
Applications for the Fall 2023 round are closed. The application window for the Spring 2024 round will open in January 2024. Sign up for updates.

How to Apply

Only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and governmental entities may apply.

  • Review resources for the SITE – Development program, including detailed guidelines.
  • For instructions on how to access the new grant portal for the first time, click here and select the appropriate quick reference sheet:
    • New applicants, select and follow the instructions for “How to Create an Account”.
    • Former applicants using the same email address used for a prior application, select and follow the instructions for “How to Log In”.
  • If you already have an account in Golden LEAF’s new grant management system, click here to log in.
  • Click “Apply for Funding” then “Apply for a Grant” in the SITE Program – Development section to access the application.

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