"Plan Review" is a process in which your building plans are reviewed to make sure they comply with basic safety, engineering and planning rules. We review the design of such things as the structure, plumbing and electrical systems to make sure they are safe and properly designed. We also look at other items, like building setbacks, heights and lot coverage to see that the construction is compatible with the neighborhood.
After your application is submitted, we will review your plans. Depending on the nature of the project, the review could involve several departments.
The Building & Safety Division will determine compliance with building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, energy conservation, disabled access compliance, Green build codes and storm water control regulations.
The Fire Department will check for compliance with fire safety requirements.
The Public Works Department will check for compliance with flood control, drainage, parking and driveway standards and public improvement requirements.
The Planning Division will verify compliance with zoning regulations including authorized uses within zoning districts, required parking, and property development standards such as lot coverage, building height, setback, and density requirements.
The Utilities Department will review for water conservation and waste management objectives.
What must I submit?
What you submit will depend upon what you're planning to build. Here's a summary:
Single Family Homes and Duplexes:
- A minimum of 2 Complete Sets of Plans (a complete set of plans includes a site plan, construction drawings and any required engineering or energy calculations/details)
- A minimum of 2 Additional Site Plans
- 1 Additional Floor Plan Multifamily (Apartments and Condos)
- 1 Additional Floor Plan Residential Subdivisions
- 1 Additional Floor Plan Office/Commercial/Industrial
What Must My Drawings Include?
The SITE PLAN must include:
- An accurate delineation of the property boundaries along with the outlines of all existing and proposed buildings, driveways, fences and other significant features (properties that are not square or rectangular can be tricky to draw; accurate boundaries are necessary for the purpose of measuring setbacks to proposed construction)
- Required handicapped parking and accessibility to building entrances (Apartment, Office, Commercial & Industrial)
- The location and name(s) of any street(s) or alleys that adjoin the property
- A North arrow, drawing scale, and all dimensions
- The assessor parcel number and the names, addresses and phone numbers of the job site, property owner and general contractor.
The CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS must include:
- Foundation Plan
- Floor Plans
- Elevations (front, rear and sides)
- Cross sections (floor, wall and roof)
- Truss calculations/roof plan
- Engineering and energy calculations (if necessary)- wet stamped by the Engineer or Architect
- Electrical, Mechanical & Plumbing Plans
We encourage you to have your plans drawn by a professional, who is familiar with building and zoning codes. Unclear or incomplete plans will cause delays in approval of your project.
What Happens During the Review of My Plans?
The Planning Department coordinates all plan review throughout City Hall and a member of our staff is designated the Plans Examiner. This person starts by routing the copies of your plans to the departments and divisions that will be reviewing them. Typically, plans are routed to the:
- Planning Department
- Building and Safety Division
- Public Utilities Water and Electric Divisions
- Fire Department
- Public Works Department,
- Parks and Recreation Division
Each Department or Division has certain safety, engineering or quality of life concerns it is responsible for.
The Building & Safety Division will notify you when the initial plan review for your project is completed. If the plans cannot be approved as submitted, we will provide you with lists of necessary corrections from all departments that reviewed your plans.
Minor corrections can be made on the original plans submitted. However, if major changes are necessary, or if there are numerous corrections, you will be required to correct the base drawings and resubmit copies of the revised plans. Submitting thorough and complete plans initially will help avoid numerous revisions.
When revised plans are submitted, they will be distributed to the departments that generated the initial corrections for subsequent review. Plans submitted for recheck will generally require less processing time than required for the initial check.
If corrections are required, the Plans Examiner notifies you. You are then responsible to have your plans corrected and resubmitted. The corrected plans are then rechecked after which the Plans Examiner will route them to the Permit Technician who will inform you that your permit is ready to be issued.
How Do I Get My Permit and How Long is it Good For?
Once the Permit Technician notifies you that your plans have been approved, the Building and Safety Division can issue a permit and collect the permit fee.
A building permit is normally issued to your licensed contractor, but if you plan to do the construction yourself, you may obtain the permit as an "owner-builder".
After a permit is issued, construction must begin within 1 year and inspections must be called at least every 180 days thereafter. Extensions are available when warranted by special circumstances.
The process of issuing a building permit may seem complex, which it is. It involves many City departments and outside agencies, and it may include a separate Planning process. The City is required by law to enforce numerous Federal, State and local construction and development regulations to ensure that your project is safe and is an asset to the community.