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Coming Soon: A More Efficient Plan Review Process

Newsletter

Over the next year, the City is phasing in a new more efficient plan review process for all types of building permits. This new process will establish dedicated windows of uninterrupted time for City staff to perform plan review.

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Over the next year, the City is phasing in a new more efficient plan review process for all types of building permits. This new process will establish dedicated windows of uninterrupted time for City staff to perform plan review. During these windows, applicants will not be allowed to submit corrections to checksheets. These review windows will create a more efficient development review process. This new process will be standard when electronic plan review is rolled out.

Phasing review windows into our process

We will be gradually phasing review windows into our process, starting with Process Managed Projects on November 1, 2018, and then New Single Family Residential (NSFR) Permits on January 2, 2019. Plan review windows should be fully implemented by October 1, 2019.  

As we move closer to the implementation of review windows for NSFR Permits we will send our additional public notifications, as well as hold a Lunch and Learn event.   

Here’s how the change will benefit our customers:

Reduced interruption to the plan review process

Our staff will be able to focus on their reviews with less interruptions, which will produce more efficient review and feedback for our customers. When a customer submits corrections through a checksheet response, Permitting Services staff coordinates those corrections and routes the plans to our review groups in response to those corrections/updates.

When customers submit additional corrections before other staff have finished their review, the reviewer must start over. When staff have uninterrupted time to focus on a review, they can complete that review more quickly.

Less routing of plans to reviewers

Bundling correction submittals reduces the amount of times Permitting Services staff need to route plans. This allows them to spend more time on the last stage of the review process, pre-issuance of permits.

Moving to electronic plan review

We are moving to ePlans (electronic plan review), which fully incorporates plan review windows. ePlans is a plan review system enabling plans to be reviewed, stamped and downloaded electronically. Applicants will be able to submit their plans remotely and view their project’s status and details. Upon submittal, plans are immediately made available to all reviewers simultaneously, reducing the time needed to complete the review process.

The City of Portland is currently in the first phase of the rollout with three applicants participating in the pilot program. Review windows are necessary to manage the electronic plan review process and requiring them for our current paper-based process will help applicants and City staff as we make the transition to ePlans.

We are making this change to complete reviews and permits on a shorter timeline for our customers. BDS is always looking for ways to make our processes more efficient, and plan review windows will help our staff work quickly, producing results faster. More detailed information about plan review windows will be published as the implementation date nears.

Save the date: We will be hosting a Lunch & Learn information session on Plan Review Windows on December 10 at the Bureau of Development Services. You are welcome to join us at 12 p.m. to discuss the upcoming changes. Please contact Colleen Poole with questions about the Lunch & Learn event series.

For questions about plan review windows, contact:
David Kuhnhausen, david.kuhnhausen@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-7940.