When the Application has been completed and submitted along with it's fees the review process can now be started. The Building Department will stamp all of the pages of documentation with the date which they were received. The permit number will then be assigned and attached to a log / sign in sheet. Then it is made available for the Plan Reviewer to begin his or her analysis. The office will have any number of plan reviewers depending on the activity of that department who will then take the package and do their reviews regarding proper electrical, plumbing and structural design. The Plan Reviewers make sure that the plans meet all local and state codes, review the materials to be used and also check for safety issues or concerns. When they have completed that part of the review they will sign off and send the package on it's way to the Planning and Zoning department. Planning and Zoning makes sure that the plans meet all setbacks, sideyard and elevations as indicated and confirm that what is intended to be built is being built in an area that is zoned properly for that type of building and or structure. When Planning & Zoning completes their review it is again signed off and then presented to the Engineering Division. Engineering doesn't necessarily review all residential construction and may not be required to do so. However, they are responsible for commercial property compliance and projects which may involve roadways, driveways and underground utilities. When all departments have reviewed the package and signed off, it is returned to the Building Department. There it may have all plans scanned, the permit will be printed and the package is put together for the Contractor / Owner to pick up. This process may typically take anywhere from 3 days (on a small project) to two weeks (large residential and commercial). Many municipalities, in an effort to "go green" may have their Building Departments only take in one set of plans, which are then scanned immediately into their systems and returned to the Contractor / Owner when the permit is ready to be picked up. The transition to this type of "turn-around" is gaining wider acceptance everywhere.
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