Express OnSchedule Plan Review
Express OnSchedule Plan Review is an optional plan review service that enables projects that are within the program's scope to accelerate the normal plan review process. This service can speed up the review process time from weeks to a single review session and, permits can be issued within two business days in most cases. This service does not guarantee permits if the plans do not meet the necessary requirements of respective codes and ordinances.
Note: You may not submit a project through both the Express Review Program and the regular OnSchedule permitting system, or any other plan review stream (i.e.: CTAC, Mega). If discovery of this is made, the Express Review will be cancelled, and the applicant will be held responsible for payment of fees incurred. Removal from the Express Review program for 1 year may also result.
Express Review provides scheduling for plan review and approval for tenant upfits, interior alterations, change of use permits, and for certain categories of new construction. New Construction Express Review services include not only complete project plan review for two business day permitting, but also partial project plan review. Partial plan reviews include: staged construction (shell, footing and foundation), trade reviews only (B/E/M/P/F/Z), revisions to plans disapproved through the standard review process, and revisions to previously approved plans. Partial Express Plan Review may not result in two business days permitting. These services are provided as a response to the request of the construction/development community.
Express Review may also be used to perform the 2nd review cycle for certain multi-family projects. If a customer would like to have the 2nd cycle review done through an Express Review, please review the full guidelines.
Project Submittal Leadtimes
In the Lead Time Chart are the estimated project submittal leadtimes for typical projects in OnSchedule Review, Express Review, and Small Commercial Review. These values give a general view of leadtimes, however, they are estimates and will fluctuate with workloads. Some project types will not experience the same leadtimes. These project types include but are not limited to: daycares, schools, and hospitals. It is necessary to submit an OnSchedule application before these leadtimes can be established.
Electronic Plan Submittal and Electronic Plan Review
Electronic Plan Submittal and Electronic Plan Review (EPS/EPR) began January 29, 2012. Customers can schedule their projects for review in Code Enforcement's Electronic Plan Management (EPM) system and submit all their plans and drawings online through this system. The EPM system is a work flow tool that allows architects, engineers, and designers the ability to oversee their projects through the plan review and permitting department from their offices. EPM has features that allow you to submit commercial applications online and provides real-time tracking of your project as it progresses from estimation, scheduling, gate, plan review to permits.
Key Features Include:
EPM Dashboard - View all actions performed on a project along with details of who performed it and when it was performed.
Project History - Submit applications online, view real time status of applications online, search for projects, reports, and account administration.
Graphical View - View the status of the project in a graphical format.
Plan Review Management - Upload electronic drawings through the EPM dashboard and track the plan review progress of the project.
General Express Review Provisions
- Tuesday: 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m.
- Wednesday: 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m.
- The applicant will be contacted by the Express Review Coordinator once the application and documentation are reviewed and the proposed project is determined to be a candidate for Express Review.
- A verbal confirmation as well as confirmation through the Electronic Plan Management dashboard will be made identifying the date and time your project is scheduled for review.
- A non-refundable fee of $100.00 is to be paid if the appointment is cancelled or moved for any reason. The fee can be paid at any time prior to cancellation or rescheduling of the appointment, but must be paid no later than 2 business days after the appointment has been cancelled or moved.
- The appointment will not be rescheduled until the fee has been received.
Notice must be given 5 working days in advance of the appointment time.
- Note: If cancelation notice is not given within the described guidelines above, the applicant is responsible for paying a cancelation fee. The fee shall be based on the number of hours scheduled for the appointment.
- Note: If an appointment is booked within 2 working days of the appointment time, the same cancelation policy applies.
- The Express Review Fee must be paid at conclusion of the Express Review appointment.
- The permit fee must be paid prior to the start of the Express Review appointment.
- Failure to remit funds to Code Enforcement for services rendered will result in a discontinuance of all future services of the Department until the fees are paid.
- Fees may be paid by check, bond, or credit card (Mastercard/Visa/Discover). Checks are payable to: Mecklenburg County.
- A bond account may need to be set up with the Revenue Collection department prior to the Express Review appointment.
- $1200.00 per hour for interior work
- $1500.00 per hour for exterior work
- Payment is due at the conclusion of the Express Review appointment.
If projects are turned down, a re-review may be scheduled based on availability of appointment times. The hourly cost is the same as the original review. Projects may also be resubmitted for review under the regular system for revisions.
Projects allowed to use Express Review on a case by case basis, based on preliminary review include:
- Restaurants, Schools, Change of Use (requiring site plans), Conditional Zoning, Multi-Family
Projects not eligible for Express Review:
- High Rise, Communication Towers, Projects for DOI, Daycares, Large Assembly, Adult Establishments, Hazardous
Note: Exceptions to the above project types may be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Code Enforcement Manager of Commercial Plan Review.
Express Review Process
- Submit the Express Review Application through the Electronic Plans Management system (EPM). Accurately describe the proposed work, be complete and specific, and include any specialized design components or features. The more information supplied on the application, the higher the probability for success at the time of review. Failure to accurately describe the project may result in an inability to schedule the project. If you wish, you may contact the Express Review Coordinator at (980) 314-2633 to determine available times. NOTE: Available times are given as a courtesy. Actual dates and times will be given when the project is ready to be booked for review.
- After receiving the information, the estimated time needed to complete the review will be entered in EPM, or a preliminary review will be requested. This decision is based on the information submitted on the application.
- If the project is suitable for Express Review, the Express Review Coordinator will tentatively schedule the review based on the submitted Plans Ready On date. If a preliminary review is required, the Express Review Coordinator will contact the applicant by phone to discuss scheduling a preliminary review appointment.
- A preliminary/scope of work review will be scheduled for new construction projects and on upfit projects as the estimator deems necessary. The preliminary/scope of work review meeting is designed to give the reviewers an opportunity to see the scope of work for the project. It gives the designers an opportunity to discuss any items which may pose a problem at the time of the Express Review. The preliminary reviews are on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. One complete set of plans is required, and designers are encouraged to attend. Plans are not required to be 100% complete; however they must represent a solid scope of work.
- An Express Review meeting will not be scheduled until after the preliminary/scope of work review meeting has been held.
- If it is determined at the preliminary/scope of work review meeting that a project will not fit into the scope of the Express Review Program, the contact person will be informed, and it will be necessary for the project to go through regular channels for permitting.
- A project may be required to be phased in order to meet the goals of the Express Review program.
- Phased construction projects: If a project is separated into phases (footing/foundation, shell, shell w/core, upfit), for the Express Review Program, each phase is a separate project and beginning the process through Express Review does not guarantee that each phase will qualify for Express Review. It is possible that the footing/foundation can be done through Express Review, while the shell or shell w/core will not be able to be done through Express Review.
- If a preliminary review meeting is held, the Express Review appointment will be scheduled at the conclusion of the meeting if the project has been approved for the Express Review program.
- The EPM system will notify the customer of the scheduled review date, fees, and submission requirements. Once this date is accepted, the customer will be responsible for all financial responsibilities associated with the Express Review appointment. If the date needs to be rescheduled, it is necessary to follow the cancellation policy listed above.
- No later than 2 business days prior to the Express Review appointment, upload the electronic drawings and all related information, properly packaged, including the building permit application.
- NOTE: All plans, including Landscape drawings, must be signed and sealed by the appropriate professional, licensed by the State of North Carolina.
- EXCEPTION: Low Voltage fire alarm and sprinkler shop drawings are not required to be sealed. Supply to these systems must be signed and sealed.
- NOTE: Contact the Express Review Coordinator for new construction that requires review/approval from other agencies (Planning, UMUD, MUDD, Transportation, Environmental Health, City Engineering, etc.) Approval from these agencies will need to be obtained prior to building permit issuance.
- Arrive at the appropriate appointment time, as indicated by the Express Review Coordinator. If a party is not prepared, they will be asked to reschedule the appointment and be required to pay for the lost appointment time. A grace period of no more than 15 minutes will be allowed.
- Bring two sets of drawings. Plans must be signed and sealed by the appropriate professional. Minimum size of plans is 18" x 24". No half size sets.
- Paper drawings are requested in addition to electronic drawings for the following reasons:
- All plan review and permitting is done through electronic plan review.
- Due to the logistical issues that arise with attempting to have electronic changes uploaded to EPM, within the time constraints of an Express Review appointment, it is necessary to bring two paper copies of the drawings so necessary redlines may be placed on the drawings and approved as noted when appropriate. This allows an approved set of drawings to be permitted within the two day timeline as defined by these guidelines.
- Paper drawings are requested in addition to electronic drawings for the following reasons:
- Each seal holder represented on the plans must be present. The individual project designers whose professional seals are on the project (engineer, architect, landscape architect, sprinkler designer, etc.) shall be in attendance. This requirement is to meet the legal requirements for the minor "red-lining" of plans when necessary.
- NOTE: If a seal holder is unable to attend, another seal holder in the same firm may fill in, but they must bring their own seal to seal any changes made to the plans.
- Owners are encouraged to attend but are not required to be present.
- If a project is located in a jurisdiction which oversees zoning, zoning sign off from that jurisdiction must be obtained on the Building Permit Application. (i.e.: Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson)
- If the project is in Huntersville, the customer must have a Letter of Submission from the Town of Huntersville Planning Department.
- If the contractors are not named on the Building Permit Application at the time of the Express Review, this information must be provided prior to a permit being issued.
- Failure to comply with the following requirements will result in immediate rejection without review and the applicant will be charged the amount of time scheduled for the appointment.
- Not having the drawings uploaded and ready for review in EPM.
- Not having two properly bound, sealed plan sets, layers not printed, or improperly bound sets.
- Not having the designers of record or acceptable replacement present.
- Arriving late for the scheduled appointment.
- Scope of work on plans is different from the scope of work described on the Express Review Application.
Permits will be issued within 2 business days of plan approval. Permits cannot be issued if the Building Permit Application is not complete, if there are outstanding problems with agencies other than Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement, if the Express Review Fees have not been paid, or if named contractors are not licensed in the State of North Carolina or do not hold a current Surety Bond with our department. Please remember it is the customer's responsibility to have all approvals needed for permit issuance. These include, but are not limited to, City Engineering, County Land Development, Environmental Health, Pools, Air Quality, etc.
Electronic Submittal Process
Plans will be reviewed in an electronic format and customers are required to submit their drawings in this medium.
EPM is designed to function with Internet Explorer 8 or higher and with Adobe Reader 8 or higher. For best results, please avoid using other browsers such as Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and other PDF software.
Please thoroughly review our customer guides for plan submittal (gating).
- Sheet Index - When uploading the sheet index for interactive review or subsequent reviews, please be sure to modify the original sheet index file and upload it. It should include all pages in the drawing at every submittal.
- Interactive Review - When uploading drawing files for interactive review, please be sure to upload the entire file in which the affected sheet resides. For example, if the E.1 sheet needs to be modified to address the plans examiner's comment, and it is in the Electrical file, please modify the sheet and when uploading the document, be sure to upload the entire file with all the sheets, not just the modified sheet.
- Subsequent Reviews - When uploading drawing files for subsequent cycle review (cycle 2, cycle 3, etc.), please be sure to upload all of the drawings files, not just the modified sheet(s). The modified sheet(s) will reside within the files that are uploaded.
- Address Verification – Is required to correctly identify the address where the work is being performed. It is necessary for inspectors in the field inspecting and for the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy. The ability to place a permit on the correct address is imperative to avoid problems during the plan review, permitting and inspection process. See next section for more information.
New Address - If your project or permit does not yet have an established address, please contact Mecklenburg County GIS Addressing at 704-336-6175.
Temporary Addresses - In certain limited circumstances, it is not possible to provide a permanent address at the time of the submittal of the OnSchedule application. In these instances, it is possible to work with Addressing to create a temporary address in order to begin the process. The temporary address will be used ONLY during the plan review process. Permanent addresses must be established prior to permitting.
Types of Projects eligible for temporary address:
- Projects that require Multi-Family approval
- Projects that require Subdivision approval
- Projects that require Planning approval
Before You Start
- Verifications for New Construction must be obtained from Addressing, either at the Addressing Counter, or by request.
- If there is a suite number/unit number associated with your address, it must already be in the database; otherwise, you will still need to contact Addressing for a verification form, and to have the unit number entered into the address database.
- Check all your information carefully before completing the form. Incorrect or false information will only cause further delays and will result in a charge if the address on an issued permit must be changed.
The verification form must be submitted with the following:
- CTAC plan submittal
- OnSchedule/Express Review application form
Create the Address Verification Form - Search for your address using the instructions listed. Be sure to check for your specific suite or unit number, if needed. Once you have determined that the address you need is in the database, you are ready to create and print the Address Verification Form.
Architect and Engineer License Information
When submitting the Architect and Engineer License sealholder information on the OnSchedule Application, it is imperative that you enter the license number as it appears on the individuals seal. This information is vital to the project, as it impacts the AE Pass Rate Incentive program and becomes part of the official record of the project. As we discover incorrect information, it will delay the project through the plan review process and may adversely affect the AE Pass Rate scores. If changes are required to the OnSchedule application to align the sealholder listed on the application with the sealholder on the drawings, a charge of $31.60 will be applied to the project.
Need Help Uploading or Navigating the System?
Contact the OnSchedule Coordinators at 980-314-CODE(2633).