A QUICK STORY
“Hooray, so my permit is approved, right? I can start construction tomorrow?!?!” Not quite. There are a few Departments that have issued comments that must be addressed on the plans before the plans can be approved, and a permit can be issued. And sometimes, depending on how difficult the jurisdiction is or how complicated the scope of work is for the project, another round of comments could arise before the permit is officially approved, so stay open minded and trust the process.
The review period is over, and the jurisdiction has taken the amount of time they initially said they would (maybe even a little longer if they exceeded their deadlines, or a little quicker if luck is on our side), and the first review has now been completed.
First of all, most jurisdictions will issue a list of comments from each discipline’s reviewer. Sometimes there are different reviewers for each discipline involved (i.e. Building or Structural, Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, etc.). Determining how the jurisdiction delivers the comments is helpful as some will email them directly to the applicant, and others will require the applicant to retrieve the comments from their online portal. Monitoring the progress of the reviews online (if available) could be helpful in saving time to respond to comments when all departments have completed their review, and a resubmittal task is available.
What is a resubmittal task?
Another great question! As previously mentioned, some jurisdictions use online submittal technology. We will discuss the common platform of ProjectDox again where the jurisdiction must invite the applicant to upload drawings, and the applicant must register for an account with ProjectDox and create a username and password. Once the reviews have been completed, the jurisdiction will push the task back to the applicant, and a resubmittal task will be created. Comments will be listed in ProjectDox, and some jurisdictions also mark up the PDF copy of the plans to aid in their explanation and delivery of the comments. The applicant must retrieve these marked-up plans and comments from the ProjectDox system and distribute them to the team accordingly. The reviewers contact information should also be available in the ProjectDox system in case the designers need to contact any reviewer for clarification on the comments. Some reviewers will even allow the applicant to email them a corrected PDF to ensure that the proper response is achieved to avoid receiving additional comments.
Oftentimes the resubmittal deliverables are different from the initial submittal, and some agencies only need revised sheets and a comment response letter (CRL) that addresses all of the comments for re-review. For example, going with the ProjectDox example again, only revised sheets are required to be uploaded to the system. The sheets must be named the exact same thing as the first submittal because the system will save the second version over the first. The CRL will be uploaded to the “Documents” folder, and the responses are also required to be inputted into the ProjectDox system itself when “pushing the task back to the jurisdiction”.
DOUBLE CHECK RESUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS
Next up, communicating with the team the deliverables needed for resubmittal (# of sets of plans, revised sheets or full sets, etc.) and establishing an estimated time frame for the resubmittal will avoid a common pitfall of just assuming that the same deliverables as the initial submittal are required. As previously mentioned, contact with the reviewers to ensure the comments are being addressed appropriately is wise since no one wants another round of comments.
STAYING WITH IT
Finally, the plans are revised and ready for resubmittal. It’s time to get this back to the agencies for hopefully the final review, so that the project can stay on schedule and start construction as planned. Following up and staying present with the agency reviewers during the resubmittal process is just as important as in the initial submittal stage. A good rapport has been built with the jurisdiction up to this point; staying present with them should be a piece of cake. The good news is that the re-reviews usually go a little faster than the first review, so hopefully, the project will be approved and under construction in no time.
For additional information on our experience with addressing Permit Comments, please contact us at 407.645.5008 or via email at [email protected].