September 27, 2023
The Blueprint for Efficiency, Mecklenburg County’s ‘On Schedule’ Plan Review

The article delves into Mecklenburg County’s innovative “On Schedule” plan review system, a forward-thinking approach to streamlining the building permit process. By allowing applicants to pre-schedule review dates and submit essential project details through the County’s Electronic Plan Management (EPM) system, the process aims to expedite approvals and reduce delays. The system also features an “Interactive Plan Review” tool for quick resolution of minor issues. While the process may seem daunting to some, those who have navigated it find it highly efficient, ultimately enabling new businesses to start generating revenue more quickly.

The Historical Significance of Mecklenburg County

For some people, the name Mecklenburg County evokes a sense of royalty, as the county was formed in 1762 to commemorate the marriage of King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, after whom the county seat of Charlotte is named.

The Traditional vs. The Innovative

However, for many who have chosen to develop projects within this beautiful area, Mecklenburg County can seem daunting due to their very unique method of plan review that is typically required in order to obtain a building permit.

Well, this is one of those areas that we need not be concerned about but rather to embrace the forward thinking of this unique process that Mecklenburg County has been using for a number of years now.

Understanding ‘On Schedule’ Plan Review

Mecklenburg County uses a system of “On Schedule” plan review. In a nutshell, this process allows the county to schedule a plan review date in advance based on a “plans ready” date provided by the applicant. If the applicant properly uses the system to their advantage, they can get a plan review placeholder in queue while their design firm is completing the construction drawings.

The Basics, What Is “On Schedule” Plan Review?

The first step in the “On Schedule” plan review process is to complete the “On Schedule” application and upload this application through the county’s Electronic Plan Management (EPM) system. This application requires basic information such as a detailed scope of work, systems affected, square footage, construction type, occupancy type, licensing information for the design professional, the number of plan sheets, and the estimated cost of construction, amongst other things. However, the most important part of this application is the ‘plans ready’ date. The plans ready date is the proposed date that the plans will be ready for review. This date helps the county to determine when the next available plan review slots are for the team of Mecklenburg County plan reviewers. The applicant must keep in mind that the upfront fees and all required documents and plans must be accepted for review a minimum of two (2) business days prior to the scheduled plan review date.

Completing the “On Schedule” Application

After the “On Schedule” application has been submitted through the county’s EPM system, each department will assess the amount of time required for their portion of the review. Once all required departments have provided their review-time estimates, the county’s proprietary software will then calculate the plan review date for the project. Upon receipt of the proposed plan review date, the applicant then has two (2) business days to either reject or accept the “scheduled” plan review date.

Interactive Plan Review, A Closer Look

Another innovative and helpful tool available through this system is the “Interactive Plan Review”. During the plan review process, if the comments any of the reviewers have are minor enough that re-review will take less than an hour, the reviewer can utilize the “Interactive Plan Review” tool, which typically allows minor comments to be resolved within just a few days.

The Benefits and Challenges

While some may find this process intimidating, those who are familiar with Mecklenburg County’s “On Schedule” plan review process can attest to its efficiency. It not only streamlines the plan approval process but also reduces the amount of time required for both the design and plan review processes. This means new businesses can start generating revenue sooner rather than later!

Paving the Way for Efficient Development in Mecklenburg County

In summary, Mecklenburg County’s “On Schedule” plan review system represents a forward-thinking approach to streamlining the often cumbersome process of obtaining building permits. By embracing innovation and leveraging technology, the county has created a system that not only expedites the review process but also offers a level of transparency and interaction that benefits all stakeholders involved.

While the system may initially appear daunting to some, those who have navigated it successfully find that it can significantly reduce both the time and resources needed to bring a project from concept to completion. As we look to the future, it’s clear that Mecklenburg County sets a compelling example for how local governments can innovate to better serve their communities. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a newcomer to the area, the “On Schedule” system offers a promising avenue for making your next project a success.