Starting November 1, 2018, paper plans for all commercial building plans that qualify for express (“fast-track”) review will be reviewed in two (2) business days. In addition to the review time change, the submittal requirements for commercial building plans will also change. Three (3) sets of paper plans are required.
In-Person Submission Office Hours:
Commercial Express/Fast-Track: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. (except for the first Tuesday of the month; 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.; and the third Thursday at 12 p.m. (Noon))
PRINT/DOWNLOAD: Commercial Building Plan Review Flyer
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Will residential walk-thru or express plan reviews change?
Residential express (“walk-thru”) plan reviews are not changing at this time, but may change in the future. We will continue to offer same-day services for residential building permits that qualify for express review. For residential ePlan Review submitted plans, there will continue to be a two-business day review time.
How do I know if my plan review time is changing?
Review times are changing only for commercial building plans that qualify for express (“fast-track”) reviews that are submitted on or after November 1, 2018. View the criteria for express plan reviews.
Why is the County making this change?
- Plans are not currently reviewed in the order they are submitted. The existing process prioritizes paper submissions which prevents staff from completing ePlan Reviews in order.
- Because the current process is less efficient, it increases in-person service wait times.
- Customers need to wait for several hours to meet with a Plan Reviewer, and they may need to come back in the office the next business day to complete the plan review process.
How will the new review times improve the in-person and online customer experience?
- The paper plan review times will increase by one business day while we reduce the “fast-track” ePlan Review plan review time by one business days. By aligning plan review times for all submissions, we will be able to ensure the plans are reviewed in the order we received them.
- Establishing equal review times for both paper and ePlan Review submissions provides a clearer, easier-to-understand process for all customers.
- Overall ePlan Review processing times are expected to reduce by one business day due to improved efficiency and staff availability.
- In-person wait times for permitting services are anticipated to reduce for all customers.
How will the County know if this is a positive change?
- The County is tracking three key data points to evaluate this process improvement. Indicators of success will be:
- Increase in percentage of express commercial building permits submitted electronically
- Decrease in average time for issuance of ePlan Review express commercial building permits
- Decrease in wait times for in-person services
Where can I learn more about ePlan Review?
What other customer-focused improvements is the County working on?
- As technology advances, the County aims to leverage digital tools, such as ePlan Review, to improve services provided to customers.
- Additional permitting process and customer experience enhancements are underway as part of the Permit Arlington (formerly known as One-Stop Arlington) program.
- Two primary outcomes of the One-Stop program will be a new online permitting system, and a centralized space for in-person customer visits. Both the physical and virtual spaces aim to achieve an intuitive, “one-stop” customer experience.
Where can I learn more about the future online permitting system?
Permit Arlington is the County’s enterprise-wide initiative to improve the customer experience and develop a new online permitting system. Learn more.