​Electronic Plan Review

The CLT Development Center has partnered with ePermitHub to launch the Digital Plan Room, a new electronic document review solution that is seamlessly integrated into the Accela Citizen Access Portal. This solution will introduce many new features to optimize the plan review process. The Digital Plan Room system includes:

  • Simple file uploads and automated versioning at the sheet level

  • Collaborative issue/condition communication for plan review comments

  • Seamless user experience within Accela Citizen Access

Other highlights include:

  • Customers will now receive instant feedback when uploading their documentation whether their documents and plans are accepted for review. Any issues will be communicated to the customer in real time.

  • Required document notifications displayed during project upload – based on the application type selected and fields completed, the Digital Plan Room can detect which documents are required for each submittal, giving customers peace of mind that their submittal is complete and streamlining the time between customer submittal and staff review.

  • Interactive access to color coded mark-ups (by discipline), issues, and conditions from within Citizen Access for reviewing disapproved comments.

  • Submission of any corrections will only require revised sheets to be submitted, rather than complete plan sets.

Helpful recommendations

  • Plot the plans to a 24"x36" size and ensure the design professional has sealed and signed them, then scan back in to PDF.

  • When scanning plan sheets, set the scanner to around 100-150 dpi resolution. This creates a clear, legible PDF but keeps file size to a minimum.​

  • All files MUST be uploaded from your c:\drive.  Do not upload files from your network drive.  Tip: It works best if you upload from ‘c:\temp\’

  • Only upload using Internet Explorer 11.  There may be issues with files uploaded utilizing other browsers such as Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

  • If your file is too big (>30mb) try the following (you will need Acrobat Standard or Pro)

    • In Adobe Acrobat Pro, Go to:  File --> Save As Other --> Optimized PDF

    • Choose: Standard --> OK -->  Name your file (ex: ‘filename.optimized.pdf’)

  • Avoid exporting drawings directly from AutoCAD to PDF with the CAD "objects" or "layers" in the file.  This will create a much larger PDF file size and a slower, cumbersome file for plan review.

  • Avoid having Autocad drawing text turned into comments in a PDF.  The default setting is “1” in Auto CAD for this feature. To change the setting, type “EPDFSHX” in the command line and enter “0”.

How it works:

Accela Citizen epermit hub

All new applications must be submitted via our web-based permit tracking system, Accela Citizen Access. Customers can log in to the system and create their own applications for a new plan review, and then simply upload their plans and supporting documentation at the end of the application. Once the customer has uploaded and validated their files, the files will be processed in our system. Here's what the Digital Plan Room does with your plans during processing:

  • Separates them into individual sheets

  • Scans them via optical character recognition to identify sheet numbers

  • Attaches them to previously submitted versions

  • Prepares them for web and mobile access

How to Prepare Electronic Plans Prior to Uploading to Accela

  • All plans and supporting documentation shall be in PDF file format.

  • Maximum file size is 100MB (per file)

  • Plan sheets should be 24"X 36" maximum size and can be scanned at a resolution of 150 dpi.

  • Plan files

    • Plans shall be set to landscape view, oriented so that North is always at the top of the monitor; with the title block located in the lower right hand corner. (Ensure that all pages are in order, and rotated properly for viewing on-screen.)

    • Whenever possible it is important to include a table of contents when exporting/publishing to the PDF (ex. Include "Create bookmarks" setting in AutoCAD or Revit)

      • Include sheet titles within table of contents when possible

    • Any annotations in the PDF will be removed during the submission process.

  • Supporting documents

    • Do not combine any supporting documentation in the same PDF file with any plans; Submit supporting documentation as separate PDF files.

    • Supporting documents shall be submitted as individual documents or as a single combined multipage file

    • Document files may be oriented either landscape or portrait view so that the top of the page is always at the top of the monitor

  • Review fees must be paid using cash, check (payable to " City of Charlotte"), or an established Mecklenburg County account.

Helpful recommendations

  • Plot the plans to a 24"x36" size and ensure the design professional has sealed and signed them, then scan back in to PDF.

  • When scanning plan sheets, set the scanner to around 100-150 dpi resolution. This creates a clear, legible PDF but keeps file size to a minimum.

  • All files MUST be uploaded from your c:\drive.  Do not upload files from your network drive.  Tip: It works best if you upload from 'c:\temp\'