Land Development

​Electronic Plan Review

As of April 1, 2014, the Planning Department, Charlotte Department of Transportation and Engineering & Property Management Department require all residential subdivision-related plans, commercial site development plans, and as-builts to be submitted for review using Accela Citizen Access as electronic files (PDF only - no paper plans are accepted).

City of Charlotte staff utilizes Adobe® Acrobat® for electronic plan (EPLAN) review and commenting. This alternative to submittal of multiple sets of paper plans saves printing and courier costs. At the same time, EPLAN review helps streamline and simplify the review process and enable Land Development to build an electronic archive of approved plans.

How it works:

​All new applications for the project types listed above 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 attach PDFs of site plans to that application before submitting. For more information on the process, visit Accela Citizen Access and log-in with your username and password.  

How to Prepare Electronic Plans Prior to Uploading to Accela

  • Plans must be "to scale", PDF format, scanned original plans, with professional seal & signature (or other acceptable electronic format per NCBELS regulations 21 NCAC 56.1103)
  • PLEASE NOTE - maximum size limit for files on Accela = 50MB
  • Combine multiple PDF sheets in Acrobat, using the "Smaller file size" setting which compresses the image even more but keeps it legible. 
  • Ensure that all pages are in order, and rotated properly for viewing on-screen.
  • Review fees must be paid using cash, check (payable to "​City of Charlotte"), or an established Mecklenburg County account.
  • Please contact Land Development Division by telephone at 704-336-6692 with any customer service questions about ACA or Electronic Plan Review.

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”.