Government Issue Brief: Bringing Paperless Plan Review to Reality

Big Project Files, Complex Review Processes

For both local governments and developers, it’s critical to catch all issues with a building or site plan before it is approved. Yet the traditional way of reviewing plan sets — in paper form only — presents many challenges for planning departments. The first challenge is simply handling, storing and tracking the often large and unwieldy plan sets and project files. Maps and architectural drawings, construction specifications and permit documents, site photos and testing records — all are among the many and varied document types that are necessary to review and store for every development project.

Typically, multiple sets of these paper plans are necessary because many people across departments need to review different aspects of a proposed development. With so many documents in so many hands, it’s difficult to track the current status of who is reviewing what. Even when planners get all the paper documents they need, there’s no easy way for them to collaborate or record their comments in a cohesive and consistent way during plan reviews.

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