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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

February 25, 2003

MECKLENBURG COUNTY MOVES TO KEEP
BUILDERS AND DEVELOPERS "OnSchedule"

Charlotte, NC – Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement is about to launch another initiative that will give commercial developers a tool to save time and money when developing large projects.
 
Beginning March 3, 2003, commercial customers will be able to take advantage of OnSchedule, an innovative approach for reviewing and approving submitted building plans. Through the OnSchedule program, customers will be able to exercise much greater control over the permitting and construction schedules associated with their projects. The goal is to enable customers to know exactly when a plan review will be performed and how long that process will take. Code Enforcement staff developed this initiative over an eight-month period.

"We estimate that 95 percent of our commercial projects can be reviewed in eight hours in any one discipline, and that means many large commercial projects can be reviewed in one day," said James Bartl, the County's Code Enforcement Director. "Commercial customers have often told us how important it is for them to be able to predict plan review and permitting times. This new tool will allow them to know exactly when a review will be performed and how long it will take."

How does OnSchedule work? The program utilizes three separate processes for conducting plan reviews:

1. Small commercial projects – those estimated to take less than 30 minutes of review time – will be shifted to the department's Commercial Technical Assistance Center (CTAC). Keeping small projects out of the system will help streamline the entire review process, Bartl said.

2. Large "mega" projects (more than 400,000 square feet) require formal meetings with review staff. 

3. All other projects are provided with scheduled review appointments.


The process for most projects – those that are not considered small or "mega" -will basically consist of the following steps:

  • The customer will call a project coordinator for a review appointment.
  • The customer will submit documentation clarifying the project scope. (The project coordinator or plan review staff uses this to confirm the review time required. In some cases, a brief meeting may be needed to ensure the correct time review estimate.)
  • The customer will "gate keep" drawings, either in advance or on review submission.
  • The customer will submit drawings the day before the review.
  • The review will be done on the scheduled day.
  • The customer will pick up the permit and/or comments on the day after the review. (If a plan is not approved, a customer may re-enter the system only after addressing all plan review comments. Re-reviews may be scheduled with project coordinators for the next available time slot when customers pick up plans and comments.)

In addition to OnSchedule, Code Enforcement will continue to offer Express Review, Third Party Plan Review and Professional Certification. "We're pleased to be able to offer a variety of tools that customers can use to make getting a permit relatively simple and easy," said Bartl. 

For additional information about OnSchedule – or other Code Enforcement issues – check the Web site www.meckpermit.com. You may also call CTAC at 704-336-3829. If you have specific questions or comments about OnSchedule, contact Bob Dulin at 704-336-4363.



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