Mayor Emanuel has made streamlining the building permit process a priority for homeowners, businesses and design professionals. The Mayor knows that building permits are more than just ensuring that buildings are built safe and sound. Behind every building permit is a homeowner’s dream, a new or expanded business, an enhancement to the community and the economy, and the creation of jobs. Therefore, reducing the time to obtain a building permit is paramount. A key element in reducing the time to permit is replacing the old paper-based sequential plan review process with an electronic-based simultaneous plan review system (E-Plan).

E-Plan is a web-based electronic and document workflow solution that allows citizens and City staff to initiate and complete the building permit plan submission, review, and approval process online as opposed to a manual, in-person and paper-based process.

Unlike the current paper system, E-Plan allows for several cost and time saving efficiencies including:

  • Submission of plans electronically from the convenience of your office, 24 hours 7 days a week
  • Simultaneous review of the plans by all professional and trade disciplines
  • City reviewer mark-ups made directly on plans to provide direction and clarity as to any items which require correction
  • Re-submission of corrected plans electronically from the convenience of your office
  • Real-time return of your approved, stamped plans once the fees are paid

When an applicant (architect, engineer, home owner, business owner or agent) submits a building permit application requiring drawings, E-Plan will invite the applicant’s architect and/or agent by email to upload the electronic drawings and all relevant schedules and documents. City review staff will then have simultaneous access to review the plans and note any corrections directly on the plans to afford absolute clarity. The applicant is notified of the correction and the updated plans are electronically resubmitted to the City. When the plans are in order and fees paid, the applicant can download the approved stamped plans.

As a web-based platform, all that E-Plan requires is an Internet Explorer Version 11 or greater browser running on a Windows operating system.