A Permit Process Streamline Program
One and Done is a regional program to facilitate single cycle plan reviews: Faster permit processing that saves time and money for both the public sector and private sector, with no compromise to the quality or completeness of plan review.
The One and Done program was developed as a complement the PASS program, but each can operate independently.
This program provides both policy support as well as a set of tools to encourage and promote single cycle plan reviews by participating jurisdictions. At the core of the program are three elements:
- Support plan review professionals in identifying and acting on opportunities to complete the plan review process in one cycle whenever possible; and in as few cycles as possible in every case
- Enlighten Design Professionals on how to maximize application of single cycle review
- Share best practices that result in one cycle plan review by providing a consistent platform across participating jurisdictions
Most plan reviews result in a list of issues that need to be addressed by the design professional of record. Even when the initial review is quick, sometime small issues or technicalities extend the overall plan check time considerably by triggering multiple review cycles. The One and Done program is intended to foster
- Preparation of plans that have the information and organization to minimize plan review comments
- Communication between plan review professionals and design professionals to get issues resolved as simply and quickly as possible.
This program can complement other programs that focus on the quality of content and organization of documents – such as the PASS program – to help insure that those reviews are wrapped up quickly.
Even when a single cycle is not possible, the tools used in One and Done will shorten the number of cycles for the majority of projects.
How it Works
First, the Design Professional should ‘elect’ to use the One and Done approach. This program is completely voluntary.
Plan reviews that are most likely to be resolved in a single cycle have these characteristics:
- Issues can be addressed without wholesale project redesign or re-engineering
- Plan review was ‘complete’ – ie, the document package was complete enough to support a full plan review
- Technical issues after plan review are of the type that can be resolved during the ‘permit issuance’ transaction, such as dropping off required forms, providing additional signatures, etc
When the Plan Review professional completes the review and has the issues in hand, the goal is to then communicate to the Design Professional what tools and steps are suggested to wrap the process up.
Tools and Steps that can eliminate unnecessary plan review cycles
- Plan Review professionals gets approval to use ‘red marks’ to add minor notes to plans
- Communication between design and plan review professional to confirm issue resolution prior to resubmittal: phone calls, ‘Virtual Meetings’ such as Skype calls; and where needed Face time meeting between design team and plan review team to come to agreement.
- Prior to resubmittal of plans, there is an agreement between the plan reviewer and plan preparer of how the issue will be addressed, and where any associated new or revised information will be located in the document package
Even though use of these tools and steps can take some time by both parties, the overall process will be more efficient for everyone. Multiple review cycles can cause extra delay due to loss of momentum (issues not fresh in mind); potential misunderstandings that occur when trading ‘paper’ instead of more direct communication; and the delays inherent in navigating through a multi-step system.
Events that can short circuit the ‘One and Done’ approach:
- Modifications to the design that trigger a new review and new issues
- Argumentative approach to communication
- Lack of code foundation or reference
Participating jurisdictions are requested to:
- Adopt a policy that supports One and Done concepts
- Develop a means to track the percentage of plans that have one, two, three, and ‘more’ reviews so that progress can be measured.
- ‘Audit’ at least 10% of project that have three or more review cycles, looking for means to avoid multicycling
- Provide feedback and educational outreach to design professionals and plan review professionals, working with local design industry associations, website channels, and other means as possible
This program may result in extra charges where face to face meetings are used; at the option of the participating jurisdiction.
No change to the roles and responsibilities of either public sector or private sector is proposed by this program, and participation is voluntary.
Draft 2.0 Michael F. Malinowski AIA 2015 07 21