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  • Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

    I was curious how everyone else out there submits plans for review by their building safety department at their city or county. This would be a stamped set of plans.

    Currently our city review stamped plans (stamped by an engineer or architect) and sends us comments regarding changes or more information in order for the plans reviewer to approve your plans. We are wondering if other communities are also requiring plans already stamped to be reviewed again by their building safety departments. We have found it ridiculous that we have to have stamped plans reviewed again by our city.

    Please let me know how your plans review process goes. Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

    Building safety department? What code are they reviewing for?
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

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    • #3
      Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

      I've never heard of this new taxing agency you refer to, the BS Dept, you say... this is something I would expect from CA, not Alaska, the final frontier.
      It is a simple matter of being patient. I do patience very well, except for the waiting part. That's the one aspect of patience that still bites me.

      I'm not saying I'm Superman. What I'm saying is no one has ever seen me and Superman in the same room together.

      ParkWest Homes LLC
      Working Man Online Store
      Living Healthy

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      • #4
        Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

        Building Safety for us is our municipal department that deals with permits. You submit your plans there to get a permit. It doesn't matter if your plans are stamped, they do a full review either way. The code book they are on is IRC2009. Our codes are very stringent and diffucult to meet. We have increadible seismic codes, wind loads, and snow loads. Plus crazy planning and zoning requirements. It's actually quite a pain to get a permit here. I'm on the city planning and zoning commission and I still have huge hurdles to get past. Outside of Anchorage, there is very little in the way of permitting or inspections.

        I was wondering if anyone else here has trouble submitting stamped plans and still being required to go through full plans review.

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        • #5
          Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

          Are all the houses outside of Anchorage falling down or something?
          It is a simple matter of being patient. I do patience very well, except for the waiting part. That's the one aspect of patience that still bites me.

          I'm not saying I'm Superman. What I'm saying is no one has ever seen me and Superman in the same room together.

          ParkWest Homes LLC
          Working Man Online Store
          Living Healthy

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          • #6
            Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

            Stacey:

            All of the cities in Houston require houses to be engineered and stamped, but the city permit departments still review them, and more often than not reject them because of something missing or wrong on the plans. They confirm setbacks, height of building, electrical plan, driveways, egress, energy code compliance, off street parking, pervious and tree planting requirements, etc.
            ============================================

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            • #7
              Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

              Stacey
              The requirement of a review by the building department is because there are many errors and omissions on the plans submitted to us. I can say that a stamp on a drawing typically works well for many designs, but it doesn't provide for a rubber stamp to get a permit.
              We have 30 days from submission to accept or reject; if rejected we could take another 30 after corrections, and so on...I doubt we have ever taken more than 10, and typical is 3 days. However, you would not believe what is submitted, and the errors considered by some to be code compliant.

              We get the plans back and the project permitted, then the assigned inspector delves even deeper than the reviewer to make sure the project meets all aspects of the codes and check how the field affects the application.

              There are some people with a stamp, who wouldn't know a code book if they were sitting on it to look taller at a meeting table! Some may be proficient is certain areas of the code, but struggle when they get involved with matters less known to them!
              Take Care

              Jim

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              • #8
                Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

                Stacey - What turn around times are you seeing?

                I am working with the Muni on some other things and they are quite thorough; but also quite pleasant... :)
                “Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”
                Abraham J. Heschel (Jewish theologian and philosopher, 1907-1972)

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                • #9
                  Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

                  Stacey:

                  You have no idea what we go through, and you have as much earthquake risk as we do. In getting a permit I had to bring my architect in for a meeting, my soils engineer, and my structural engineer. While waiting with my soils engineer he told me that I was way ahead at two years, he had been involved in one of these that took 21 years, and another recently 7 years. To give you one example I submitted a Geologic Report from 30 years earlier arguing that the geology hadn't changed in 30 years, the geologist wouldn't accept it still demanding a new $60,000 report, I researched the law on it and wrote the attached letter knowing that he would run it by County Council, he did and was told to back off and waive his requirement. This was one of several letters I had to write to get a permit.

                  4643be05f38a486a1cbe9a36e8c23041.pdf
                  You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

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                  • #10
                    Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

                    The process is pretty much the same here in California as you are describing.
                    The Planning Department checks for set-backs, over-all height of the structure, parking compliance and things like, are the proposed window locations directly across from a close neighbor's windows.
                    I don't usually have much problem at this stage unless the structure in question is located in one of the many historic districts around here.
                    The Building and Safety Department is the one (like yours) that concerns itself with the structural integrity of the building and the safety aspects. I have done round two hundred remodel and addition plans just here in Orange County and have only ever had one experience on a sizable project that went through the initial plan check and passed the first time without any corrections. That just freaked me out.
                    It is taken for granted that the plans will require corrections in some aspect.
                    I can do the prescriptive "engineering" for most projects that are only one story without having to get a licensed engineer to design the structural aspects but it is becoming more difficult to convince the local BD to allow me to that unless it is a rather simple project like a deck or a small addition.

                    Andy.
                    Was a GC, doing drafting & design now.
                    www.draftinginoc.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

                      Exactly the same here Stacey:) In Anchorage that is...

                      In Wasilla, however the plan review is even more stringent. They practically make you spell your entire name AND describe how you will be installing the culvert for the driveway. Its getting a little out of hand. Plus they make you pay upwards of FIFTY DOLLARS. Thats right, Five zero. Anyone else out there have to deal with anything like this?
                      Michael

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                      • #12
                        Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

                        I can't walk out of the building dept. for $50. A recent panel change-out cost $124 which is typical. I consider us (Placer County, CA) more reasonable like Orange County, CA not like the bay area as reported often by Dick.
                        Obtaining that permit took 30 min. A deck or small addition takes a few days in this economy, 30 days tops when things were booming.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

                          Mark:

                          What are you doing about California's Affordable Housing Law? We have affordable housing activists here running around suing cities to make them comply with the law. Lafayette and Pleasanton are now trying to satisfy them. I avoided it in Santa Clara County by getting a new home classified as a remodel and they don't levy the fee on remodels, but a friend picked up a permit in Lafayette for a million dollar remodel, the fee he had to pay was $67,000.

                          The big question for cities is how they are going to pay for compliance, we have a law that says cities can't charge fees in excess of the cost of delivery of services or they become taxes subject to a 2/3 vote of the people, so at least Santa Clara combined the Affordable Housing Office with the Building Department, that way they can jack the cost of a building permit up enough to cover the cost of housing for the poor. One of the downsides of this besides the money is that you have to sit and wait in line behind a bunch of poor women with screaming snotty nosed kids at the counter begging for housing, here I'm paying $100,000 for a permit and associated fees while I have to wait in line behind people getting something for nothing. I can't wait to see what happens when the Affordable Housing Activists hit towns like Piedmont, Hillsbourough, Belevedere, and Woodside, towns full of mansions with nowhere to build housing for the poor. I think the intent is to take land from large homes by eminent domain in accord with the Kelo decision, but we passed a law in California supposedly protecting us from eminent domain and the Kelo decision absent a compelling public need, not for revenue purposes.

                          I fail to see why people building or remodeling homes should pay for housing for poor people, of course I'm sure it makes perfect sense to many here.
                          You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

                            Actually, in Anchorage, typical addition/remodel permits run in the neighborhood of $1,000-$2,000. Plan review fees are based on valuation, and inspections are charged at the rate of around $150.00 each with things like plumbing and mechanical rough-in being counted as 2. We can typically "walk" little things through (simple deck, window resize, etc.) but only IF they have the time, which they usually don't. Besides that, my last couple projects have taken around a month or so to get through permitting.
                            Michael

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                            • #15
                              Re: Submitting plans to building safety department at your city or county

                              Our permit department will take a stamped set of plans, do a full review with say 25 comments. You reply to those comments (they are usually related to hold downs, load paths, and framing member locations). Then they shoot back 15 comments again. Then you reply. Next round you get 10 comments. This is on an addition, not even a full house. Time period for this is 2 months or more to get a permit for an addition.

                              The things they are reviewing are also height, easements, set backs, zoning issues, driveways, etc. But also they look at all the engineering again and want to have all the calculations "proved".

                              The most frustrating part is, most of our plans reviewers are not engineers. They are just plans reviewers reviewing stamped plans. This is crazy. I thought after 15 years things would get better, but instead they continue to degrade with excessive comments and time wasting by reviewers that have no idea of what they are looking at.

                              Our builders are complaining that they can build 50 of the same house every year and get different comments on every set of plans from the same reviewer! They city's reply is, they are just getting better at reviewing plans!

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