City of Boca Raton’s Planning and Zoning Division Goes Digital with E-Plans Program
Beginning August 1, 2016, the City of Boca Raton’s Planning and Zoning Division will begin accepting applications and development plans online. This new procedure for electronic plan review and routing will save customers time and money, while improving the overall efficiency of the process.
For residents, architects, land use attorneys and developers, the move to ProjectDox, the new electronic plan review and routing software system, will not only save trips to City Hall, but will enhance communication with the many agencies involved in the review process. By uploading all application documents to the new system, the process can be electronically managed and monitored, will improve accountability and provide transparency for all parties involved.
The plan review process includes internal and external agencies. City departments including municipal services, fire, police and utilities each review the plans, and outside agencies including, AT & T, the Lake Worth Drainage District and even the Boca Raton Airport Authority also review the plans. According to Jim Bell, Acting Development Services Deputy Director, “There can be as many as 20 people reviewing documents, asking for clarification, making changes and comments. You can imagine how important communication is, and how one missing or incomplete document, or a delay by one agency or department can really prolong the review.”
As part of the new process, a pre application meeting will be required. “Staff will provide a checklist to help customers gather all required plans and documents,” said Elizabeth Eassa, City Planner. “We want to make sure that applications are complete for the online submittal.” Completed applications will then be entered into the system and once the project is created, the client can upload all drawings and documents to the file.
Customers and reviewers can then see where the project is in the process, and can see online reviews and comments. Email notification will be sent with each step of the process. Online resubmittals will also expedite the review by reducing trips to City Hall and eliminating new copies of plans and drawings.
“This move to bring the Planning and Zoning Division online is part of a broader effort to increase efficiency, collaboration and document management among city departments, and to support a green initiative,” said Sherilee Fairweather, the City’s Business System Analyst who managed the project.
The Planning and Zoning Division is offering free training prior to the August 1 “Go Live” date. The two hour classes will provide training on how to use the new E Plans program, including specifics such as digital signatures, file naming conventions, file requirements, and resubmittals. Training will be held at 2:00 PM in the City Hall Council Chambers onWednesday, July 27, Thursday, July 28 and Friday, July 29, 2016. No reservations are required. For additional information about trainings please call 561-393-7789.