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    Home » Community Development » Inspections » New Construction » Building Plans Submittal Procedure

    Building Plans Submittal Procedure

    Purpose:  To provide a method for ensuring that all submitted plans contain the necessary information for a full technical review to begin without delay.  The submitter or applicant will be notified if any required information needed for the review is missing.

    I.  General Requirements for Submitted Plans

    • Only final plans should be submitted to the Inspections Division for a technical review.  Plans marked as "Preliminary" or "Not for Construction" will not be accepted for review.  Interested parties wishing to discuss issues prior to a formal submittal may request a preliminary meeting.  These meetings are encouraged and may be scheduled with the Plans Reviewer.
    • All submitted plans, or changes to plans, must be of sufficient size and clarity to facilitate plan review.  Two copies of plans or changes are required - one to be returned to the applicant and one for our records.
    • Review Periods
      • Residential Plan Review - Ten (10) working days.  Subject to change in the event all needed information is not submitted.
      • Commercial Plan Review - Fifteen (15) working days.  Subject to change in the event in the event all needed information is not submitted.

    II.  Types of Reviews

    • Quality Review - A review used to determine if all applications are properly completed, plans are sealed (when necessary), and all required documents are present.
    • Building Plan Review - A review used to assess compliance with any applicable codes.
    • Final Review - A review used to assure that all other city of Lynchburg departments (Planning, Zoning, Erosion and Sediment, Water Resources, Engineering, etc.) have completed their reviews of a project, prior to the issuance of a building permit.

    III.  Required Information

    • Residential Plans
      • A Completed Construction Permit Application
      • Plot Plan - A plot plan, drawn to scale or showing all dimensions, showing the proposed new construction and all existing structures on the property including setbacks and distances from property lines.  When required, an approved plot plan from the Zoning Division must be submitted.  No building permit will be issued for buildings crossing property lines.
      • Soil Test - The applicant may choose to have a soil test performed and submit the results or sign a release affidavit releasing all liability to the applicant in the event of poor soil conditions.  Any soil test must be performed by a person certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia and all reports must contain his/her professional seal and signature.  Where moderate to high shrink swell soil is found on the site, engineered foundation plans must be submitted detailing how the foundation is to be constructed to compensate for this condition.  A third-party inspection may be required in these circumstances, in which case a letter of acceptance may be submitted in lieu of a footing or foundation inspection.
      • Model Program - Where an identical building is to be constructed in more than one location, plans may be submitted as a "model."  The applicant will be charged a plan review fee for the initial review of "model" plans, but subsequent submittals will not require a plan review and will not incur a plan review fee.  A plot plan and soil evaluation or affidavit will still be required to be submitted.  Any changes to "model" plans will result in the necessity for a plan review and the assessment of a plan review fee.
      • Townhomes, Condominiums and Apartments - One building permit application is typically required for each privately owned townhome or condominium.  One building permit application for each apartment building is typically required.  Any deviations from this are at the discretion of the Building Official.
      • Registered Design Professional (RDP) Drawings - Residential plans are not typically required to be prepared by an RDP.  Section 54.1-402 of the Code of Virginia does allow the Building Official to require plans to be prepared by an RDP at his/her discretion.  This is typically reserved for unusual circumstances outside of normally accepted building practices.  If plans are prepared by an RDP, proper seals and signatures are required.  Retaining walls over four (4) feet in height, measured from the bottom of the footing will require plans prepared and sealed by an RDP.
      • Specific Information - Plans must be drawn to scale or have all dimensions shown and include a floor plan and elevations of all sides.  Foundation and wall section details, including separation walls, should be submitted along with sizes, types and spans of structural members.  Locations of engineered components must be submitted with technical details to be provided on site.
    • Commercial Plans - Architectural, structural, life safety, plumbing, mechanical and electrical plans must be submitted.  Proper Registered Design Professional seals and signatures must be provided in accordance with Code of Virginia 54.1-402.  Owners/contractors may submit an application and plans for a "design build" project, as long as the criteria for the project is not regulated under 54.1-402 and it complies with the applicable Uniform Statewide Building Code.  A Certificate of Occupancy will only be issued after all required information is submitted.
      • A Completed Construction Permit Application - The Technical Review Committee site plan number must be referenced on the application, where applicable.
      • Plot Plan - A plot plan, drawn to scale, showing the proposed new construction and all existing buildings on the site.  When required, an approved plot plan from the Planning/Zoning Division must be submitted.
      • Soil Test - A soil evaluation is required for all projects that are required to participate in the Technical Review Committee process.  The soil evaluation is to be done at final grade, by a person licensed to perform soil evaluations in the Commonwealth of Virginia and all reports must contain his/her professional seal and signature.  Where moderate to high shrink swell soils are found on the site, engineered plans must detail how the foundation is to be constructed to compensate for this condition.  A third-party inspection may be required for this condition, in which case a letter of acceptance may be submitted in lieu of a footing or foundation inspection.
      • Cover Sheet Information
        • Submitter and address
        • Code editions and sections referenced
        • Building areas - allowed and actual, finished and unfinished
        • Type of occupancy or use group classification
        • Type of construction per the International Building Code
        • Number of units
        • Number of stories and height - allowed and actual
        • Horizontal and vertical separations - required and provided
        • Fire resistance ratings including UL assemblies, if applicable
        • Fire protection - sprinklered, unsprinklered, alarms, hood systems, etc.
        • Occupant loads
        • Length of travel distances - allowed and actual
        • Number of exits - allowed and actual
        • All ADA requirements
        • Other information pertinent to the project, as needed
        • Existing buildings may require a "Chapter 34 Study" from the applicable International Building Code.  All studies and evaluations will require a design professional's seal and signature.
      • Review Comments
        • Unsealed Plans - If questions arise or corrections are needed, the applicant, or contractor, will be contacted by the Plan Reviewer.  Items not resolved to the satisfaction of the Plan Reviewer may require correction and resubmission of plans.  Corrections on the plans should be clouded for clarity, otherwise, a full review may be required to determine any changed items and an additional plan review fee may be assessed.  Resubmissions are typically given priority, provided changes are properly detailed and itemized.
        • Sealed Plans - If questions arise or corrections are needed, the Registered Design Professional or contractor will be contacted by the Plan Reviewer.  Sealed amendments or corrections must be submitted for review and approved prior to any related site inspections.  Failure to adequately detail or itemize changes may result in delays to plan approval and permitting.
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