San José Eplan Service Now Available for Commercial and Industrial Projects

More project applicants have the convenience and cost-savings of submitting plans electronically

San José, Calif. – As promised in the spring, the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement (PBCE) has expanded its electronic plan review service, San José Eplans. Initially for high-rise projects only, the service is now open to any commercial or industrial project.

“After a few months of working with our eplan technology on high-rise projects, our staff can now accommodate more types of projects. We’re excited to offer this time- and resource-saving electronic plan submittal to a greater number of customers,” said PBCE Director Harry Freitas.

Daniel Sell, director of architecture for Barry Swenson Builder, used San José Eplans for the 18-story North San Pedro project in downtown San José.

“There’s roughly 1,000 sheets in one set of plans for a high-rise like that,” said Sell. “So it saves time, costs, paper, energy and your back to submit the project on a flash drive.”

Sell also used San José Eplans for his company’s submittal of plans for a new commercial building for General Electric in South San José.

“Eplans is definitely the way to go,” said Sell.

Multiple sets of plans are typically required for complex projects, and altogether can weigh nearly 120 pounds. Plan reviewers benefit from the lighter load, too. Staff in the Building Division and Fire Department can open the electronic plans, make their respective comments on-screen, and get those comments quickly back to the customers.

Freitas said his department will continue expanding the service, making it available to all multifamily projects, not just those that are high-rises, in the late fall.

Eplans are an example of technological improvements envisioned in the Mayor’s Smart City Vision adopted by the San José City Council in March this year. Of note, the City is currently investing $8 million to upgrade its now-outdated permit and project tracking system, AMANDA. Some modules of the new system will go live in mid-2017 and the full system will be operational in 2018. The upgrade reflects the City’s ongoing commitment to provide the best possible service to San José’s permit customers.

About the San José Department of Planning, Building & Code Enforcement
San José, Capital of Silicon Valley, is the largest city in Northern California and the 10th largest city in the nation. The mission of the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department (PBCE) is to guide the physical change of San José to create and maintain a safe, healthy, attractive, and vital place in which to live, work, and play. PBCE is responsible for:
– San José’s long-range planning and specific project review (www.sanjoseca.gov/planning);
– Issuing permits and inspecting projects for conformance with building codes (www.sanjoseca.gov/building); and
– Enforcing ordinances that promote the health, safety, and appearance of buildings and neighborhoods (www.sanjoseca.gov/codeenforcement).

About the San José Permit Center
The Permit Center at San José City Hall offers various permit and plan review services to fit a range of projects, including: simple permits that can be obtained online at www.sjpermits.org; walk-in, same-day Over-the-Counter permit service for projects that don’t have significant structural changes but do require basic plans; regular and express plan review services for projects with structural changes; and special tenant improvement and industrial tool installation programs for commercial and office space improvements. Reviews by the Planning Division, Building Division, Public Works Department, and Fire Prevention Bureau are all accomplished through the Permit Center. In fiscal year 2015-16, the Permit Center:

  • Served more than 140,000 customers in person or by phone
  • Issued more than 36,000 building permits
  • Conducted more than 16,000 plan reviews

About San José Eplans
San José Eplans enables electronic submittal of plans that need to undergo the plan review process. It is currently accepting high-rise development projects, and will expand to accept other commercial, industrial, and multifamily projects later this year. Applicants interested in using San José Eplans should contact Marc Garcia at 408-535-7822 or marc.garcia@sanjoseca.gov.

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News