For Immediate Release
Eplans Improves Plan Review Process
How does Springfield become more developer friendly? It's a team effort, says Deputy City Manager Fred Marty.
Marty and a team from the departments of planning and development and building development services briefed City Council today on eplans, the City of Springfield's new end-to-end electronic plan services initiative. The system is the first implementation in the state of Missouri of a web-based solution for reviewing building plans. The City split the cost of the software with City Utilities, purchased in 2012.
The system offers benefits to the design professional community, and their clients. Unlike the current paper system, eplans allows for plans to be submitted electronically, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Going electronic also allows for simultaneous review of the plans by all professional and trade disciplines, speeding up the process and improving communication.
City reviewer mark-ups are made directly on the plans to provide correction, direction, and clarity, with email notifications sent to developers' email accounts to alert them of progress. Re-submission of corrected plans can again be electronically submitted from the convenience of an office, with real-time return of approved stamped plans once fees are paid.
Bob Hosmer, senior planner with the City of Springfield said he anticipates savings for both the users and the City.
Assuming a 10% time savings using eplans for 1,000 plan submittals annually:
- fuel cost $12,000 (based on average 10 miles driven per plan)
- printing costs $324,000 (based on 360,000 plan sheets)
- ability to conduct 100 plus more plan reviews with existing staff
- conversion of current storage space to other areas
Used in over 80 municipalities throughout the country, the eplans application is quick and easy, said Neil Brady, PE, with Anderson Engineering.
Brady has used the system as both an engineer and as a developer, as his firm has recently built a new facility for their own business.
"I will tell you that it does seem to be a much better process. Just the time savings of not needing paper alone is a benefit. The big deal for me, as a developer, was to be able to go into the system to see what was going on, what comments were made and where we were in the process," he said.
"This is where things are headed. I applaud the City and City Utilities for making this move."
For more information, contact Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or Fred Marty at 417-864-1004.