The Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services held an initial meeting with AIA Potomac Valley members on December 17th to discuss their plans to implement all-electronic plans submissions and routing. The electronic permits process promises to be a net benefit to all parties and DPS has asked for input from architects in smoothing the transition to ProjectDox, which is also used by MNCPPC and WASA. Beta testing is currently underway for residential projects; volunteers will be needed in late spring to make mock permit submissions to iron out any kinks on the commercial side.
The ProjectDox electronic permits software will be an interface and router/task assigner; DPS will continue to use their current software for review status. Architects will make application in person at DPS offices without drawings; once the permit technician transfers data into the system it will send the applicant a task to upload PDF files (with a strict naming convention), after which those files will be viewed on-screen by the reviewers, simultaneously rather than in series. Any comments will be keyed to the PDF and the applicant would replace the file with a new version (their software will highlight any changes in the PDF). Upon permit issuance, DPS will add an approval block on each sheet and we will then download that PDF and print one set to deliver to the field for the inspector’s reference. Until DLLR allows an electronic signature over our stamps, we must maintain a signed set at our office and submit a signed affidavit to that effect.
If you were not able to attend the December 17th meeting, but would like to be included in commercial beta testing in the spring, email your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list for further information.