SUMMARY: DeKalb County Expedited Commercial Plan Review Program

The DeKalb County Expedited Commercial Plan Review Program will guarantee permit applicants accelerated service if applicants employ an approved “Peer Reviewer” to review project plans for compliance with Construction Codes. The county is concerned that obtaining a building permit in DeKalb has become too onerous a task and hope that accelerating the process for developers will encourage growth in the county. TheExpedited Commercial Plan Review Program will allow developers to work with pre-certified Peer Reviewers before a plan is submitted to the county for approval. Once a Peer Reviewer approves an application and submits it to the county, the application will be given the highest priority by county reviewers.

In order to take advantage of this program, developers will have to undertake a five-step process. First, developers must seek out certified Peer Reviewers from the county website or the county office. Second, developers must work with Peer Reviewers over the course of developing an application. Third, developers must either get approval for their plans from the Peer Reviewer or make the changes that the Peer Reviewer suggests. Fourth, developers must submit Peer Reviewed and approved plans to the county under the Expedited Commercial Plan Review Program, at which point the application will receive the highest priority. Finally, the developer must make any revisions suggested by the county in response to the application and collect the license upon approval.

Prior to submission to the county, a permit applicant must elect to use a Peer Reviewer and have the entire application reviewed by the Reviewer.  In addition to any application fees, the applicant will be responsible for funding the Peer Review Provider. Developers should note that applicants must verify zoning and land use conformity before employing Peer Reviewers, and that the Expedited Commercial Plan Review Program will not be available to certain types of projects. The project limitations may be found under the “Program Scope” Section of the Expedited Commercial Plan Review Program Peer Review Policy Manuel for DeKalb County.

As a reminder, the Council for Quality Growth staff and members of the development community were asked by Deputy Chief Operating Officer Luz Borrero to sit on a Stakeholders Group and provide input as the County began the process of permit reform. The 25-member roster of the Stakeholders Group includes 14 members of the Council for Quality Growth.

To see the Expedited Commercial Plan Review Program’s Peer Review Policy Manual, CLICK HERE.

To view the Peer Reviewer Application Form, CLICK HERE.

To view the Peer Review Provider Registration Form, CLICK HERE.

To see an overview and additional information on the Permitting Improvement Project Update Stakeholder Group, CLICK HERE.