CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The Chesterfield County Department of Planning unveiled a new online system on Thursday for the submission and review of development plans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When the threat of the COVID-19 outbreak became clear, Chesterfield’s Community Development Division worked rapidly alongside the Virginia Department of Transportation to implement this online system, providing safe means for consultants, developers and county and state staff to get plans approved and keep the construction industry active,” said Greg Allen, Chesterfield County’s planning manager. “Ultimately, it is about saving lots of jobs across a very dynamic industry. During this public health crisis, our ability to review plans online will help save those jobs.”
In addition to helping the county stay safe in the face of COVID-19, online processing offers "several key benefits" including improved communication between those who submit development plans and reviewers, according to the county.
"For instance, the electronic submission system allows consultants and developers to receive a series of emails detailing what step of the review process their plans are in as well as view comments made on their plans as they are entered by state and county departments."
Other benefits of the system include:
- Reduced printing costs: Under manual submission, consultants had to print out and submit 13 sets of plans which could total over 1,300 sheets of paper.
- No limitation of submission days: Previously, the manual submission process required that new plans be submitted by Tuesday each week to allow county teams time to perform an initial review that same week. Now, consultants can submit new plans electronically at any time and on any day, and those plans will be routed for review the morning of the next business day.
- More frequent Table Reviews: Table Reviews, the last step before many site plans receive approval, no longer require in-person meetings to reconcile outstanding, often minor, issues. Whereas scheduling a Table Review under the manual system could take up to two weeks, they are now completed within five days under the online system.
A comprehensive guide explaining the online submission process, E-filing of Development Plans to Chesterfield County [chesterfield.gov], is available on the Department of Planning webpage [chesterfield.gov].