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Address

Mailing Address:

Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement
2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28208

Office Location:


2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28208

MAP

Hours: Mon-Fri  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Contact

Customer Service
980-314-CODE(2633)

Small Commercial Plan Review

Scope of Plan Review Services

Previously known as CTAC Plan Review, the Small Commercial Plan Review process performs plan review on small commercial upfit and renovation projects up to 10,000 sq. ft. primarily in the Business (B), Mercantile (M)  and Storage (S) occupancy classifications for compliance with the NC State Building Code. Projects utilizing this process must have all contractors selected and be permit-ready.

Performance Goal

Our performance goals are to complete the project review within five days from the date of plan acceptance.

Small Commercial Electronic Plan Submittal

The complete Small Commercial process — permitting, plan submittal, and plan review — can be accomplished from your computer. Code Enforcement customers with an established Contractor account and properly licensed, can submit a permit application and attach the electronic plans in PDF format. Projects must fit within the list of acceptable  project types listed further down this page. Project must also meet the Project Submittal Requirements listed below.

Plan Submittal and Review Process

All projects must be permit ready and must be initiated by the general contractor or primary contractor, properly licensed for the project, using their Mecklenburg County contractor account. The process is described below:

  1. The process begins with the contractor logging into their Mecklenburg County Contractor Account and choosing the type of permit under the "Permit Application" link on the left side tool bar at the upper left of the screen. Note: This is NOT an EPM/scheduled process.
  2. Select the proper address, including the individual suite number, for the project. If the correct address or suite number is not available in our system, you must contact GIS Addressing to have the address created.
  3. Please provide a detailed description of the work being performed in the text box titled "Expanded Scope of Work".
  4. Please DO NOT attempt to upload plan documents at this point in the permit application process. The document upload link below the "Expanded Scope of Work" section is for supplemental permit document associated with non-plan review projects. 
  5. Provide the correct contact information including an e-mail address for the applicant as well as the project designer (when applicable) in the appropriate fields within the permit application. This is essential for communicating when plans can be uploaded into the system.
  6. Once you have completed the permit application, click the submit button only once. Multiple clicks result in duplicate permit submittals.
  7. The system will return a submittal number and a link to upload the plan documents. Our system will also send out copies of the upload link in e-mails to the applicant and the project designer (when provided). Click the upload link to open the Plans/Documents Submittal page where you upload documents for plan review.
  8. Follow the Project Submittal Requirements in the next section for preparing plan documents and identifying the type projects accepted through the Small Commercial Plan Review program.
  9. After all files have been uploaded, click on the Save Draft button to store the documents. It is now possible to leave the page and return later to finish uploading if you do not have all of the necessary documents ready. Note: The file size is limited to 40MB and files must be in PDF format.
  10. Only after all necessary files have been uploaded should you click the Release For Review button. If you do not receive an error message, your submittal was successful. This will close the portal, and the system will notify us to check the files. If required files are missing, we will notify you and send a new upload link. Once all required files are uploaded, we will set up the plan review cycle. 
  11. Once the plan review cycle is closed, If Plans Examiners encountered code deficiencies, the system will send an e-mail to the permit applicant and the project designer (if provided), notifying that revised plans are required and providing a link to upload the revised plans. The link will also allow the project designer to access the redlined plans indicating the corrections needed.
  12. Once the plans are approved by all agencies involved in the plan review cycle, the permit(s) will be issued and the approved plans will be accessible through the contractor's account under the permit.

Project Submittal Requirements:

  • Web browser is limited to Internet Explorer 10 or 11. (If IE 11 is used, it must be set to "compatibility mode".
  • E-mail communication must remain in the html format to prevent corruption of any links for plan submittal or access to projects.
  • Project types are limited to the "Project Types Accepted in the Small Commercial Process", listed further down this page.
  • All plans and documents must be submitted in PDF format.
  • The electronic permit application must be complete and include all associated trade contractors.
  • Project plans shall be compiled into one PDF file including an Appendix B and a table of contents (file size limit: 40 MB).
  • Drawings shall be legible,  orientated as landscape and formatted to scale on 24" X 18" minimum page size.
  • PDF plan files shall be bookmarked by page.
  • The preferred professional seal location is in the upper 2/3 of the title block. This ensures that seals can be redacted if a public records request occurs.
  • Any supporting documents shall be separate attachments.
  • Submittal of Revised Plans must be packaged with the complete disapproved plan set bearing redline comments in front of the revised sheets.
  • If the submittal is an RTAP, a copy of the approved plans for the project must be included in the submittal as a separate file.
  • Failure to comply with these requirements will result in cancellation of the project and permit application.


To check the status of a small commercial project during the plan review process, log into your contractor account and search for your project number. If you don't have a contractor account, you may search as a guest at this web page using the project number. You may also contact one of the project coordinators: Masika EdwardsLorena Gomez or Audria White.

Project submittals are monitored by our project controllers for compliance with the Small Commercial Project Submittal Requirements prior to being set up for plan review. If you have questions regarding  plan submittal, you may contact one of the controllers:  Anna Rayfield or Mark Winslow.

 

Projects Accepted in the Small Commercial Plan Review Program:

  • Accessible Ramps and Deck Additions not exceeding 400 sq. ft.
  • Interior upfits, (Business [B] and Mercantile [M] occupancies) not exceeding 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Renovations (B and M occupancies) in areas not exceeding 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Office or bathroom renovations in occupancies other than B and M.
  • Kitchen renovations within Assembly (A) occupancies (no expansion of kitchen area).
  • Small additions, modular office units, and new accessory buildings up to 400 sq. ft. (B, M, S and U occupancies).
  • Modular office units up to 1,000 sq. ft. (B occupancies including leasing/sales offices). Units exceeding 1,000 sq. ft. must be submitted through the scheduled commercial plan review process.
  • Bathroom additions and renovations up to 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Minor fire/smoke repairs and minor structural fire repair; see our Fire/Water Restoration Policy for more information.
  • Special events and amusements (tents, haunted houses, sports events); see our Special Events page for more information.
  • Interior pre-fabricated offices (modular partitioning).
  • Canopies, awnings, and building facade repairs.
  • Co-locations on communication towers (antenna additions to existing towers or buildings); see our policy on Permitting & Plan Review Requirements for Communication Towers & Installations  for additional information.
  • Grease interceptors and oil/water separators
  • Adding new plumbing, electrical, and mechanical equipment in areas not exceeding 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Pedestrian bridges not connected to buildings.
  • Parking lots, including lighting if applicable.
  •  Mechanical hood replacements, and above ground tanks.
  • Swimming pool repairs.
  • Racking systems with an maximum commodity height of 12 ft. Racking systems with stored commodities exceeding 12 ft. in height are considered high-piled combustible storage and must be submitted through the scheduled Commercial Plan Review process.
  • Retaining walls that are not part of the foundation system of a building. They must be standalone retaining walls.


Note: Customers who are uncertain whether a project qualifies should confirm the project's eligibility for Small Commercial Plan Review prior to beginning the process. Projects submitted for Small Commercial Plan Review that do not qualify for the program will be cancelled and referred to scheduled Commercial Plan Review. Small Commercial plan reviewers will make the final determination of specific project eligibility.

Any project requires that City of Charlotte Engineering approval or planning/zoning approval from the towns of Davidson, Cornelius or Huntersville must have approval prior to submitting to Small Commercial Plan Review.

Projects Excluded from the Small Commercial Plan Review Program: 

  • Projects within the following zoning districts: Historic Landmark, Historic District, Mixed Use Development District (MUDD), Uptown Mixed Use District (UMUD), Pedestrian Overlay District (PED), Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and Urban Residential (UR).
  • Change of occupancies/use.
  • Assembly, Educational, Factory/Industrial, Institutional, Residential (apartments, condos, hotel/motel) 
    occupancies
  • Medical offices utilizing anesthesia rendering the patient unconscious (ie: dental, doctor, plastic surgery offices).
  • Daycares
  • Hazardous occupancies and equipment.
  • Dry cleaners using hazardous materials.
  • Live-work units.

 

 Small Commercial Walk-Thru Review Program

The Small Commercial Walk-Thru Review Program is an incentive program for Architects & Engineers (A/E's) who are ranked as "superior performers" in  Mecklenburg County's A/E Pass Rate Program. The program allows a superior-performing design team to submit eligible small commercial projects (max. 2,500 sq. ft.) to be reviewed, approved and permitted on the same day. The design professionals on the team must all have an individual score of 85% or higher in the A/E Pass Rate Program and shall be present in the lobby for the entire review process. This program is offered daily from 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis with no more than five projects reviewed per day. Program eligibility, submittal requirements and process description are provided below.

Small Commercial Walk-Thru Project Eligibility

  • The project design team must have individual scores of 85% or higher in the Mecklenburg County's A/E Pass Rate Program.
  • The area of work is limited to 2,500 sq. ft.
  • The scope of work is limited to renovation or upfits in Business, Mercantile, or Storage occupancy classifications.
  • The project must NOT involve the following:
    • Food Services - Pools/Health Department
    •  City of Charlotte Engineering/Land Development or Mecklenburg County Land Development
    • Charlotte Water Backflow permitting or review.
    • A Stormwater hold on the address or the need for Stormwater review.
    • A planning or historic hold on the address.
    • Hazardous materials or classification.
    • Change of use.
  • Zoning approval from Cornelius (704-896-2461) or Davidson (704-892-7592) must be obtained prior to submittal, and approval documentation shall be included in the submittal.
  • Projects outside these criteria may be allowed at the discretion of the Small Commercial Plan Review manager.

 

Small Commercial Walk-Thru Submittal Requirements 

Two business days prior to submittal of the project, the lead designer will e-mail the Small Commercial project coordinators at circ@mecklenburgcountync.gov. The e-mail shall include the following:

  • Project name and the intent to submit as a Small Commercial Walk-Thru.
  • Completed Small Commercial Walk-Thru Review Submittal Cover Sheet.
  • Scope of work indicating how the project meets the above eligibility criteria.
  • Completed an "Appendix B" (include within the plan documents).
  • Zoning approval documentation for Cornelius or Davidson (if applicable).
  • Names of the design team members and their professional license numbers.
  • Completed Address Verification form.
  • Completed permit application with all contractors' information and cost as applicable.
    • A separate Letter of Authorization (LOA) from the contractor on the contractor's letterhead is required only if the architect or engineer signed the permit application.
  • The Small Commercial project coordinator will contact the lead project designer confirming eligibility and schedule a time for the Small Commercial Walk-Thru Plan Review session.

 

Small Commercial Walk-Thru Review Process

  •  On the day of the review, all seal holders on the team shall arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the review appointment and be present during the review process. The team shall bring six (6) sets of construction plans; minimum sheet size 24" X 18".
  • Sign into the Customer Service kiosk for the Code Information & Resource Center (CIRC). CIRC lobby staff will alert the Small Commercial project coordinators and lead the team to the pre-scheduled conference room.
  • The Small Commercial project coordinator will set up the project in the plan review system and assign/notify the plan reviewers.
  • Interaction between the plans examiners and the project design team will occur during the review process.
  • Once the project is approved, the project coordinator will close the project and issue the permit. If permit issuance is not possible at that time, the permit will be issued no later than the next business day.
  • If there are extensive code deficiencies within the project preventing project approval, the review cycle will be closed. The disapproved plans, permit application, and associated documents will be returned to the project design team.
  • The resubmittal process is the same as the initial procedure.


Note: Projects that are reviewed in the Small Commercial Walk-Thru or the regular Small Commercial plan review programs are not graded as part of the A/E Pass Rate Program.

 

Helpful References:

Commercial Plan Review Checklists: Building/AccessibilityElectrical, & Mechanical/Plumbing 

Appendix B 2018 As listed on N.C. Department of Insurance Website. Look for 2018 Building Code Summary - Appendix B, available in Word and PDF formats.

Amended residential span tables from chapter 5 & 8

Supplements to girder and header span tables for #2 Southern Pine

Amended commercial span tables from chapter 23

Supplements to girder and header span tables for #2 Southern Pine

Requirements Regarding the Use of Professional Seals and the Practice of Architecture and Engineering in the State of North Carolina.

Key Contacts:

 Project Coordinators: 980-314-2633, options 2-1-1-2.

Program Manager: Scott Westbrook

Program Senior Plans Examiner: Tim Parnell

Project Coordinators:  Masika Edwards, Lorena Gomez, Audria White

Project Controllers:  Anna RayfieldMark Winslow

Plans Examiners: Nicholas GrippShazia KhanCraig Sloop

 

rev. 7/22/2020


Address

Mailing Address:

Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement
2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28208

Office Location:


2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28208

MAP

Hours: Mon-Fri  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Contact

Customer Service
980-314-CODE(2633)

close alertCounty services are operating at a limited capacity. Questions about COVID-19? Call Public Health Hotline: 980-314-9400