By Brian Foley
On many occasions in this blog over the past few years, I have touted the benefits of Fairfax County eplans and outlined our slow transition away from paper. The timeline on our changeover was supposed to be at least two years. Well, 2020 had different plans (or should I say “different eplans”)…the two-year process turned into a few days back in March as a result to COVID.
It wasn’t easy, and to make all permit types available for eplans, we had to “shoe-horn,” “pigeon-hole” or “MacGyver” (choose the metaphor you like best) our system in a band-aid attempt to ensure uninterrupted service during the pandemic. We knew this was temporary, and it added complexity to permit applications (through the need for a “plan review only” permit), but as soon as the new process rolled out, we set our sights on an upgrade that would allow us to rip that band-aid off. As of last Monday, November 16, 2020, we did it! Our eplans platform, ProjectDox, and permitting software, FIDO, have been upgraded to eliminate the level of complexity introduced last March. More specifically, ProjectDox was expanded, and FIDO was contracted to accommodate all project and permit types.
For new single-family dwellings, new commercial buildings and commercial interior alterations, it’s business as usual. For all other permit types, it’s a bit different. If you’re used to applying for a deck permit in FIDO, you’ll now need to apply for a residential addition permit. Finished basements now require you to apply for residential interior alterations. The new permit types will follow you into ProjectDox for a seamless interconnected process. See a handy chart to determine what permits you might now need to use.
Also, our online resources for ProjectDox have been updated to match the changes. Learn more.