Placer County’s Building Services Division is going digital

Published Sept. 13, 2023

Construction inspector checking digital plans on a tablet

Placer County’s Community Development Resource Agency is rolling out new technology over the next several months digitizing the building permit process.

The Building Services Division has invested in new technology that will streamline plan review,  the permitting process and even turning those old rolled-up blueprints that have been sitting on an office shelf into online documents. The digital documents can then be taken onsite during construction to confirm structures are safe, sustainable, and energy consumption conscious..

The software is called “DigEPlan,” a fully digital approval system that will eventually help Placer County eliminate paper submittals and enhance record-keeping for a more efficient, transparent and streamlined process for customers.

“We are always looking for strategies to improve the customer experience and enhance our team’s ability to provide streamlined service, while being a great steward of our taxpayer dollars,” said CDRA Deputy Director Michele Kingsbury.

The process could go something like this:

A customer walks in to the CDRA counter in Auburn or North Lake Tahoe, where staff will use large format scanners to accept paper submittals of plans, even large-format documents, and scan them into the county’s system.

 Next, a member of the staff review team will be able to pull those plans up on a multi-screen computer system with a main 50-inch monitor - known as an iPlanTable - for digital review. The system allows for the plans to be marked up with notes for customers and contractors.

Finally, Placer County’s field inspectors will be outfitted with Rugged Tablets made by Dell, which will allow them to pull up approved plans, permits and other documents on site. This will aid the process by reducing lost plans, utilization of incorrect plan versions, and offers access to the permit record to help clarify the project’s scope of work.

In addition, the California Energy Commission awarded the team a grant to implement SolarAPP+, a rooftop solar permitting system.  The system will streamline the permit process by accepting and approving rooftop solar permit applications online in as little as one day.

“These new enhancements are valuable to the community by keeping pace with today’s business and industry expectations,” said Deputy Director and Chief Building Official Timothy Wegner.  “We couldn’t accomplish these efforts without our excellent IT and financial teams, or the board’s support.”

For more information on Placer County Building Services in Placer County, click here.