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Digital Plan Room How to Guide

Instructions for applying for permits online by using the Permits Online Digital Plan Room (DPR).

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1. What is the Digital Plan Room?

Sonoma County has partnered with ePermitHub to launch the Digital Plan Room, a new electronic document review solution seamlessly integrated into the Sonoma County Citizen Access Portal. The Digital Plan Room solution will introduce new features to optimize the plan review process.

The Digital Plan Room system includes:

  • Simple file uploads and automated versioning at the sheet-level
  • Interactive Issue/Condition/Notes communication for plan review comments
  • Seamless user experience within the Sonoma County Citizen Access portal

Other highlights include:

  • Clients will now receive instant feedback when uploading their documentation on whether their documents (aka, plan and supporting documentation files) contain any issues that would prevent their usage.
  • Interactive access to color-coded mark-ups (by discipline), Issues, and Conditions from within Citizen Access for reviewing disapproved comments
  • Submission of any corrections will only require revised sheets to be submitted (aka, Digital Slip Sheeting)

2. Uploading and Validating Files

Plans and supporting documents (aka, files) are uploaded after payment for the permit application is submitted.

  1. Upon successful payment, the Receipt/Record Issuance page will display. Select “Upload Plans and Documents” to upload your plans and supporting documents (aka, files).

    Upload Plans and Documents button

  2. Enter a description of the entire package or upload in the Description text box and select “Continue”.

    Review Plan Cycle 1 input field

  3. Drag and drop or browse to find your files. Select the document type and enter a description of the document. Select "Upload and Validate."

    File upload window via drag and drop or browse

  4. While the files are being validated, the status will display as “Validating”.

    file validation window

  5. Once validation is complete, the status will change to “Validated”. Select “Process Files” to continue.

    List of validated files

3. Errors When Uploading and Validating Files?

  1. If there is an error after uploading the file, a message will appear at the top of the screen and additional information is found by hovering over the Question Mark (“?”).

    File upload error notice listing files that had problems with upload

  2. To upload the corrected file, remove the file containing the error by clicking on the recycle icon.

    List of files with arrow pointing to delete icon

  3. And then click “Yes” in the pop-up screen to remove the file and then upload the corrected file as described above in the Uploading and Validating Files section.

    File delete confirmation window with arrow pointing to Yes button

4. File Processing

  1. The File Processing step may take a few minutes to complete. The system is separating the plan sheets and optimizing them for review.

    Note: It is not necessary to wait for the files to finish processing. You can close the screen and come back to it once the processing is complete. You will receive an email with a link alerting you that the processing step has been completed.

    Important – your plans have not been submitted yet. The next step, Sheet Verification, must be completed in order for the submittal to be complete.

  2. If you choose to wait for the file processing to finish, the above screen will close once complete and you can move forward to the Sheet Versioning step by clicking “Continue” on the next screen.

    File processing progress window

    List of processed files with arrow pointing to Continue button

5. Sheet Versioning

  1. Click on “Continue” to start the Sheet Versioning step. Note: If you opted to receive an email instead of waiting, the link will take you directly to the Sheet Versioning page.

  2. Review the sheet numbers assigned to each sheet within the plan set and correct any mislabeled sheets by typing directly in the sheet number box. Once complete, click on “Continue”. Note: All sheet names must be unique.

    Sheet number name input field

    Time-Saving Tip: Include a Table of Contents in your file! Whenever possible, it is important to include a table of contents when exporting/publishing to the PDF (ex. Include “Create bookmarks” setting in AutoCAD Revit, etc.). Include sheet titles within the table of contents when possible. Including a Table of Contents improves the accuracy of the system in automatically identifying all of the sheet names.

    List of sheet numbers with thumbnail images of sheets

  3. Click “Finish” to complete the file upload.

    Final file upload screen for submitting review package with arrow pointing at Finish button

  4. You will receive confirmation the review package has been received by the County and will also receive an email confirmation. TIP: If you do not receive the email confirmation, please check your SPAM folder or contact your email provider and ask them to add to their whitelist.

    Message indicating successful submission of review package

6. Viewing Issues, Conditions and Notes

Once a given Plan Review Cycle is completed by Agency Staff, you will receive an email alerting you of the plan review status, the ability to respond to Issues and view Conditions, and submit any required corrected Sheets.

Issues – Issues are code related concerns that must be resolved by correcting the appropriate drawings.

Conditions – Conditions are concerns that can be corrected in the field by the inspection staff and are similar to red-lined drawings.

Notes – Additional informational comments

To view the Issues and Conditions on the plan, please click on the link provided in the corrections required email or follow the steps below:

  1. Login to your Citizen Access account.
  2. Go to “Search” and select your Record ID.
  3. Select the “Plan Room” and select the “Issues” or “Conditions” tab as needed. The comprehensive list of Issues or Conditions identified will be listed.  Select an individual Issue or Condition to view the specific items.

Digital Plan Room Issues list with arrow pointing to Issues button

Filter button
Time-Saving Tip: Use the Filter button to display only the desired Issue statuses and disciplines.

Select the box and a drop-down list will display with the filter options.  You can select more than one option from the drop-down.

7. Responding to Issues

  1. Select the individual Issues to view the Issue and respond with the corrective action.  Note:  Mark-ups associated with the Issue are color-coded by discipline.

    Issues list with arrow pointing to one of the issues to select

  2. The plan sheet will open with the Issue with any related markups and correction comments displayed.

    Plan sheet with issue and any related mark ups displayed

  3. To respond to the mark-up, selectthe pencil on the left-hand side of the screen in the text box labeled,  “Applicants Response”.

    Applicants Response input field with arrow pointing to edit (pencil) icon

  4. It is important to be descriptive in the response.  The response must include what corrective measures were taken to resolve the Issue. Once you save your Resolution response, the status of the Issue will automatically change to “Answered”.

    Applicants Response field filled with example content

  5. To return to the Plan Room options select the X at the top of the screen.

    Plans page zoomed in with arrow pointing at the X that closes the window

8. Printing or Saving the Issues List

If you would like to save the Issues list in order to email or print the list, please follow the below steps.

  1. Select the “Print” icon.

    Issues list with arrow pointing to Print icon button

  2. The Issues list will open in a formatted report.  The list can then be printed or saved by clicking the “Print” icon again.

    Issues list displayed in printer format (how it will appear on paper) with arrrow pointing to the Print icon

9. Viewing Conditions

  1. Select the “Conditions” tab to view all Conditions, and then select a specific Condition to view it on the plan sheet. NOTE: Conditions and mark-ups are color-coded by discipline.

    Conditions list with arrow pointing to Conditions button and arrow pointing to a Condition item

  2. After selecting a given Condition from the Conditions list, the plan sheet will open with the markup and Condition displayed on the related plan sheet.

    Condition information displayed

  3. Conditions do not require a response.  To return to the Plan Room options select the X in the top right of the screen.

    Plans page zoomed in with arrow pointing at the X that closes the window

10. Uploading Corrected Sheets

  1. You will not be able to upload corrected sheets until you have responded to all Issues. The status will show “Answered” once all Issues have a response comment. If your Issue resolution only requires a comment, please add the comment to the Issue response and re-upload the impacted sheet.

    Issues list with arrow pointing to the Status column

  2. Select“Uploads” to upload the corrected sheets. It is not necessary to resubmit the entire plan set. Only the updated or added sheets must be uploaded. Select “Resume” to upload the sheets.

    Review Packages list with arrow pointing to Uploads

  3. Complete the same upload steps as the initial upload. See the Uploading and Validating Files section above for detail on uploading files, and read the below Important Note on how to name the revised plan sheet file names.

    Important Note: Use the same sheet names when uploading the revised plan sheets. It is important that the same names are used so that the Digital Plan Room automatically recognizes and versions the new sheets. This will save you time!

11. Forgot to Upload Plans?

If you forgot to upload plans upon submittal, you will receive an email reminding you to upload the plans.

  1. Log back into the Citizen Portal and locate the record.

  2. Once the record has been located, selectthe “Plan Room” and select“Uploads”.

    Permit record page with arrow pointing to Plan Room drop down list and a second arrow pointing to Uploads

  3. Follow the steps outlined in Uploading and Validating Files

12. Downloading Approved Plans

Plans can be downloaded once approved.  Follow the steps below to download the approved plans:

  1. Locate the record in the Citizen Access Portal.

  2. Select the “Plan Room” tab dropdown next to the “Record Info” tab, and then select“Approved Plans”.

    Permit record page with arrow pointing to Approved

    Approved plans list