FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 11, 2015



Online System Streamlines and Modernizes the State's Plan Review Process

Trenton, NJNew Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman today announced the launch of ePlans, a secure web-based electronic plan review system. The Division of Codes and Standards, within the DCA, implemented the new system, which eliminates paper-based building and code review and reduces the amount of time between plan submission and final approval. 

ePlans will be extended to all building projects that require plans from a licensed architect or engineer. When a citizen (architect, engineer, contractor, owner) submits an application for a construction or land use permit requiring drawing plans and other documents, the Bureau of Construction Project Review will use ePlans to complete the initial review. Required changes are noted on the files and then communicated to the applicant, who can re-submit corrected plans electronically, 24/7, from the convenience of any computer. The review cycle continues until all the regulatory requirements are satisfied and the DCA grants approval for the plans.

"Increasing efficiencies and modernizing our processes is essential to stimulating economic growth throughout the state," said DCA Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman. "While we continue to maintain New Jersey’s rigorous building standards, we are committed to making the process faster and more efficient. The new ePlans system will speed up the approval process for our customers and help reduce the amount of paperwork needed to complete the plan review process."

ePlans provides a number benefits and cost-saving measures for both the community and the Department including:

  • 24-hour access to the system from any computer 
  • Elimination of the need for paper plans to be manually printed and delivered
  • Transparency and auditability
  • Reduced turn-around time to review plans

The Department will require mandatory usage of the ePlans system by December 31, 2015

"We want everyone to know that we are now accepting plans online," said Richman. "I’m proud of the work our team has done to implement such an innovative system. It is DCA’s goal to make electronic plan review the state standard by extending this system to include local plan reviews." 

ePlans was initially rolled-out to a small sampling of development projects in September 2014. So far, the use of ePlans has been well received and the amount of time for plan submissions and approvals has been reduced. The success of ePlans is evidenced by the American Dream Meadowlands project, a large retail and entertainment complex with over 4 million square feet of entertainment, sports, retail, office and hotel space that is currently being developed in East Rutherford, NJ.

Tom Valente, Construction Manager for PCL Construction Services, Inc. who is the builder for the project said, "The ePlans system has many great benefits including the ease of filing for plan review. The system saves money both in printing and in space requirements and eliminates multiple bundles of hard copy plans to print and deliver. For a project as large as ours this would be enormous and require a lot of room."

"The electronic filing system has been terrific for us," said Anthony Cappuccio, president of Boardwalk Design and Development whose firm is providing permit expediting. "The comments come in a cleaner form, are well organized, and the change marks require very little clarification.  It truly has made our jobs easier from this end."

State colleges such as the College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ have also experienced success with plan submission using ePlans. The college’s largest development project, "Campus Town," is a mixed-use development, which includes the development of approximately 278,000 square feet of housing and retail amenities, including approximately 195,000 square feet of living quarters with the capacity to house 446 students. Project Design Managers for the project said, "Our first impression of the online system is that it's great to have so much information available, especially about the status of review. Like any new system, it takes a little while to figure everything out. Staff was really helpful whenever there was a question and got back to us quickly."

The DCA will host a brief informational webinar for anyone interested in learning how the online application and upload process works. The first webinar will be offered on June 24, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. interested parties can go the DCA website to register at After June 24th, the webinar will be posted on the DCA website for those unable to attend the webinar.

The Division of Codes and Standards provides plan review for large and complex structures for all projects reserved to the State, including health care facilities, state buildings and casinos, and for all municipalities whose local code officials are not licensed at the highest technical level. The Division also issues required construction permits for all construction projects undertaken by the State of New Jersey and the New Jersey Schools Development Authority. Additionally, all required field inspection, plan review and release for all of NJ's public schools is carried out by the Division.

For more information about accessing DCA’s ePlans system, or to access the upcoming ePlans webinar, visit:

Tammori Petty or
Emike Omogbai
(609) 292-6055