ePlan Room

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The City of Grand Rapids Development Center is pleased to offer electronic plan submission and review through ePlan Room. This online application is fully integrated into Citizen Access, the City's existing permit portal. With ePlan Room, customers can submit their permit application online and upload plans at the same time. No more paper plan deliveries to our office!

Important Update to ePlan Room

Internet Explorer 11 in Accela Citizen Access will no longer be supported effective with the release of version 2.0 of the Digital Plan Room, anticipated in Spring 2022. Microsoft will no longer support Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are all supported. Modern browsers are the path forward to use the Digital Plan Room in Accela Citizen Access.

Key Features

  • Easily submit plans, specifications, and other supporting documents electronically using drag and drop functionality
  • Automated sheet versioning utilized for processing and attaching plan pages to previously submitted versions
  • Access mark-ups and view comments or conditions documented by each reviewer
  • Quickly identify the status of the current review cycle
  • Final stamped PDF plan sets available for download
  • More Features(PDF, 914KB)

Permit Types

This application is available for the following permit types:

  • Commercial Building
  • Residential Building
  • Land Use Plans

We've moved to electronic plan review for several reasons.

Customer Convenience

We recognize that driving to our office to submit two paper plan sets can be challenging. With ePlan Room, you can transition seamlessly from online application submission to digital plan upload!

Cost Savings

Additionally, a lot of paper, printing, and archiving costs are eliminated through a digital review process. Take a look at our metrics below to see just how costly our paper submission process was!

There are a few document standards that we recommend for best uploading performance. Please follow these guidelines in your document design to ensure correct processing in the Plan Room.


  • All files must be in PDF file format
  • Maximum file size is 100MB
  • Do not use encrypted or password-protected files
  • All layers in the PDF will need to be flattened (including seals, signatures, notations)
  • Please don't combine any supporting documents in the same PDF file with any plan sheets - they will need to be uploaded as separate files


  • Arrange plans in a landscape view
  • Title block must be located in the lower right-hand corner
  • Make sure sheet numbers are unique and consistent for each version of submitted plan pages 
  • All layers will need to be flattened (see below for tips on how to do this) 
  • Generate plans to scale (e.g. 1/4" = 1’, 1/8” = 1’ or 1:10)
  • Any annotations in the PDF will be removed during the submission process
  • When possible, please include a table of contents when exporting/publishing to the PDF (ex. Include “Create bookmarks”) setting in AutoCAD*
  • Include sheet titles within a table of contents when possible*
  • You can upload multiple files, including plans, at the same time
  • When submitting revisions, please do not resubmit the entire plan set, only upload the sheets containing changes from the previous submission*

 Supporting Documents

  • You can submit supporting documents as individual files or as a single file with multiple pages
  • Document files may be oriented in either landscape or portrait view
*Asterisk indicates recommended document standard - not required for submission

Download the Standards

There are a few additional items required for commercial plans. Please note that the document standards below are applicable to commercial plans only and are in addition to our general document standards listed in the above tab.

Commercial Plan Standards

  • Plans submitted for review for all work involving multiple family dwellings (3+ units), mixed-use occupancies, commercial uses, or industrial uses must bear the signature AND seal of a registered architect or engineer.
  • Please be sure to flatten all layers on the plan sheets (including seal and signature)
  • Fire rated assemblies must have the applicable UL design numbers included in the specification booklet or shown on the plans.

Climatic and Geographic Design Criteria

  • Ground Snow Load (pounds per square foot): 35
  • Frost Line Depth (inches): 42
  • Seismic Zone: A
  • Basic Windspeed (miles per hour): 90

Deferred Plans

  • Deferral of any submittal items shall have the prior approval of the Building Official in accordance with Michigan Building Code, section; Online applications indicating deferred plans does not constitute approval of a deferral.
  • The "Registered Design Professional in Responsible Charge" shall list the deferred submittals on the construction documents for review by the Building Official.
  • Documents for deferred submittal items shall be submitted to the "Registered Design Professional in Responsible Charge" who shall review them and make a notation on the plans indicating that the deferred submittal documents have been reviewed and in general conformance to the design of the building.
  • Deferred submittal items shall not be installed or constructed until the deferred submittal documents have been approved by the Building Official and applicable permits have been issued.
  • The following uses are ineligible for deferred plan submittal and all plans are required at the time of submittal: Restaurants, Assembly, Auto Service, Nail Salons, and Hazardous Occupancies. Incomplete applications/plans for other uses may or may not be accepted for review, as determined by the Building Official.

Download the Standards

When submitting plans or completed PDF forms, please be sure to flatten all layers (seals, signatures, notations) in the PDF. Otherwise, those layers and fields will be eliminated and not visible for the reviewers.

The easiest way to flatten a PDF is to "Print to PDF." To do this, please follow the steps below: 

  1. Open the PDF file 
  2. Select File
  3. Select Print
  4. From the drop-down menu of Printer options, select Adobe PDF
  5. Click Print
  6. Specify the location to save the printed, "flattened" version of the document or form
  7. Select Save

Submitting Plans

We're posting video tutorials to walk you through the process of uploading and submitting documents.

Uploading Documents and Plans

Finalizing and Submitting Documents and Plans

Paper Guide

We're also providing a printable paper guide for submitting plans and documents.

Download the Guide(PDF, 1MB)

Document Upload Times

Once you've uploaded and validated your files, they will be processed in our system. Here's what Citizen Access does with your plans during processing:

  • Separates them into individual sheets
  • Scans them via optical character recognition to identify sheet numbers
  • Attaches them to previously submitted versions
  • Prepares them for web and mobile access

There's a lot going on!

Processing Time

Most documents will only take 1-2 minutes to process, but larger plan sets could take a bit longer. But you don't need to wait on us!

After you've clicked the "Process Files" button, you can close the file processing screen and even exit out of the entire Citizen Access website. Your files will continue to process in our system!

Email Notice

When the processing is finished, you'll receive an email notification with a link for you to complete the remaining steps in your submission.


Issues are items that will need to be addressed and fixed prior to plan approval. Once created, each open issue will require a brief response in the Plan Room prior to a new review cycle being available to submit revisions.


Conditions are items that may require action by the customer but do not need to be addressed prior to plan approval. Unlike issues, conditions do not require a response in the Plan Room. However, while the project is being inspected, conditions will need to be met before final approval can be granted.


Paper Guide

We're also providing a printable paper guide for reviewing comments.

Download the Guide(PDF, 9MB)

Submitting revisions has never been easier. Through the Plan Room, you only need to submit sheets containing revisions, not the entire plan package.

At the end of the plan review process, the Plan Room will automatically combine all approved versions of each sheet into one final, stamped PDF plan set. 


Paper Guide

We're also providing a printable paper guide for submitting revisions.

Download the Guide(PDF, 8MB)


Paper Guide

We're also providing a printable paper guide for downloading final print sets.

Download the Guide(PDF, 9MB)

Paper Plans Options

If you have paper plans, you've got a few options available!

  1. Submit Digital Plans Using ePlan Room
  2. Bring Digital Plans to the Dev Center
  3. Deliver Paper Plans for Digitizing

Option 1: Submit Digital Plans Using ePlan Room (Preferred)

If you have access to the digital files of your plans, you can do one of the following, depending on whether you're submitting your permit application online:

  1. Submit your permit application online through Citizen Access and upload plans at the same time (or later if you wish).
  2. Bring your paper permit application to the Dev Center and then upload plan files later. Once our team has entered your application, you'll receive an email with a link to upload the files in ePlan Room.

Option 2: Bring Digital Plans to the Dev Center

If you need assistance uploading plans, you can bring your files to our office on a USB flashdrive (please, no CD-ROMs) and we can upload your files for you. With options 1 & 2, you will still have the ability to access review comments, issues, conditions, and plan sheet mark-ups online through ePlan Room.

Option 3: Deliver Paper Plans for Digitizing

If you aren't able to submit your plans in a digital format, we can take the paper copies. However, our team will need to scan and digitize your files and there are associated fees for this service.

To avoid additional fees, your best option is to either upload plans using ePlan Room or bring your files to our office on a USB flashdrive.

Plan Digitization Fees

  • First Page: $15
  • Each Additional Page: $5

Paper Plan Options(PDF, 1MB)

We have a YouTube playlist dedicated to ePlan Room video tutorials. If you need assistance using our application, this is a great place to start!