Electronic Submissions

The City prefers to receive electronic plans with all projects. Electronic plans should be submitted in PDF format. For some small project types, only a PDF is required. For larger projects, paper plans are also required.

How to Submit Plans

PDFs of plans can be submitted several ways. Some methods, especially by email will limit the size of the file which can be submitted.

  • Email the PDF to permits@fallschurchva.gov. This is especially good for applications which do not need plans. It also works well for jobs small enough to not require paper plans (see below).
  • Submit a CD or DVD. This is good when the plans are very large and when accompanying paper plan sets.
  • Bring in a USB Flash Drive. This is good for the same situations as a CD/DVD. The plans can be copied to our network and the drive returned immediately.
  • Email a link to a download site to permits@fallschurchva.gov. The PDF can be downloaded from Dropbox, OneDrive or an equivalent site. Please note the site must permit downloads without a login, or the email must include the necessary login information.
  • Request an Accellion upload link. This is more complicated and time consuming. It is only useful if the applicant is not in the area, the submission is too large for email and too sensitive for open download. In this case, send an email to permits@fallschurchva.gov to request a download link. You will receive a response with a link where you can upload the file.

Applications and Forms

The City will accept all permit applications and supporting forms as electronic submissions These can be filled out electronically, or filled out on paper and scanned.

Small Projects - PDF Only

These projects may be submitted without paper. This works if there are no plans required, or if the plans would only be a few sheets of letter/legal-sized paper. If the application and plans are submitted together, they should be in separate PDFs. Small projects include:

  • Any permit not requiring plans
  • Fuel-Gas permits where only a gas-riser diagram is required
  • Sign permits
  • Residential generator

Large Projects - PDF and Paper

For any project with large-format plans, where signed and sealed plans are required, or where the plans are more than a few pages, paper plans are required. A PDF is still quite helpful and may speed the process of plan review.

If a PDF is submitted, then review can begin with the PDF and one set of paper plans. Two sets of the final approved plans will still be needed when the permit is ready to issue. This means there are two options:

Option 1: PDF and One Set of Paper

With this option, the initial application is submitted with only one set of paper plans in addition to the PDF. Once the plans are approved, two sets of paper will be required. If the plans were approved with minimal modifications, then a second plans set can be submitted to supplement the first set. If the plans were modified extensively in response to review comments, then two full sets will be need to approval. 

This option is primarily useful with larger jobs, and especially where a later, second complete paper submission will be necessary. 

Option 2: PDF and Two Sets of Paper

This option is useful when the plans will likely be approved with few comments, or where comments can be addressed with a few pages swaps. In these cases, since two sets will be needed at approval, it makes more sense to submit two sets in the beginning. The PDF is still helpful, and can speed the review process by allowing multiple reviewers to review at the same time.