HB 493 – Private Plan Review Reform

HB 493 – Private Plan Review Reform
Click here for full bill

Why You Needed HB 493

  • Existing law, O.C.G.A. 8-2-26, allows a local permitting authority to take 30 business days to complete a plan review and 2 days to complete an inspection.
  • Click the following for a full presentation at the 2019 HBAG Spring Board Meeting


How HB 493 Changes the Law

  • Cities and counties SHALL publish all requirements and fees for building permit applications.
  • No later than 5 business days after receipt of an application, a local building official SHALL notify the applicant whether or not the application is complete.
  • When an applicant is notified that their application is complete, the builder will be notified as to whether the government will be able to complete a plan review in 30 days or an inspection in 2 days.


New Options for Private Plan Review

  • Option 1: If local governments CANNOT complete the review or inspection within that time frame, an applicant SHALL have the option of retaining a private, professional provider.
    • The builder will pay only 50 % of the required regulatory fee
  • Option 2: If local governments determine they CAN provide the plan review or inspection within the time limits, an applicant may nevertheless choose to retain a private, professional provider immediately.
    • The applicant would be required to pay a “convenience fee” equal to 100 % of the regulatory fee


Private Plan Reviewer Requirements

  • The private, professional provider SHALL review plans to determine compliance with all applicable “regulatory requirements.”
  • The private, professional provider SHALL be a licensed engineer or a licensed architect who is not an employee or otherwise affiliated with the applicant.
  • The private, professional provider SHALL submit an affidavit that the plans reviewed comply with all applicable regulatory requirements.
  • They SHALL also show proof of errors and omissions insurance for at least $1 MILLION per claim and $1 MILLION aggregate coverage for any project with a construction cost of $5 MILLION or less.


Bottom Line

  • If time is of the essence, builders can skip to the front of the line, provided you pay the government their full fee and the third-party provider their full fee.
  • If cost is a bigger concern, allowing builders in a hurry to go to a third-party provider will also shorten the line, making the process more efficient for everyone.
  • There may be some growing pains among the local staff. Please forward non-compliance complaints to Stephen Davis (SDavis@atlantahba.com)