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Commercial Plan Review Process

ALERT!

All City Departments involved with construction/land development will be switching from BluePrince to EnerGov on AUGUST 14, 2017! Please see flyer (link below) for more information.

**EnerGov Flyer**



Commercial Plan Review 
Plan review for commercial construction includes any new construction, renovations, additions, alterations, and demolitions for any commercial properties, multi-family dwellings, and non-residential structures within the City of Charleston. Please see the guidelines for commercial review for additional plan review information.

How do I know if I need to get a permit? 
Establish your scope of work and evaluate with the below:
Commercial permit

What's the process?

Please note that
most projects will require additional approvals prior to submitting for Building Inspections Review. Plan review may qualify for concurrent review with other departments if applicable. 


New construction
projects requiring Technical Review Committee approval (TRC approval) must submit stamped and approved plans prior to the issuance of permits.

If Technical Review Committee (TRC) approval does not apply, the project may still require Zoning, BAR (Historic District), and/or DRB approvals before applicable for final approvals or permits by the Building Inspections Division. Please visit the Permit Center and confirm with the respective department. 

Renovations, Alterations, Additions, and Demolitions
may require Zoning, BAR, and/or DRB approvals before plans are applicable for final approval or permits by the Building Inspections Division. 


  • New Construction: This project type requires other departmental approvals, such as BAR, DRB, TRC, or Zoning. Please confirm with Planning, Preservation, & Sustainability for their submittal requirements prior to submitting with Building Inspections. 
    • Submit for plan review at the Permit Center located at 2 George Street on the First Floor.

        Requirements at time of submittal: 

3 Full Building Sets - signed and sealed by licensed design professional in the State of SC
V-Zone Breakaway Wall Certificate (if property is located within a V-Zone)
V-Zone Design Certificate (if property is located within a V-Zone) 

  • Renovations, Alterations, Additions: Submit for plan review at Permit Center located at 2 George Street on the First Floor. If property falls within BAR (Historic District) or DRB jurisdiction, be sure to have submitted for review prior to submitting with Building Inspections. If changing the use of the building, the footprint, or removing grand trees, you will need to see Zoning prior to submitting to Building Inspections.
Requirements at time of submittal: 
Application
3 full sets of plans - signed and sealed by licensed design professional in the State of SC 
V-Zone Breakaway Wall Certificate (if property is located within a V-Zone)
V-Zone Design Certificate (if property is located within a V-Zone)
  • Demolitions: Submit for plan review at the Permit Center at 2 George Street on the First Floor.  Please note that if the property falls within BAR (Historic District) or DRB jurisdiction, you will need their approval prior to obtaining a permit.  The City's Engineering Division will also need to approve project prior to obtaining a permit.   
Requirements at time of submittal: 
DHEC Asbestos Compliance

What if I (property or business owner) want to act as the general contractor? 

If you are the property owner and are interested in acting as your own contractor, SC State law will allow for an exemption if you meet and follow the below requirements.   
  • The total cost of construction (renovation or new) must be less than $5,000. 
  • Any person(s) employed by you are required to have proper and current CITY and STATE licenses.
  • Construction must comply with all laws, codes, ordinances, and regulations.

What is the permit process? 
  • Step 1: All contractors must have updated STATE and CITY licenses before obtaining permit. Business License process. 
  • Step 2: Complete a Building Permit and Plan Review Application or Subcontractor Application with all required information listed. 
  • Step 3: Visit a permit clerk located in the Permit Center at 2 George Street with application and other requirements. 
  • Step 4: Permit clerk will issue either a permit placard and/or sticker if a placard already exists. This permit placard with sticker must be visible at the job site. 
  • Step 5: Complete work and call for inspections

What are the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) Requirements for construction completion? 
Please refer to the Inspections Procedure page for more information or the download the Inspections required for CO - Commercial Document. Please note: these inspection requirements do not apply to the Business License Process - only for construction purposes.