Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: Plan Checkers Responsibilites

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
I am assuming that there is no mandatory measure in Los Angeles for the
seismic upgrade of lightframed structures. I know that the residential
repair and retrofit provisions are entirely voluntary, but multi-unit
residential is not applicable to these provisions unless the city has
adopted an ordinance since I left Los Angeles.
This may account for the 'relative' speed in the plan check cycle. Since
there is no mandatory measure, the plan checker is not even obligated to
"check" the plan but should issue a permit to do the work based upon the
provisions provided by the architect/engineer. In the past, the city was
only concerned that we specified hardward and mechanical connections in
accordance with their prescriptive methods. I recently received the latest
(about a year or so old) from Steve Perlof SE in Venice. I have not reviewed
them as yet.
The only problems I ever ran into with plan check was that they wanted a
site plan with all setbacks shown - which was ludicrous as far as I was
concerned. We had no intention of moving the building to tie it to it's

Considering that this is not a normal submital type of plan, I don't feel
that the checker needs to do anything more than assure that it complies with
their prescriptive measure or at least assure that your loads for cripple
walls and connections are adequate based upon your analysis - as well as
checking for notes pertaining to SO and any inspection that may be needed
for epoxy instalations.

Dennis Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Smith <smthengr(--nospam--at)>
To: seaoc(--nospam--at) <seaoc(--nospam--at)>
Date: Friday, December 19, 1997 10:50 AM
Subject: Plan Checkers Responsibilites

>The other day I submitted some structural plans for a sesimic upgrade of
>the ground floor of a three story wood framed residential building. I went
>through the project with the plan checker at the counter, he did a cursory
>review of the calcs for proper lateral coeficient, reviewed the plans and
>details,  special inspection requirements,  etc. I received an over the
>counter approval after several hours at the building department. I have
>done this before on a few other jobs that did not have planning
>department/handicap/fire/occupancy/etc issues. I explained this to an
>architect colleague and he was shocked, implying that the plan checker
>could not adequatley plan check this type of project over the counter.
>Can anyone tell me if there is a uniform requirement for plan checkers
>responsibilites?  Is it up the the local building department to develop
>plan check standards? Is it the plan checkers responsibilty to check every
>line of every calc.If a plan checker knows that a certain engineer is
>consistantly bringing in either sloppy work or very good work, are likely
>to to adjust the rigor of the plan check? It is clear to me that a plan
>checkers approach to plan checking is as varied as their personalities.
>Jeff Smith. S.E.
>phone: (415) 543-8651
>fax: (415) 543-8679
>email: smthengr(--nospam--at)
>Smith Engineering
>27 South Park
>San Francisco, CA 94107