Developer Services Permit Program

The Developer Services (DS) permit program is designed to meet the specialized needs of moderate to complex construction projects. The program provides a predictable and flexible experience for designers and developers. A Department of Buildings Project Administrator (PA) is assigned as a single point of contact to manage the permit review process. Most plan reviews are performed by a third party plan review firm selected by the city.  The cost of third party plan review is assessed based upon bids provided by the city's third party review firms and in addition to the building permit fee. Applicants are required to provide 75% percent bid drawings to determine the Developer Services fee.  Once all bids are received, the lowest bidder is selected to perform the plan review.  

Projects meeting the following criteria are required to use Developer Services:

  • New construction of buildings greater than 80 feet in height (high-rise buildings)
  • Non-residential projects exceeding 150,000 square feet (new construction, alterations, or change of occupancy)
  • Residential projects with 50 or more dwelling units or sleeping units (new construction, alterations, or change of occupancy)
  • School (Group E) projects exceeding 60,000 square feet (new construction, alterations, or change of occupancy)
  • Projects with two or more basement levels

Projects meeting these criteria will only be reviewed by Department of Buildings in-house reviewers through the Standard Plan Review process with the written preapproval of the Building Commissioner. 

Smaller projects may use Developer Services with written preapproval of the Building Commissioner.

Applicants seeking such special approval should email DOBCommissioner@cityofchicago.org.

Developer Services Intake Appointment

To start the Developer Services process, please schedule an intake appointment with a Developer Services Project Administrator using the following link: 
http://planreview.cityofchicago.org/projectdox/workfloweforms/AppRequest.aspx 

75% percent bid drawings are required before your intake appointment. All drawings must be prepared, signed, and electronically-sealed by an Illinois-licensed architect or structural engineer. Refer to the Developer Services Flow Chart for detailed instructions.

Direct Developer Services 

In 2016, the Department of Buildings initiated a pilot program with streamlined plan review for large development projects.

If you are interested in this new process, please email dobcommissioner@cityofchicago.org.