Plans and Waivers (PAWS) Overview



GENERAL USE INFORMATION

Introduction to PAWS-What is the Plans and Waivers System and what can it do for you?

Getting Started - Using your plan’s submission number to access ation

Search Engine- Determining the submission number of a specific plan or application

Printing- Printing your results.

Glossary- Terms used in PAWS you may not be familiar with.

Tips and Tricks- Frequently asked questions and things you need to know.


FINDING SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT A PARTICULAR PLAN

Distribution Status- The current standing of each agency’s review.

Handling Status- Unique types of processing and each type’s associated prioritization.

Processing Status- A stage or phase of the land development process.

Review Fees - Fees paid, fees due and how fees are assessed.

Site Characteristics- Particular features found on a specific site.

Related Submission-A plan in the process that is linked in some fashion to your plan.

Submission SubType- A category within a given plan type.

Approval Condition- An administrative action associated to plan approval or bond release.

Participant- Individual or business that plays a role in the land development process.

Site Location- Describes a site according to Tax Map, Magisterial District and Zoning.

Introduction to the Plans and Waivers System

In most cases, with an application for a construction permit, a plan, waiver or study containing engineering information will be submitted to the County for review and approval. The process of evaluating the information contained in these plans involves distributing the information to agencies both within the County government as well as to various outside agencies, who will review the proposed construction for conformance to applicable codes and standards.

Information on plans and waiver applications* are contained in the Plans and Waiver System (PAWS) portion of Fairfax County Land Development System (LDS). Retrieving specific information on a particular plan is accomplished by entering the submission number of your plan or application and then using your mouse to browse through the various locations provided within PAWS. LDSnet enables you to gain access to over 100 different categories of information within the PAWS system. LDSnet can also be an effective research tool with a customized search feature that will allow you to search on any combination of 24 different PAWS search criteria.

The following sections are provided to help guide you through the PAWS portion of LDSnet. For additional assistance or if you’d just like to tell us what you think of PAWS, E-mail the PAWS Team at LDSNET Administrator.

Getting Started

When a plan or application is first accepted by the County for processing, it is assigned a unique tracking number consisting of a series of alphanumeric characters. Because the information in LDSnet is generally referenced using this tracking or submission number, having your plan’s number or having the ability to obtain the number is essential to using this system.

If you know the tracking number of the specific plan or application you’re interested in, simply click on the "Plans And Waivers" button on the LDSnet Home Page. This will display a window listing the various submission types. Select the appropriate submission type by clicking on it, then enter the Base Number and Sequence Number of the specific application your interested in viewing.

Example:

[Base Number] – [Submission Type] – [Sequence Number]

006178 - SP - 01-1

It's important when entering the Sequence Number to include the submission number, which is the last digit in the string.

After completing the information in all three fields, click on the "Search" button to initiate the search.

If your search is successful, the results will display the submission you are interested in viewing. To access detailed information about this submission, simply click on the submission number. If your search is not successful, (i.e. no applications matching the search criteria were found) click on the "Back to Search Criteria" button and modify your search. If you need help finding your plan’s submission number, LDSnet provides a search engine allowing you to search for a particular plan using either a set of predetermined criteria or to create a customized search.

Search Engine

Included in LDSnet is a search engine that will allow you to search for your plan number using a set of predetermined search criteria. To access the search engine, select the option, "Search" from the LDSnet Home Page.

  • Defining the search criteria. Utilizing the various fields available, fill in as much information as you can about the plan you’re interested in researching. Some fields are supplemented with drop down boxes to help with your selection.
  • Running the search. When you have completed the criteria you want to search on, click on the "Search" button located along the bottom of the screen and the search engine will retrieve all applications that satisfy your search criteria.
  • Modifying your search. Based upon the search criteria you defined, the search engine may not find any matches or may retrieve an excessive number matches. When this occurs, you may want to modify your search criteria in hopes of obtaining better results from your search. To return to the search engine, click on the "Back to Search Criteria" button located in the upper right hand corner of the search results screen.

For greater flexibility in selecting your search criteria, LDSnet offers a "Custom Search" option. To access the custom search, select the option, "Custom Search" from the LDSnet Home Page.

  • Defining the search criteria. Using any combination of 24 different PAWS search criteria, you can mix and match the criteria to customize your search. To build your custom search, select those criteria you want to search on and click on the "Build Custom Search" button. Enter the information in the fields displayed or modify your search criteria using the "Add" or "Remove" functions provided. To add or remove search criteria, select the criteria from the appropriate drop down box and click on the "Process" button. When the modified criteria is displayed, enter the information in the appropriate fields.
  • Running the search. When you have completed the criteria you want to search on, click on the "Process" button and the search engine will retrieve all applications that satisfy your search criteria.
  • Modifying your search. Based upon the search criteria you defined, the search engine may not find any matches or may retrieve an excessive number matches. When this occurs, you may want to modify your search criteria in hopes of obtaining better results from your search. To return to the search engine, click on the "Back to Search Criteria" button located in the upper right hand corner of the search results screen.

How do I find Distribution Status information?

The distribution status of a plan is expressed in terms of distribution points, assignees and specific actions. From this information you can identify those agencies to which your plan has been distributed, who within each agency has been assigned to review your plan and what action if any has been taken by each agency.

Real time information regarding the distribution status of a specific plan or application is available through LDSnet. To view this information, access the overview window for the specific submission your interested in (See the section on Getting Started for locating the overview window for a specific submission) and click on the Query "Distribution Status".

How do I find Handling Status information?

The handling status of a plan is expressed in terms of some form of expedited processing that has been designated for the project such as Modified Processing or Simultaneous Processing. The handling status generally affects the prioritization of the plan’s review and may involve a cursory review by the Engineers and Surveyors Institute.

Information regarding the handling status of a specific plan or application is available through LDSnet. To view this information, access the overview window for the specific submission you’re interested in (See the section on Getting Started for locating the overview window for a specific submission) and click on the Query "Handling Status".

How do I find Processing Status information?

The processing status of a plan describes the stage or Life Cycle the submission is in at any particular time. Examples of typical Life Cycles you might expect to find would be "Submitted", "Distributed" or "Approved". Each Life Cycle shown will have a corresponding date which represents the point in time the plan reached that Life Cycle Status.

Information regarding the processing status of a specific plan or application is available through LDSnet. To view this information, access the overview window for the specific submission you’re interested in (See the section on Getting Started for locating the overview window for a specific submission) and click on the Query "Processing Status".

How do I find Review Fee information?

Information regarding review fees associated with a specific plan or application is available through LDSnet. To view this information, access the overview window for the specific submission you’re interested in (See the section on Getting Started for locating the overview window for a specific submission) and click on the Query "Fee Information".

The fee information available in LDSnet is divided into four sections: Fee Change, Fee Summary, Fee Transaction and Fee Assessment. Each section is represented by a link located across the top of the window. Fee Change includes information relative to the specific fee schedule that your plan’s fees are based upon. The various fee schedules are defined by the date each was adopted by the Board of Supervisors.

Fee Summary information includes total review fees assessed for your plan as well as any fees that may have been waived. The Fee Transaction link provides you information regarding fees that have been paid relative to your plan. In addition to the amount and date of the transaction, you can click on a particular fee category to view the name, address and phone number of the individual or business responsible for the transaction.

The Fee Assessment link provides a breakdown of the component parts of the total fee including both the specific element as well as the associated fee amount. Greater detail for each specific element is available by clicking on the particular element.

How do I find Site Characteristic information?

Specific site information associated with a plan or application is available through LDSnet. To view this information, access the overview window for the specific submission you’re interested in (See the section on Getting Started for locating the overview window for a specific submission) and click on the Query "Site Specific Information".

The drop down menu provided contains a number of specific site elements for each plan submitted. Depending on what you’re interested in, viewing information related to any particular site element can be accomplished by highlighting the specific option and clicking on "Show Options".

How do I find Related Submission information?

Information regarding other plan submissions associated with a specific plan or application is available through LDSnet. To view this information, access the overview window for the submission you’re interested in (See the section on Getting Started for locating the overview window for a specific submission) and click on the Link "Related Submission" or the Query "Related Submission".

Depending upon the type of submission, each plan or application may have one or more associated plans that will impact or be impacted by the approval of your plan. Each associated plan will be identified by its submission number and its relationship to your plan expressed in terms of "Has a Prerequisite of" or "Is Prerequisite For". You will also find information regarding: the individual who created the relationship, when the relationship was created, and the Life Cycle Status of the related plan.

How do I find Submission Sub-Type information?

Information regarding submission sub-types associated with a specific plan or application is available through LDSnet. To view this information, access the overview window for the specific submission you’re interested in (See the section on Getting Started for locating the overview window for a specific submission) and click on the Query "Submission Sub-Type".

How do I find Approval Condition information?

Information regarding approval conditions associated with a specific plan or application is available through LDSnet. To view this information, access the overview window for the specific submission you’re interested in (See the section on Getting Started for locating the overview window for a specific submission) and click on the Link "Outstanding Item".

Each approval condition associated with your plan will be listed alphabetically with the status of each condition noted as well as any explanatory remarks. By clicking on the individual condition, you can also find information regarding the individual who created the condition and when it was created as well as who cleared the condition and when it was cleared.

How do I find information regarding the various Participants?

Information regarding the various participants involved with a specific plan or application is available through LDSnet. To view this information, access the overview window for the specific submission you’re interested in (See the section on Getting Started for locating the overview window for a specific submission) and click on the Link "Participants".

Each participant involved with your plan will be listed along with the specific role that individual plays in the process. By clicking on any of the various roles listed, you can find detailed information on that individual participant including their address, phone number and affiliation with the Engineers and Surveyors institute.

How do I find Site Location information?

Specific site location information associated with a plan or application is available through PAWS. To view this information, access the overview window for the specific submission you’re interested in (See the section on Getting Started for locating the overview window for a specific submission) and click on the Link "Site Location" or the query "Site Specific Information".

GLOSSARY

The Land Development System uses terms that may not be familiar to those who only occasionally use the system. Some of the more obscure terms include:

  • Approval Condition- An administrative action that must be completed prior to: A) a specific plan or application obtaining final approval in the case of a Pre-Approval Condition or B) the bond for a specific plan or application being released by the County for a Post-Approval Condition.
  • Assignee- When a particular plan or application is distributed to one of the various review agencies, a staff person from that agency is assigned to that plan. These individuals are identified in PAWS by their user identification name (eg. John Smith may have a user ID of JSMITH).
  • Distribution Point- A specific function or agency participating in the processing of a particular plan or application through the County’s land development process.
  • Distribution Purpose- The particular activity any given function or agency is expected to perform in processing a specific plan or application.
  • Distribution Status- A listing of the various functions and agencies that have been selected to review and comment upon a specific plan or application and the current standing of each agency’s review.
  • Handling Status- A description of any unique characteristics that have altered the processing or prioritization of a specific plan or application. Also termed Special Handling, the various types include: Designated Plans Examiner Certified or DPE, Modified Processing, Simultaneous Processing, Project Management, Board Expedited, County Projects and projects with Affordable Dwelling Units.
  • Historical Magisterial District.
  • Life Cycle Status (LCS). Throughout the plan review process, a plan, study or other similar application will pass through various stages or Life Cycle Status (LCS). Included among these LCS’s are:

  1. Accepted. Plans that are submitted for review undergo a cursory review by County staff to assure that all required information has been included in the application. A plan that has successfully passed this initial review achieves a LCS of ‘Accepted’.
  2. Administrative Hold. Plans that cannot by processed further by the County due to unresolved administrative issues achieve a LCS of ‘Administrative Hold’.
  3. Approved. Plans that have completed the review process and been approved by the Director achieve a LCS of ‘Approved’.
  4. DDR Validated.
  5. Disapproved. Plans that have completed the review process and been disapproved by the Director achieve a LCS of ‘Disapproved’
  6. Distributed. Plans that have been sent to one or more the various review agencies for the purpose of reviewing the plan receive a LCS of ‘Distributed’.
  7. Distributed to Bonding. Plans that have completed the review process and been forwarded to the Bond Branch achieve a LCS of ‘Distributed to Bonding’.
  8. Expired. Plans approved by the County are generally done so for a specific period of time. When this approval period has elapsed and the County did not otherwise extend the approval, the status of the plan is considered expired.
  9. Not Accepted. Plans that are submitted for review are subject to a cursory review prior to accepting the plan into the process. Plans that do not successfully pass this cursory review achieve a LCS of ‘Not Accepted’.
  10. Project Completed. A plan who’s project has been completed, and it’s bond released achieves a LCS of ‘Project Complete’.
  11. Received. Plans that are submitted for review initially receive a LCS of ‘Received’.
  12. Recorded. There are specific plan types that, once approved by the County, must be recorded in the County Land Records. Plans that have completed the recordation process receive a LCS of ‘Recorded’.
  13. Redated. Prior to a plan’s approval expiring, the County can, at the request of the applicant, extend the approval period. A plan that has had its approval extended in this manner achieves a LCS of ‘Redated’.
  14. Requested. Prior to a submitting a plan to the County, an applicant can request a submission number be reserved for that plan. A plan that has not yet been submitted to the County but has a reserved number achieves a LCS of ‘Requested’.
  15. Resubmitted. Plans that have completed the review process, been disapproved, and subsequently resubmitted receive a LCS of ‘Resubmitted’.
  16. Revised. Plans that have completed the review process, been approved, and have been amended through a plan revision receive a LCS of ‘Revised’.
  17. Void. Plans that once were approved by the County but, due to some extenuating circumstance, had their approval revoked achieve a LCS of ‘Void’.
  18. Withdrawn. Plans that have been accepted by the County for review and then withdrawn by the applicant prior to completing the review process receive a LCS of ‘Withdrawn’.
  • Migrated- A plan or application that was initially created in the legacy PAMS system.
  • Participant- An individual or business that plays some role in the processing of a specific plan or application through the County’s land development process.
  • Related Submission- A plan or application that is linked to another plan or application within the County’s land development process.
  • Submission Number- A unique tracking number assigned to each plan or application submitted to the County consisting of a series of alphanumeric charecters arranged in such a fashion so as to describe the type of plan or application and to link it, where possible, to other related submissions.

Printing

Printing any of the various windows available in PAWS is accomplished by clicking on the ‘Print’ button provided on your browser or by opening the "File" menu and then clicking on the ‘Print’ option.

Tips and Tricks

When I’m using the Custom Search feature, how can I get meaningful results?

Maximum number of records returned 1000 PAWS and 1000 ZAPS, timing out will not occur where the search criteria is very broad

What types of applications can I search on using the site address as search criteria?

All plan types can be searched by providing an address. For Infill and lot grading plans the exact address search can be used. For other plans, use the address search with the option: All Taxmap #'s within a specified radius of this address.

What does it mean when the ‘System’ is the assignor?

There are two circumstance where you might find the system to have assigned a plan to an agency for some type of action. The first involves plans that were first submitted to the County prior to the PAWS system. Because the legacy system did not record the assignor, no information exists in this regard. Lacking this information, PAWS will display ‘System’ as the assignor. PAWS may also display ‘System’ as the assignor if a particular staff member had been associated with the plan in the past such that PAWS can make the assignment automatically.

Why do I find the term ‘migrated’ in places where specific information should be found?

The historical information in PAWS was taken from the legacy system which, due to inherent limitations, prevented it from storing the broad range of information available through PAWS. The term "Migrated" in this situation is used to indicate missing or incomplete information due to the plan having been migrated from the legacy system.


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