Construction Services & Inspections
THE CITY OF DULUTH, MINNESOTA

Construction Services Pre-Review Meetings

What is a pre-review meeting?

A pre-review (PRM) meeting is an opportunity for a project’s design team to meet with city staff before a final project design is complete. The design team can introduce their project to reviewers and ask any questions related to building, zoning, fire, stormwater, utilities, or transportation engineering codes and regulations.

Why take the time for a pre-review meeting?

We highly encourage scheduling a PRM for commercial projects. In the long run, meeting with CSI prior to completion of a project design saves time. Projects that have had PRMs almost always have shorter review times after a permit application is made and require fewer plan revisions.

Who typically attends pre-review meetings?

The project design team usually includes the architect and civil engineer. The city’s team will include a building plan reviewer and the zoning coordinator. If needed for your project, we can arrange for city engineering staff or the fire marshal to attend.

What to expect from a pre-review meeting

City staff will confirm that designers have applied the applicable codes in the project design. Plans examiners will ask questions about the project and will provide preliminary feedback if any code issues are glaringly evident. The design team can ask clarifying questions about code requirements. They can also do an initial presentation of alternates or modifications to building code requirements and get preliminary feedback. City staff will explain permit submittal requirements and the plan review process.

A PRM is not a plan review. CSI cannot do a plan review until a permit application and complete set of plans with a code summary and life safety plan are submitted. Comments provided in meetings by staff will be informal and based on information provided by the applicant. Changes to the proposal, additional information acquired by CSI, detailed review of code requirements, changes to policies or effective codes after the PRM may affect the relevance of feedback given at the meeting.

We routinely schedule PRMs to last one hour. This is how we typically organize our time in a PRM:

10 Minutes Project introduction and overview by design professional
10 Minutes UDC (zoning) discussion and questions (Zoning Coordinator)
Fire code discussion and questions (Fire Marshal)
Engineering discussion and questions (City Engineering Dept)
30 Minutes Building Code discussion
10 Minutes Summary

What CSI expects from the design team

  • The designer has completed the necessary research on the building or site related to historic use, building elements, and site conditions.
  • The designer has done detailed code research and knows how codes apply to the project.
  • The design team is present at the PRM.
  • Follow the instructions for How Do I Schedule a pre-review meeting?
  • Take notes at the meeting and submit your meeting notes in electronic form to CSI. This helps ensure clear and mutual understanding of issues discussed and comments made at the meeting.
  • Bring to the meeting enough copies of each of the following for all attendees, with plans at a maximum size of 11 x 17 for our records:
    • A detailed code summary that documents which codes the designer has applied to the project and the code path that the design is based on. Designers have multiple options for providing code compliance. The code summary will be the basis for a PRM discussion.
    • Plans and/or images showing existing conditions at a building or site.
    • Plans showing the proposed project. These plans need not be complete and ready for construction, but they do need to show the configuration of the proposal. Plans should include floor plans, elevations, and building sections.
    • A site plan with dimensions. The city usually needs a site plan even when all proposed work is interior to the building. Make sure the site plan shows how the fire department will access the building, shows exterior accessibility features, parking, landscaping locations, and dumpster and mechanical equipment locations.

 

How do I schedule a pre-review meeting?

Complete and submit the pre-review meeting Request Form, along with all of the information and documents indicated on the form.

CSI reserves Wednesdays from 9 to Noon and 1:30 to 3 for PRMs. We ask that you request a PRM not later than the Friday prior to your preferred Wednesday meeting date.

I have questions about pre-review meetings or want to disucess my project

Contact a Building Plans Examiner:

Armella Bijold 730-5163 abijold@duluthmn.gov
Britt Buerskin 730-5158 bbuerskin@duluthmn.gov
Adam Schminski 730-5171 aschminski@duluthmn.gov

 

 

Pre-Review Meeting Request Form

Office Hours

M, Tu, W, F
8 to 4

Thursdays
9 to 4

Visit
Room 210 City Hall
411 W 1st St
Duluth MN 55802

Call Us
(218) 730-5240

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