ePlan Submittal

Welcome to the City of Lincoln - Lancaster County Planning Department's ePlan Submittal website. On this website, you will learn more about this innovative new approach to the submission and review of planning applications.

ePlan Submittal takes the application process to a new level by employing readily available web-technology for the filing of applications and for communicating directly with applicant contacts. This new process will help streamline the review of development proposals and reduce the amount of actual paper (and printing costs) required for an application submittal.



Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is ePlan Submittal?

ePlan Submittal is the name for our computerized system providing for the digital submittal and review of planning applications. This system was implemented in 2009 to replace the paper based approach that had been used for over 50 years.

Do I have to use ePlan Submittal?

Yes. Effective July 2, 2009, all applications submitted to the Planning Department will be processed - submitted and reviewed using ePlan Submittal.

How is ePlan Submittal different from the Department's former (paper) application process?

ePlan Submittal builds off of the current Planning application process. It does not significantly alter the basic steps in the process for either those submitting applications or those reviewing applications. Rather, ePlan Submittal employs readily available World Wide Web technology to ease the submittal and review of applications.

Which applications does the ePlan Submittal process include?

All Planning Department applications will be managed through the ePlan Submittal system.

Will all paper copies be eliminated entirely from the application process?

The simple answer is "no." There will remain times when traditional paper copies of documents will be necessary to meet current statutory requirements. The two most common instances for paper copies will be:

  1. the application form; and
  2. certain final submittal materials.

In both of these instances, original signatures are required on the forms and, in the case of certain final materials, professional certification stamps are called for. Until such time as digital forms of signatures and professional stamps are allowed by State and local statutes, paper copies will need to be submitted which display ink signatures and the applicable professional certification stamps.

Do I need a computer to use ePlan Submittal?

Your availability to a personal computer with Web access is a vital part of ePlan Submittal. The uploading of application files and communications regarding your application will be handled primarily via email and the Web. If you do not have a personal computer or access to one, all City Library locations have computers you may use for free, although you will need a valid email address.

If computer access for ePlan Submittal is a problem for you, call the Planning Department at 441-7491, or visit our office in the County-City Building, 555 South 10th Street, Suite 213.

What software do I need to use ePlan Submittal?

ePlan Submittal utilizes a web based application called ProjectDox. You will need to use a web browser such as Chrome and a connection to the Internet. You will need to install the ProjectDox components the first time you use ePlan Submittal. Administrator rigths are required for this install.

Previously, Internet Explorer was the preferred browser for compatibility with ProjectDox. That browser is no longer supported by Microsoft. Applicants and most reviewers should have success using Chrome as a replacement browser. For reviewers who use the “Align” and “Nudge” tools, you have the option to use Microsoft Edge browser using Internet Explorer mode(PDF, 255KB).

How do I install the ePlan Submittal/ProjectDox components?

Launch your browser and go to the ePlan Submittal website https://pdox.lincoln.ne.gov/ProjectDox/index.aspx?. Turn off any pop up blocker you may have enabled. Click on "Install ProjectDox Components". Choose "Run" on the window that pops up. Follow the prompts to complete the installation. 

Once logged in to the system, you may be prompted on the Information bar to run a couple additional Active X applications. Select the option to allow these to run.

You will only have to complete this process the first time you use the website.

What is a "pdf"?

The term "pdf" stands for Portable Document Format. This format was created by Adobe Systems in the mid-1990's for the exchange of digital files. On July 1, 2008, Adobe Systems officially released the "pdf" format for general non-propriety usage.

How do I create a "pdf" file?

Because of its widespread use, most word-processing, graphic, and spreadsheet software have built-in publishing routines to create pdf's. Both Word© and WordPerfect©, have embedded software which allows the user to easily create a pdf file. This embedded software can be found in the "Save As" command in Word, and in the "File" menu with a specific "Publish to" command in WordPerfect.

What resolution should be used in creating "pdf" documents?

To maintain legibility of uploaded documents, we recommend that resolution not be dropped below 600 dpi on drawings and not below 300 dpi on text documents.

Must all documents I submit be in "pdf" format?

Other than vector (i.e. CAD) files, all documents are to be submitted (a.k.a. uploaded) using the pdf format. This includes letters, reports, plan drawings, images, and all other supporting documentation.

When I print a pdf it has a black background. How do I correct this?

Enable the "Optimize for PDF/Postscript printing" option on the print dialogue window. Select the print icon and check the option to "Optimize for PDF/Postscript printing."

What does the project status mean?

A project that shows an "In Progress" status is one that is in process, not yet acted on. A project that shows a "Resubmittal Requested" status is one that is pending resubmittal by the Application Contact. A project that shows a "Pending Final Approved Plans" has received Approval with Conditions and will be complete once the Final Approved Plans have been submitted. A project that shows a "Complete" status has been acted on.

Why do "Complete" projects stay on my project list?

Based on feedback and requests from users, completed projects will remain on the system so involved parties can review the information even after the project has been acted on.

Application Contact Questions

How do I file my application using ePlan Submittal?

Filing an application does NOT begin with ePlan Submittal. The first step is to submit your application form and filing fee to the Planning Department. Your project will be assigned to a Project Planner who will enter the information into our application tracking system. The system will create a ProjectDox project for your application. At that time, the designated ProjectDox contact on your application form will receive an email prompt to upload the files to complete the application submittal. The email address submitted on the application form is the email to be used on the ProjectDox log in screen.

If the person designated as the Project Dox contact has never before used the system, a temporary password will be included in the email notification. Upon logging in with the password, they will be prompted through the steps to complete their user profile and create a permanent password.

Do I still need to come to the Planning Department Offices to file an application?

Yes - at least for the time being. The long term plan would allow applications to be filed on-line, thus eliminating the need for an applicant to come into our office. Before direct on-line application filing can occur, there will need to be advances in the software and a web-based mechanism put in place for the payment of application fees.

What paper documents do I need to bring with me when I come to the Planning Department Offices to file an application?

Documents to bring to the Planning Department include:

  • Completed Application form
  • Fee Payment
  • Certificate of Title or Ownership Opinion(required on Final Plats only)
After I have submitted my application form and paid my application fee at the Planning Department, how long do I have to upload my digital files?

You will have until 8:00 a.m. the following business day to upload your files onto the ePlan Submittal website.

How does ePlan Submittal affect the application "cut-off date"?

The cut off date for application filings is noon every other Wednesday. The digital files supporting your application must be uploaded onto the ePlan Submittal system by 8:00 a.m. on Thursday (i.e., next business day) in order to meet the deadline requirements.

Am I required to submit a project CAD file for my application to be complete?

Yes. As of February 2018, both the City and County adopted text amendments to require CAD submittals. Specifically, final plat drawings are required to be submitted using CAD files. For preliminary plats, use permits, planned unit developments and community unit plans, CAD files are only required to be submitted for the boundary survey and street centerline information.

Files containing XRefs (External Reference Files) are not supported in the ProjectDox viewer and cannot be viewed by users. When we encounter a file that uses XRefs, we will ask you to submit a new file that does not contain them.

What if I have more than one person as my application contact?

If you have more than one person requiring notification of events on your application, provide the additional names and email addresses to be added to the project by the Project Coordinator.

It is important to note that, in cases of application resubmittal, each person identified as an application contact will receive the email notification of the task, however only one contact can accept the task and submit the documents back to the Project Coordinator.

Are electronically generated engineers and architects seals acceptable as part of the ePlan Submittal process?

For plans and documents not in a final form, the answer is typically "yes" they are acceptable. The Nebraska Board of Engineers and Architects has ruled that such seals "may be generated electronically" within certain provisions. The City's Public Works and Utilities Department has posted their understanding of the Board's rules and regulations on their website.

How do I attach an engineers or architects seal to my pdf?

The City's Public Works and Utilities Department has prepared a set of instructions on how to attach such seals using Adobe Acrobat Professional.

Where can I get the geographic coordinates necessary for my CAD files?

The Lancaster County Engineer's Office and City Information Services Division have created a website that allows anyone who creates a "MyInterLinc" account to download the geographic coordinates needed for the CAD files. There is no charge for this service. "MyInterLinc" is merely a means the City Information Services Division applies to monitor access to certain portions of InterLinc.

Please refer to the Fact Sheet for Lancaster County Control Points for additional information.

Where can I get the Lincoln Electric System (LES) "easement standards" for use in preparing my site plans?

Easements for various public utilities are a basic element on many planning applications. To assist you in laying out the easement locations for your application, review the "Easement Acquisition Guidelines(PDF, 30KB)" used by LES. LES and the other utility companies will still be reviewing your plans for easement locations, but having them correctly displayed on your initial submittal will speed the review process.

Review Agency Questions

Why does a review task I completed still show up on my task list?

In order to complete your review and remove the task from your task list, you must click on the "My Review Complete" button on the eForm.

Can I create my markup in a 3rd party software and import it into ePlan Submittal?

ePlan Submittal does not currently support 3rd party markups. All markups must be created within the viewer that opens the pdf file.

How can I communicate back to the Project Coordinator without removing the project from my to do list?

Use the Email tool within ProjectDox to communicate with the Project Coordinator about the project.

I am planning to be out of the office. How do I forward my reviews to someone else during that time?

There is no way to forward your reviews to someone else. We suggest setting up a rule to forward review task notifications to your backup. That person would then need to contact the Project Coordinator to be added to the project. For more information see the ePlan Submittal Tips & Tricks below.

Is there a way to save partial review comments and come back to finish later?

The "Save and Close" button on the eForm allows you to save your work and finish it later. You can also save your markups on the pdf files and return later to edit or add to them. For more information see the ePlan Submittal Tips & Tricks below.

Tips & Tricks

We will be posting ePlan Submittal tips and tricks as we come across them. If you are having ePlan Submittal problems, check here to see if someone else has had the same issue and discovered something that works well for them.

Want easier access to ePlan Submittal?

Add ProjectDox to your desktop or Favorites.

Located at the lower right of the ProjectDox login screen are the options to add a shortcut to your desktop or add ProjectDox to your favorites.

Drag and drop the desktop shortcut icon to your desk top. Click "yes" when asked if you want to move or copy files from this zone. Double click the icon on your desktop to access the the ProjectDox log in screen directly.

You can also click on the far right link to add ProjectDox to your favorites.


Want to view pdf files close to full screen?

Maximize your viewer window by opening files in a new window.

By default, the file will open on the right hand side of the same window. To open files in a new window, select the new window option before opening the file. This will make the viewer window larger and easier to see.


Having trouble seeing items on a pdf file?

If you are having a hard time seeing elements on the pdf drawing, try changing the background color in the viewer to something other than white.

This can make items that were difficult to see stand out.



Planning to be out of the office for a period of time?

Set an email rule to forward review request to someone else in your office.

Most, if not all, email clients (eg. Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes) allow you to set up email rules that automatically process incoming email messages.

You could set a rule that checks the subject line of incoming messages when they arrive for the phrase "New Task Assigned - Department Review" and forwards that to someone in your office. (Example shown is Microsoft Outlook.)

That person would then simply call the Project Coordinator (Planner) and ask to be added to the project to complete the review in your absense.

Remember to turn off the rule when you get back in the office.


Have you lost your comments in the middle of your work?

Save Your eForm Comments without completing your task.

Use the Save & Close button to save your work without completing your workflow task. This allows you to finish later if you are interrupted or need to do additional research before submitting your comments to the Project Coordinator (Planner). It also saves your work in the event of ProjectDox logging you out automatically due to the system idle time out.

When you have finished and are ready to send your comments to the Planner, click the "My Review Complete" button for Reviewers or "Complete" for Application Contacts.