If you are planning to begin construction of a new food service operation (restaurant), retail food establishment (grocery), or transient accommodation (motel), you must submit plans for the work to be completed to Public Health. Plans are also required when planning any substantial alteration to any of the above facilities.

Public Health works hand in hand with local building and other inspection authorities to ensure that all applicable codes are met.


How long does the application for approval of plans and equipment take?

Upon receipt of the application for approval of plans and equipment, Public Health reviews the application within seven working days to determine the completeness of the application and plans. If the plan information is complete and does not require revision, the plan review letter should be mailed to the submitter in three weeks. Incomplete plans will be rejected. OAC Rule 3701-21-03 (Approval of Plans and Equipment) requires that plans be acted upon by Public Health within thirty days after date of receipt.

What information or documents do I need to give to Public Health when I submit plans?

The plans and specifications must be legible, be drawn reasonably to scale, submitted in duplicate, and must include:

  • The type of operation proposed and foods to be prepared and served or processed and sold
  • The total area to be used for the food service operation or food establishment
  • All portions of the premises in which the food service operation or food establishment are to be conducted
  • Entrances and exits
  • Location, number and types of plumbing fixtures, including all water supply facilities
  • Plan of lighting, both natural and artificial, with foot-candles indicated for critical surfaces
  • A floor plan showing the general layout of fixtures and other type of equipment
  • Building materials and surface finishes to be used for floors, walls, and ceilings
  • An equipment list with equipment manufacturers and model numbers

What about approval of equipment?

All equipment must meet the applicable standards of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF ®) or a recognized food service equipment testing company. All equipment must be of such material and so constructed and installed as to readily conform with OCA Rules 3701-21-04 to 3701-21-21.

What are the steps in the plan review process?

  • Upon application, the applicant will complete the Plan Information sheet and pay the correct plan review fee.
  • If the plans are incomplete, they will be rejected and returned to the submitter. Once resubmitted, the plan review process starts over with the same time restrictions as before.
  • Once the plans are approved, the Plans Examiner provides the approval in writing, with any terms and conditions stated in the approval letter.
  • One copy of the approved plans and approval letter are sent to the submitter and one copy of the approved plans and approval letter are retained by Public Health. The local building and plumbing authorities are copied on the approval letter.

If you have any questions regarding approval of plans and equipment, call the Plans Examiner’s Office at 225-6150.

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