One of our main goals in improving the permitting process is to reduce the time it takes to issue a commercial building permit.
During conversations with both city staff and the design/development community, it became apparent that the City oftentimes accepts plans and applications that are missing materials or have easy-to-spot errors that need to be corrected. Sometimes these errors go unnoticed or uncommunicated until several weeks into the plan review stage, which can significantly hold up the application review process. Once the mistakes are noticed, the correction period may take several weeks or longer because of back-and-forth communication between the permit applicant and the City.
To minimize errors early in the process, and to ultimately reduce the total review time, the Central Permit Office is now requiring that customers who are submitting applications for commercial projects attend an “intake meeting” prior to formally submitting their application. Various city staff will attend these short intake meetings, generally including a building plan reviewer, a fire plan reviewer, and a zoning employee. There are designated intake meetings time slots on Monday through Thursday in both the mornings and in the afternoons to accommodate as many applicant schedules as possible.
Commercial permit applicants can schedule an intake meeting by using the commercial project registration form.
The intended outcome of mandating this meeting is to ensure that all applications are complete and that concerns are communicated prior to a customer formally submitting an application. This will hopefully minimize the amount of errors found during the plan review process and ultimately lower the total time it takes to issue a commercial permit.