One of the City’s special attributes is its built environment: lovely — and, often, historic homes, factories, shops, businesses, and warehouses. A strictly enforced system of building permits and ordinances works to protect the unique character of our neighborhoods and business districts.
But, make the system too onerous, and people are discouraged from improving their homes or businesses — or from building new things.
The One-Stop-Shop for Permits was established in the City Building Division 6 years ago to reduce the time it took (weeks? months?) to review, approve, and issue building permits. Business assistants were trained to coordinate useful pre-reviews. Professional staffers were stationed at the same central location to stream-line the final review process.
By my count, the system is working.
According to a new memo on my desk, the Building Division reports that — for the first time ever — more than 90 percent of the permits finalized last month were issued over the counter on the same day the applications were filed. The Building Division generated $1,445,167 of revenue in May — and 11 percent more revenue in the first 11 months of FY2005 than in all of FY2004. During Calendar Year 2005, the City is averaging 32 new single-family homes per month.
What this laudable efficiency means is that doing business in the City is easier than ever before — and that more and more people are taking advantage of it.