Building Official James Friedrichs presented new legislation that primarily changes the strict application review time limits placed on both building departments and permit applicants and provisions for a fee reduction. These changes target single-family home permits and all others.
Permits must be issued within 30 business days, or the permit fee must be reduced by 10% for each day beyond unless certain conditions are met. The new conditions are:
- A written notice is sent to the applicant within 30 business days.
- The written notice states they have 10 business days to submit revisions to correct the permit application.
- That failure to correct the application within 10 business days will result in the denial of the applications.
Friedrichs clarified that this process ends with the final approval or denial of the application. If the application is denied, the process starts over again. Before this bill was passed, the building department had extended correspondence with the applicant.
Already in place is the rule that the written notice states the reasons that the application does not satisfy the building code and/or ordinance. According to Friedrichs, this county’s Building Department has been sending notices for over 20 years.
The changes overall give the entire process 50 days – with both applicant and county having the 10-day window to amend and respond to changes.
Commissioner Jeff Holcomb commented that a property owner who wants to build a home themselves may be hindered by this new law, citing the lack of knowledge an individual would have of the process.
Building Permits are no longer accepted by fax or email. A new online portal is available to submit permit applications, however, the system is only available to licensed contractors. Homeowners must apply for permits in person, however, according to the Building Department’s website, the lobby is closed temporarily. A drop box is available outside the lobby to submit permit applications from 7:30 am-4:00 pm, Monday – Friday.