The building department has been the subject of much scrutiny in the past few years, and is seen as a major impediment to a reemerging downtown business corridor. Recent efforts to make the process more “customer friendly” have been insufficient to provide the types of process reforms and expedition needed to bring this department to the level of service it needs to achieve. While the pressures to maintain the city’s fabulous aesthetic resources remain, there must be reform to simplify the sometimes arcane procedures contained in the permit process. Most of all, efficiency and certainty must be achieved, particularly as they pertain to minor approvals and interior tenant improvements.
My plan for a uniform “intake” process and definitive scoping of discretionary design review boards should achieve the desired reforms.