Friday, November 19, 2010

Building Permits... again

SO back on Oct 18 I posted a couple of rants about PP&D and the permit process, inspections, and so on. It coincided with something I do every once in a while... apply for a permit.(I went on the 20th)
Really simple, EVERY page of my application had an engineers seal. It was a simple basement replacement on a fairly small home. Simple stuff when you've cut your teeth on things like this.
Lemme see now... where's my calendar... ah yes, on the fridge. A month.
October 18th, snow and frost are coming, and no one cares. Really, that's the crux of the whole issue. They simply do not care if your project starts or not, if you get a permit or not, and in the end, why do we bother? It's not like a permit offers up any legitimacy. I'm WAY further ahead retaining the engineer to carry out inspections than the guy who used to do plumbing who is now an "inspector" after taking a few classes on structural matters, or the electrician who is now inspecting my journeyman plumbers work.
I started work on the 27th. We did a little excavating. Hydro missed their appointment to take a look at the gas meter and remove their equipment. Ahh well... a week notice to "call before you dig" is better than a month plus for a permit, right? We slid in the 68' beams on the 29th and had the house lifted about nine feet off the existing floor by the end of the day on the 1st. On the 3rd and 4th we removed the existing foundation, and excavated the new hole to accommodate the foundation. On the 8th we poured the footings for the new walls, and on the 9th the walls were set up and poured. By the 10th the walls were stripped, and the house has sat waiting for the concrete to cure before we set it back down after this weekend.
All without a permit, or any one noticing we were even there.
Why bother? Why do this silly ritual of applying for a permit, waiting, calling the permit tracking phone number no one ever answers (although they do call back to make excuses for how busy they are, and apologize for it being held up, but they're very busy).
I can do the entire project in less time than they can push papers around and review my drawings ALL of which are sealed by engineers.
All that so I can pay them a fee, have them add value to the clients home so her taxes will go up, and sit around and ask for permission to improve a home.
I really don't like their game anymore. It's excuse after excuse.
A few years ago they had some lame arsed exercise where they got together with the home builders and had a "checklist" of items they were going to improve. They had a glowing "report card" after 6 months. From WHO? I never filled out a survey. I haven't been happy for a very very long time with this process, and frankly, I'm thinking the City simply cannot manage it's own permit process.
If you can't issue a permit in a timely fashion, I don't think I need to apply. You may be "the authority having jurisdiction", but if you can't even manage approving a simple project in under a month, your authority is pretty worthless.
The response from the "permit tracking" rep was, "Maybe in a week or so".

Ya... I'll wait. Maybe I'll start planning my spring garden now... you never know how long it might take to figure it out.

Mr Mayor... you listening?  Time for some new blood from OUTSIDE your organization.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely ridiculous and no need for this type of substandard performance.

    Send it to the Mayor and see if he can
    o hurry up the process.

    Don't forget, to sign it THE BOSS, because that's what the Mayor called you in his acceptance speech.