More staff, streamlining as city works to reduce permit approval times in face of record volumes

City managers are adding staff, streamlining some procedures and consulting with contractors as they continue efforts to reduce development permit wait times produced by a “perfect storm” of increased applications, new technology and new council policy.

The longer wait times have generated a lot of frustration for homeowners and contractors, but council took steps in June to ease delays by postponing the effective date of new building code requirements, among other things.

Now, says Brian Jackson, general manager of planning, the city is adding new staff, seconding others, streamlining procedures and taking further steps to liquidate the backlog. Details of his efforts are included in this Aug. 24 memo to council.