Getting a planning permit approved can be a challenging process that can even test the patience of the most tenacious. Unfortunately, it’s not the only permit you’ll need before starting work on your new development. Once your planning permit has been issued, you also need a building permit, a plumbing permit, electrical permit, and several others. The permits needed vary from state to state and even at the municipal level, making the process even more complex. But with the right approach, you’ll be able to master obtaining permits for all your projects.
Understand the Requirements
The best approach begins with a thorough understanding of your local planning and building department’s specific requirements. Since regulations vary across jurisdictions, you need to be familiar with the local codes, zoning laws, and the permit application process. Their online resources will cover this, but it also helps to arrange a meeting with them. This allows you to discuss the project with them, and for them to point out the exact codes and regulations you need to be aware of. They can also highlight potential issues, allowing you to modify your plans to overcome these. For very complex projects, you might want to consider working with professionals who specialize in permit applications.
Engage with the Community
Even with small projects that are likely to be less disruptive, engaging with the local community and other stakeholders can be beneficial. Arrange meetings with neighborhood associations, local businesses, and other interested parties to present your project. This can help with building support for your project and give you an opportunity to gather valuable feedback.
Prepare a Comprehensive Application
Comprehensive and well-prepared applications increase your chances of being granted the relevant permits. Detailed plans and a clear, understandable narrative that explains how your project aligns with local planning goals can significantly enhance the strength of your application. And by understanding specific requirements before submitting your application, you will know what other documents need to be included, such as environmental impact assessments and traffic studies.
Don’t underestimate the value of professional expertise. Hiring professionals such as architects, engineers, and especially consultants who specialize in the permit process can provide you with insights and expertise that improve your chances of approval. They are likely to be familiar with the intricacies of local laws and can help with potential hurdles, ensuring that your application is as strong as possible.
Follow Up and Be Prepared to Adjust
After submitting your application, stay proactive. Follow up with the planning department to check on the status of your application and be prepared to respond to requests for additional information or clarification. If your application faces objections, ensure you understand the concerns and are willing to adjust your plans accordingly. Flexibility and responsiveness can often be key to securing approval.
Learn from Rejections
Despite your best efforts, your application may still be rejected. Consider this a learning opportunity. Ask for detailed feedback from the planning department to understand the reasons behind the decision. Use this information to make the necessary adjustments for a resubmission, and to better prepare for future projects.
Lastly, building and maintaining positive relationships with local planning and building departments can be invaluable over the long term. Being known as a developer who brings well-prepared projects to the table can only help your cause. Attend public meetings, participate in local planning activities, and stay engaged with the community. These relationships can provide you with insights and support that are beneficial for your current and future projects.
Patience and persistence are essential when it comes to planning, building, and other permits. Archistar’s eCheck technology can also make the process more efficient. It allows for digital submissions to be immediately assessed against your local government’s codes and regulations for a pass or fail result. A pass does not mean your application has been approved, but it does mean your application meets all requirements. Reducing the risk of you being asked for additional documents or to make changes to your plans. Already in use in Austin, Vancouver, and other cities, get your local planning department to request a demo to see how it can make the permitting process more efficient.