The City of Tallahassee has been routinely criticized for years when it comes to facilitating development. The common refrain from developers was that government regulations were significantly slowing the pace of economic growth.
One part of these regulations is permits. Before any construction project can be started, developers must go through a permitting process and depending on the project this process can take time, and of course time is money.
With the downturn in the economy and the lasting effects of the recent recession still evident, the City of Tallahassee has made it a priority to be proactive in developing programs that continue to make Tallahassee a more business friendly city.
As part of this effort, the City Commission recently implemented a residential building permit guarantee program whereby the City provides a 7-day (working days) on-time review or money back guarantee program for new one and two-family building permit applications.
This pilot program was effective October 15, 2012 for a one-year period. Under the program, if the City does not meet the required 7-day review timeliness 100% of the building permitting application fees are refunded.
On November 26, 2013, Karen Jumonville of the City’s Growth Management Department gave the City Commission an update on the program.
Ms. Jumonville reported that the average review time for such building permits has decreased from 9.18 days in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 to 4.38 days in FY 2013. During that time, the number of building permits issued increased from 269 in FY 2010 to 326 in FY 2012, then declined somewhat to 279 in FY 2013.
While the number of building permits issued has increased over the last four years, the review time for such permits has decreased.
Ms. Jumonville told the City Commission “we have achieved 100% compliance with the 7 day review time.” This means no applications fees were refunded.
The City Commission voted to continue program.