Leon County Analysis Shows a Cut in Permit Processing Times

Leon County Analysis Shows a Cut in Permit Processing Times

For years developers and other impacted business people have complained about how long it takes to get a permit in Tallahassee.

It appears this may be changing for residential permits.

Recently, the Leon County Board of County Commissioners (LCC) was provided a status report related to the ongoing analysis of the time it takes to process single-family residential  (SFR) permit applications.

The analysis indicated that process improvements have decreased the review time from 11 days to 9 days.

A “5-Year Target” created in 2016 proposed a 30% reduction -from 11 to 8 days – in the County’s review timeframe for this permit type.

The SFR permit is the most common permit in the County, accounting for over 90% of all new construction permits each year. The report analyzed the common issues in delaying permit issuance and discussed improvements that should decrease these delays.

The timeframe for issuance of a permit is dependent on many factors. These include the detail the state requires in the application, the promptness with which staff receives and reviews the information, and the possible need to request more information in addition to the application.

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A review indicated that almost 50% of requests for additional information are due to compliance issues with the Florida Building Code.

The County has implemented improvements to the permitting application and review processes in recent years including the continual utilization of technology to support the development industry coupled with the recognition of the personalized face-to-face customer interaction. Specific improvements and ongoing efforts related to the building permitting process include:

• Utilized software to allow customers to electronically submit applications and enable staff throughout the department to concurrently review applications.

• Expanded web-based permitting services to allow additional classifications of contractors to apply for and receive County permits online.

• Continue to convene with the Advisory Committee for Quality Growth and meet with the Tallahassee Builders Association to provide information, offer training, and address any individual or collective issues regarding the building permitting process.

Further reductions in permit time issuance are anticipated with sustained application of these improvements.

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