Sweeping changes aim to improve Atlanta permitting
The Atlanta City Council has passed the last two ordinances of a building permit reform package designed to improve both efficiency and customer service within the Office of Buildings.
The City Council voted to adopt the first three ordinances on Oct. 17 and the final two on Nov. 7. The package will establish an enterprise fund specifically for use by the Office of Buildings separate from the city’s general fund. It also authorizes the CFO to transfer anticipated 2012 funds from the general fund to the Office of Buildings to create the enterprise fund. The fees collected under a new permit fee structure will remain within the Office of Buildings for training and technology upgrades. The package additionally will consolidate permitting processes from various city agencies into the Office of Buildings. The staff will receive training in International Code Council standards and will be awarded with $2,000 for each certification that they earn and maintain.
The reforms were proposed by Don Rosenthal, the director of Office of Buildings, who was hired in 2010. He introduced the changes shortly thereafter.
The Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors praised the approval, saying it will reduce delays and also benefit taxpayers by guaranteeing that the office will operate at no cost to the general fund. Other members of the building community supported the changes, including the Council for Quality Growth. President and CEO Michael Paris said the package “revamps the entire permitting process for the city of Atlanta.”
For more information on the reforms, click on the following links: