Hey There Fellow Hair Pullers!
I work in the site plan review department of a large city in the U.S. northest. I would like to hear from fellow planners in terms of their department's ability to meet their published guidelines in terms of providing plan review service to their clients. For examplke, in my department, site plan review is a 4 step process which involves an increasingly complex level of review the further into the process the applicant advances (Concept Plan Review ==> Technical Site Plan Review). Our department has published "guidelines" which state that each step in the site plan review process will take no longer than 30 business days. These "guidelines" are just that and are not mandated by the zoning or any other ordinance or city council resolution.
I'd like to hear about how things work in other jurisdictions and the degree to which your department is able to meet its plan reivew commitments in terms of satisfying articulated review timframes. I'd also like to know whether you feel these review timelimits are realisitc, codified or given any other force and effect.
I'm damn frustrated with our system as our office requires a standard of service from its reviewing partners e.g. zoning, historic review, engineering etc., which they can not or choose not to satisfy. We have no carrots and certainly lack a stick. (Imagine me sitting behind my computer and using my one free hand to pull what's left of my hair out).