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Development review Post-approval work and current planning

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
Messages
979
Points
22
Question for folks: to what degree do you and your staff get involved with the post-approval side of the work? I'm talking about the handoff to the Building Department for permitting, performance bond management, etc. I've worked in departments where once the commission approves the project, we're done - Building takes it from there with minimal planner involvement unless the applicant needs to come back from an amendment. I've worked in other offices where planners get involved in the nitty gritty of performance bond management, are out in the field with code enforcement, and have a hand in the project until the last dollar of the performance bond is drawn down.

I'm hesitant to see planners get pulled too far astray from the core competencies of planning and placemaking work into the more ministerial building/code enforcement side of things, so I'm curious to hear how other offices manage this division of labor.

Thanks!
 

bureaucrat#3

Member
Messages
64
Points
6
We do inspections on parking lots and landscaping to ensure they were installed. Usually there are enough spaces. The landscape plan is never the same and the plantings are never the size specified, but I don't think we've ever made anyone pull anything out and replace. It wouldn't fly with the higher-ups, I don't think. We typically have them just install a little extra.

Code enforcement was part of planning until the previous director lost them and building inspections. We typically only make a nice phone call telling people to fix things or stop whatever they are doing illegal. After that we turn it over to Code Enforcement to prosecute. Often times when we add new requirements, my biggest discussion with commissioners and council-people is that if we codify it we have to enforce it or none of it means anything.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,021
Points
52
One place I worked we did a site plan inspection before CofO. Basically we counted plants and made sure it generally looked like what the plan says. Where I'm at now we only get involved if there is an amendment and sometimes we play project manager and have to find the reason for the hold up. Our actual project managers are so overloaded we get to play backup.
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
671
Points
28
No building department or municipal-level building permits where I am. For everything commercial and more than single-family, the state does code compliance. I issue a final inspection and certificate based on compliance with a final approved plan set to the extent that plan set has elements required by our zoning or conditions of approval. I look to make sure the floor plan inside is reasonably similar to what was approved, and then any required exterior design elements, then landscaping and out required stuff outdoors like bike racks, public art, and parking. Public Works inspects utility connections and I coordinate with them on that. For big projects, I have the say in releasing performance bonds and or escrows. Landscaping is checked once it goes in, and again after three years to make sure it survived.
 
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Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
28,804
Points
71
Quite common in my neck of the woods to see planners dealing with the nuts and bolts ministerial aspects of development.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
13,267
Points
54
Our county does the building inspections for all the cities. The cities approve a zoning permit.

Our staff makes site inspections during and after construction to make sure landscaping, parking, stormwater flow, etc are all in place and to approve a certificate of occupancy. County Building Inspections will final the building structure only.

Police Dept does code enforcement.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
Messages
979
Points
22
No building department or municipal-level building permits where I am. For everything commercial and more than single-family, the state does code compliance. I issue a final inspection and certificate based on compliance with a final approved plan set to the extent that plan set has elements required by our zoning or conditions of approval. I look to make sure the floor plan inside is reasonably similar to what was approved, and then any required exterior design elements, then landscaping and out required stuff outdoors like bike racks, public art, and parking. Public Works inspects utility connections and I coordinate with them on that. For big projects, I have the say in releasing performance bonds and or escrows. Landscaping is checked once it goes in, and again after three years to make sure it survived.

I like this model. Planners should plan. But on the state compliance side: does this mean that there are state code enforcement staff who who are conducting field inspection, ensuring IBC compliance, etc? How do your city staff interface with them? This is model I haven't heard of before, but I've only worked in home rule states where this probably wouldn't fly.
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
671
Points
28
I like this model. Planners should plan. But on the state compliance side: does this mean that there are state code enforcement staff who who are conducting field inspection, ensuring IBC compliance, etc? How do your city staff interface with them? This is model I haven't heard of before, but I've only worked in home rule states where this probably wouldn't fly.

We are in near-total silos (muni and state). We might talk a few times a year. Our bigger cities have taken on code, but not the small towns. Dillon's Rule state so we only get to do what the state lets us, and usually taking something on is a charter change. A lot of code comes from the state fire Marshall's office- they are mroe than happy to give our FD inspection/enforcement authority/responsibility, but they want to keep the fees. :r:
 

arcplans

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,657
Points
32
West Coast, more regulations planner here. Building and Planning are under one roof, and for the most part unless it is a simple interior remodel / TI our department is involved in the permitting process. For larger projects that include landscaping / architectural enhancements, we are out in the construction site. We run entitlements that go to building permits as a "project manager" style projects. The planner runs the whole job internally before handing off to inspectors. We also did it this way at my previous muni. It provides the applicant a clear POC, and provides our department the ability to oversee a project done correctly with our other departments.
 
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