Expedited Building Permits

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Expedited Building Permits (Part 1)

Six cities that provide a process for expedited residential building are Philadelphia, PA, San Diego, CA, Dallas, TX, Washington, DC, Las Vegas, NV, and Louisville, KY. All the cities can be found on this spreadsheet.

Philadelphia, PA

  • Philadelphia proves for expedited building permits for a single-family home. The fee is $450. If the review takes more than four hours, there is an extra $135 per hour fee.

San Diego, CA

  • Express Plan Check Administration Fee of $655.40 plus 1.5 times regular plan check fee (or 1.5 times the hourly rate, when applicable).

Dallas, TX

  • Dallas has a special team called the Q Team. The applicant must submit the standard fee according to their schedule, and a prequalification fee and an additional $1,000 per hour review time.

Washington, DC

  • Washington, DC, has two programs. The first is called the Velocity service, which charges a standard fee of $50,000 for buildings less than 50,000 square feet, and up to $75,000 for buildings over $50,00 square feet.
  • For the Expedition service, the fees started at $5,000 or $10,000 and increased based on how many plan-review sessions a project needs.
  • These fees do not include the regular costs of underlying permits, which can be several thousand dollars on their own. $5000-$10000

Las Vegas, NV

  • The owner/builder team meets with the plans examiners, and they work until plans are approved, and permits are ready to be issued. The cost is a non-refundable $550 administrative fee and $660 per hour over and above the regularly published plan review fees.
  • The keys to a successful express appointment include a pre-review appointment to evaluate your plans in the design stage and point out potential problem areas.
  • The fee for a pre-review appointment starts at $176 per hour.

Louisville, KY

  • Fast-track elective. For permit applicants seeking early site/ foundation, shell and/or phased approval prior to full review of complete set on construction documents, the fee for foundations as listed in subsection (A)(7) listed below shall apply;
  • However, shell permits and phased work will be charged the full fee using the table listed in subsection (A)(1). The following interior finish work or phased work will be charged the full fee using the table listed in subsection (A)(1). .105 per square foot.

Research Strategy

We began by listing the all cities in the US with over 175,000 people. The total was 155 cities. This was a reasonable number to keep this project within scope.

For each city, we read the instructions for building permits. We found a number of cities that have online permitting services where a sign in was required to find fee information. We indicated that finding on the attached spreadsheet.

If there was no mention of an expedited or accelerated processes or fee, we logged the city as no. We confirmed by checking the building permit form looking at the fee section.

Ultimately we found 16 cities where an expedited building permit was available. Where the information was straightforward, we summarized it. Where it was more complex, we copied it exactly into the key findings.

Part
02
of three
Part
02

Expedited Building Permits (Part 2)

There are six more cities that provide an expedited process for residential building permit: Fresno, CA, Raleigh, NC, Long Beach CA, Oakland CA, Bakersfield, CA and St Petersburg, FL.

Fresno, CA

  • Fresno provides for phased permitting, i.e. the client can apply for just a foundation permit while the rest of the planning is completed. The foundation only permit is $1865.

Raleigh NC

Long Beach, CA

Oakland CA

  • Oakland CA provides for phased permitting, i.e. the client can apply for just a foundation permit while the rest of the planning is completed.

Bakersfield CA

  • A special request that will take 30 minutes or more to complete, will be assessed a fee that is due prior to staff providing the requested information. The request must be made in writing on the department’s form.
  • Staff will provide an estimate of the cost to complete the request, and will not initiate the request, nor exceed the estimated cost, without written authorization by the requesting party.
  • Requests shall be accompanied with a minimum deposit of $105. Requests which are estimated to exceed two hours of staff time, must be accompanied by a deposit equal to 50% of the estimate, with the balance due prior to providing the requested information.

St Petersburg, FL

  • Special project fee: A fee charged for special services requiring staff research, inspections, document preparation and other assistance that is beyond the scope of services routinely provided by a department.
  • The fee will be calculated based on actual staff time and other related costs that are incurred in order to complete the request.

Part
03
of three
Part
03

Expedited Building Permits (Part 3)

There are five more jurisdictions that provide expedited residential building permits: Glendale, AZ, Salt Lake City, UT, Frisco, TX, Huntington Beach, CA and Fullerton, CA.

GLENDALE AZ

  • Miscellaneous Fees -Miscellaneous fees are those fees that do not fall under the plan review or inspection areas.
  • These fees are generally based on an hourly rate but may be set on standard administrative costs for providing service.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT

  • Salt Lake City provides for phased permitting, i.e. the client can apply for just a foundation permit while the rest of the planning is completed.

FRISCO TX

  •  Frisco TX provides for phased permitting, i.e. the client can apply for just a foundation permit while the rest of the planning is completed.

HUNTINGTON BEACH CA

  • Counter, Inspection, Plan Review, and Supervisory Services are charged an hourly rate of $129.00/hr
  •   Outside Normal Work Hours: Counter, Inspection, Plan Review, and Supervisory Services are charged at an hourly rate at $156.00/hr.

FULLERTON, CA

  • The Building Department has an accelerated plan check turn-around goal of one week from submission (7 business days). Accelerated service is not always available and does not cover all Division reviews.
  • Normal, non-accelerated plan check turn-around goal is 12 business days. Building permit fees are based on the square footage. 

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began by retrieving a listing the all cities in the US with a population over 175,000 people. The total was 155 cities. We created a spreadsheet for tracking the results for each city. The results can be seen here. For each city, we found the municipal website and read the instructions for building permits. We found a number of cities that have online permitting services where a sign in was required to find fee information. We indicated that finding on the attached spreadsheet.

If there was no mention of an expedited process, we assumed none was available. We therefore logged these cities as "no" on the spreadsheet. We confirmed by checking the building permit form looking at the fee section.

Ultimately we found 16 cities where an expedited building permit was available. Where the information was straightforward, we summarized it. Where it was more complex, we copied it exactly into the key findings.

If the fee was listed as a fixed number, it was included in the information with the city. If there is no fee mentioned for a city, that meant one of two things. Either no fee was provided and the instructions said to call, or the stated fees were a percentage of the total fees for a building permit, which were based on the square footage of the house being built. They could therefore not be calculated.

The requirements for acquiring a building permit were extremely detailed, in some cases up to six pages of information, along with drawings, and other files. In general, building permit requests required information about the owner, the general contractor, the architect, the engineer, a map and multiple copies of the drawings. Many asked for separate drawings for each of mechanical, electrical and plumbing. Some allowed them to be submitted directly when requesting an expedited service, while some required a pre-meeting.

Because the term exceptionally fast is subjective, we listed all jurisdictions that had any kind of expedited process. If a time frame was given it was included in the information (See Fullerton). Few gave a time frame for expected turnaround for accelerated review and permitting.



Sources
Sources