Q4 Development Officials’ Forum Recap

Nov 12, 2020

Earlier this month, the Development Officials’ Forum met over Zoom to discuss local issues, staffing shortages, permit numbers, and efficiencies gained. The jurisdictional updates are below:

Pierce County

  • Inspectors are dispatching from home
  • 14-day review time
  • Revised their documents for Base Plans, limiting restrictions, on options (reach out to Jeff Rowe with questions)

Bonney Lake

  • Only 84 SF permits YTD, no MF
  • New commercial buildings in East Town
  • Same staffing levels all year; people are fully working and working from home
  • Universal Base Plans are still being worked out

Tacoma

  • All permits were extended to November 1st
  • Working from home for staff is efficient; inspectors are also dispatching from home
  • Timelines on permits: levels of service are being met; the City is working towards 2-week turnarounds
  • Down to 2-3 review
  • Understaffed; not hiring for new positions yet

Lakewood

  • 6-8 week turnaround
  • Staffing: plans examiner retired right before COVID; have been understaffed ever since
  • City has relied on outside sources to keep up with flow
  • Advocating for MFTE legislation to be expanded
  • Considering a department re-organization
  • Combining GIS with the County’s

Puyallup

  • 2-week turnaround times
  • Fully staffed; just hired a new permit tech.
  • Implementing CityView
  • Looking at all permitting timelines to determine areas of improvements
  • Updating inwards and outwards dashboards

University Place

  • Jan-Aug: 600 building permits and over 2,000 inspections
  • Rolling out a new permit system via InterGov
  • Adopting a new form-based code (no density caps in regional base center)

Gig Harbor

  • Lost a lot of staff; City has been slow to rehire
  • Seeing long turnarounds in SF
  • Staff is working from home; considering reorganization for inspections
  • Code-enforcement has quadrupled

Edgewood

  • Running behind on workflow due to COVID; contracting with a third party
  • Currently seeing 6-8 week turnarounds
  • Went from 100% paper to 100% paperless during COVID