May 7, 2017

Permit Streamlining Efforts

There are numerous resources for permit streamlining at the local level. Within the continental US, one of the primary motivations for efficiency and timely approvals is competition. If regulations become too unfriendly or the Authority Having Jurisdiction has a reputation for being difficult, developers will simply shift investment to the nearest neighbor and build at the fringes. Market forces (supply and demand) determine the baseline level of service and efficiency customers are willing to accept.

Unique places, such as San Francisco, New York City, and Honolulu that are highly desirable with geographically limited developable land are exceptions to this rule. And these cities are known to be highly regulated, difficult jurisdictions to obtain building approvals.

For perspective, the following map from HUDuser.gov, shows that not many US counties (dark blue) issued more than 1,500 building permits for new single or multi-family dwellings in 2010.

Resources for further reading: