We have heard for years how the city of Chicago is going to streamline the permit process. If this is ever to happen, it would be very good for job creation. As it stands, many investors and developers have to get in line and wait — sometimes six months to over a year to get approval to begin to renovate or build new. The holding costs are eating at the bottom line and, in many cases, bankrupting many projects.
Often times, these renovations are straightforward. One would think having a great track record and using a qualified architect would help to minimize this lag time — keep dreaming. Some builders now avoid doing projects in the city because of all the fees and hoops one has to jump through. Why are there so many hoops?
I realize that public safety is why we have so many codes and procedures. I am all for safety, but why does so much time have to go by before a project is approved? Not enough trained staff? Perhaps the staff has no urgency? It is hard not to get a bit cynical when dealing with the permit process in our fine city.
We need the job creation that these projects bring, yet we can’t seem to get them out of City Hall. Technology is here, yet the bureaucracy keeps this process to a snail’s pace. Hopefully the new aldermen and Mayor can figure a way to give businesses a chance to thrive. The current system seems antiquated and frustrating. How can we fix it? Please, new aldermen and Mayor: this is a department that needs immediate attention!