Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel unveiled a new system for issuing building permits this week that streamlines the process and, hopefully, reduces wait times.
The “E-Plan,” as it is called, allows architects to submit their proposals to City Hall electronically, rather than the traditional paper route – a slow process that cost the Department of Buildings close to $300,000 last year. Under the new system, plumbers, electricians, and other required examiners would be able to survey the proposals simultaneously, greatly quickening the review period.
“We are taking much-needed steps to increase efficiency and decrease the time it takes developers to obtain a building permit in the City of Chicago,” Emanuel said.
The E-Plan also makes two additional changes: permit fees now require a 50 percent deposit, which must be paid up front; and architects and engineers must resubmit their corrected proposals in less than 20 days.
The permit process is further streamlined through the implementation of the Certified Plan Corrections (CPC) process, which requires architects to submit affidavits that certify that all reviewer concerns have been addressed. Although CPC has been available for more than five years, only a small percentage of projects took advantage of it, and the majority of projects instead were drawn out with separate meetings involving multiple plan reviewers.