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DC Pilots New Option For Homeowners Who Want to Expedite Building Permits

by Nena Perry-Brown

Last year, DC's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) began offering two options for expediting building permits. The minimum fee for this fast-tracking was $5,000.

While a year's worth of data reveals how many projects have benefited from the programs, it also revealed just how large most of those projects were — seemingly confirming homeowners' concerns that permitting services were becoming more stratified.

Now, DCRA is offering streamlined services for people with smaller projects.

This summer, the agency initiated Project X which offers a version of the expediting process for single family homes and residential or commercial projects smaller than 10,000 square feet. 

While the higher-priced expediting programs typically bring reviewers to the table with the owners and designers of a project, Project X facilitates plan review through the WebEx videoconferencing portal, using live video chat and screen sharing to identify and provide the opportunity to address concerns in real time. Thus far, the pilot program has been by invitation only for applicants who have submitted all required paperwork.

At a recent DCRA building industry conference held in partnership with the DC Building Industry Association, DCRA Director Ernest Chrappah noted that the pilot program has enabled some plans to receive approval within one day, or within 20 business days, including review from partner agencies. 

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/project-x-offers-affordable-dcra-permit-expediting-option/16109

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