At JL Architects, our mission is to provide you, our clients with exceptional service on every single project. We believe that an integral part of an exceptional project that opens on time, and on budget is the permitting process. This process can have a significant impact on the overall project schedule. For this reason, we have a staff member dedicated to your site’s permitting and expediting needs.
Building permitsare required as part of the process to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. It is a broadly applied term that that includes general building review, specific trade reviews (such as electrical, fire and plumbing), zoning compliance and health/food safety. The applicable codes include national, state and local codes. As a national firm, we are familiar with the various national model codes, as well as being aware of some unusual local amendments.
As the permit coordinator/expeditor at JL Architects for 15 years, I pride myself on knowing how to navigate the permitting system, and the specifics needed in getting our clients their permits on time. I enjoy creating relationships with the building officials, health officials, and building department staff across the United States. Building a personal and professional relationship results in a stronger team and creates an environment of working together toward a common goal – the issuance of your permit in the shortest time span possible. The permitting process starts with an understanding of the scope of work, and researching the location of the property. An exact address of the space is very helpful, but not always known at the time we receive the project; this can make the process a bit more time consuming. Sometimes properties are situated in multiple municipalities presenting the challenge of determining jurisdiction. Once the location is verified, the real permit research begins. This process includes many phone calls, internet searches and e-mails to confirm applicable building codes, identifying local amendments, application procedures, sequences and time lines, as well as any other critical items that will impact the review proceedings. Being well informed of the plan review time line, and having the submission package complete at the beginning of a project can prevent many costly delays. There are many different scenarios that will impact your time line, such as, Is this project a retail store, a restaurant, an office building? Is it a “ground-up” facility or a complete remodel? Are you changing the “USE” of the previous occupant? How does the local authority define “USE”. Is this project compliant with local zoning, or will a variation be required? Are there applicable exceptions or other opportunities to avoid a public hearing or a variance process? Will the design need to be adjusted for the local zoning ordinance, and how will that impact your needs? This information can significantly impact your time line, and make or break an On-Time opening. Investing at the start of a project with an appropriate site investigation, and the proper permitting knowledge and processes in place, helps ensure you opening on time, every time.