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Home Improvement: City Permit Costs to Skyrocket

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Back in December, the Department of Building Inspection (allegedly) retooled its "process" under the leadership of then-new DBI Director Isam Hasenin: "[The plan] will create a streamlined, efficient review and approvals’ process that delivers high quality, predictable and responsive customer services," quoth Hasenin of the new scheme, claiming that the city would eliminate unnecessary reviews and regulations while developing a city-wide automated permit tracking system. Triumph for Joe Average Home Owner, right? Perhaps so— if the department weren't projecting a $14.8 million deficit for the coming year. Net result of said deficit? Starting in October, the cost of commercial and residential building permits will be jacked up by anywhere from 30 percent to over 50 percent in order to fund said "responsive customer service. Local building associations and other ad-hoc groups have largely expressed support for the plan; one Commissioner has expressed dissent because the fees were conjured based on an estimated, not actual deficit figure. More suspect than anything is the 188-point "action plan" that the inflated fees are said to support; the city claims that turnaround time for permits will speed up, while better online services will become available to consumers. But 188 points? A lot to manage, no?
· Cost of home-improvement permits to soar [SF Examiner]
· Hell = Frozen Over: City Permit Process "Streamlined" [Curbed SF]