Same-day permit system would allow quicker building modifications, remodels

Some construction projects could be expedited under a new same-day permitting system that will roll out next month.
File photo. Photo by Lilian Starling

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copied the same-day permit procedure found on the City of Vacaville website, with the start date, city name and certain procedures modified to fit Winters. City officials recently shadowed their counterparts in Vacaville to witness first-hand how the same-day permitting process worked. “In the course of about 45 minutes…we saw them issue around $20,000 worth of permits in a system that can absolutely work in Winters,” City Manager John Donlevy said. “The one thing we learned is that, from the contractor’s side, they love it because they can just come in and have their plans and permits happen very quickly.” Donlevy said the contractors were able to expedite their plans because they knew ahead of time what the city expected from them to secure same-day permits. That same level of education will need to happen in Winters too, and Donlevy said the city has plans to hold a workshop with contractors at the end of the month on the new over-the-counter permits. Donlevy said two incentives will be provided to entice contractors to attend the meeting: the city will feed them, and each contractor will be given a coupon off their first application. “The more prepared they are, the better we are to be able to just execute on this,” Donlevy said. City council members seemed to be swayed by the idea, saying the expedited process would likely encourage people to get permits for projects that they may otherwise perform illegally. “I’ve experienced this program in Vacaville,” Mayor Pro Tempore Wade Cowan said. “Getting it that same day makes all the difference in the world for those small jobs and tenant improvements and remodels.” Council member Pierre Neu said the new same-day permits would “Make it easier for me and other contractors” to get certain improvement projects approved by the city. That sentiment is backed up by feedback Donlevy said he received from his colleagues in Vacaville. “The number of permits in Vacaville, they soared,” Donlevy said. “They go way up as people have a comfort level in coming in and getting these expected and-over-the-counter [permits], it just helps with everything.” Donlevy hoped the new permit process would help pump additional cash into the city. “Hopefully it will help in terms of the number of permits that we get, and from a monetary standpoint, it would help too,” Donlevy said.]]>

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