Kittitas – Foundation Only Permits
The Kittitas County Commissioners voted to maintain the status quo regarding Foundation Only Permits through the end of 2018. They also directed staff to bring possible alternatives to addressing the overall permit approval process to the Commissioners before the end of the year.
There was solid attendance at the July 30 meeting from area builders, and honestly, the discussions were very productive in all regards.
The biggest issues with Foundation Only permits is that they “jump to the front of the line,” which ultimately delays the review of other permits. Foundation Only permits do allow some builders to get the process moving while the rest of the plans go through the full review process. Even the one or two builders who expressed concern for the delay Foundation Only permits have on other permits understood the need for them.
Ultimately, the one thing everyone in the room agreed on is that the County’s permit department is under staffed, even with the use of a private consulting firm to perform some of the permit reviews.
Here are some interesting notes, as presented by Mike Flory, the Kittitas Building Official:
- Foundation Only Permits allows for 10-14 days, but can take up to 4 weeks
- It takes 2-4 hours just to do the Foundation Only review.
- Full plan review went up to 7-8 weeks this year
- There are actually 4 lines for permits – Foundation Only, Full Review, Fast Track Review, Correction Review
- The Department has contracted with SafeBuilt for some plan reviews to help the workload.
Listening to the Commissioners, it was good to hear the reasonable approach. Two of them, Wright and O’Brien, indicated they came to the meeting ready to put an end to the Foundation Only permits but after listening to the discussions they changed their thought process.
It will be worth paying attention to what recommendations the CDS Department develops to address the backlog of permits.