File Name: PUBLIC WORKSHOPS REGARDING THE PERMITTING PROCESS
Agenda Item Number:
DISCUSSION ITEM REGARDING PUBLIC WORKSHOPS REGARDING THE PERMITTING PROCESS
Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
Land Use & Development Committee
Chairman Diaz noted many people were angry with the County’s permitting process, and as a result, he proposed that two workshops be held: one to receive input from architects and engineers; and the other to receive input from contractors and developers. Chairman Diaz proposed these workshops be scheduled for the week of April 8, 2013 and April 29, 2013, respectively to be held at a central location. He asked whether Committee members would prefer these workshops be held after 6:00 p.m. or during the day.
Commissioner Suarez noted he had no preference on the time of the workshops, although evening may be more conducive to public participation.
Commissioner Suarez asked Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt to provide the Committee members with copies of the permitting process flow chart previously prepared by Mr. Tom Marko, along with any proposed changes recommended by the Administration.
Deputy Mayor Osterholt noted the Administration would notify people on the County’s mailing list of the proposed workshops when the dates were decided.
Chairman Diaz said one of the key issues was fire inspections. He noted after seven to ten years of receiving the same inspection, suddenly numerous items were issued as violations and people were upset. Chairman Diaz said he believed the issues revolved around new inspectors.
Commissioner Jordan said the permitting process was complicated. She suggested the proposed workshop could be held in one day with a morning and afternoon session, or it could be done in two days. Commissioner Jordan noted evenings would be a problem for her. She suggested the workshops be held in the Commission Chamber.
Chairman Diaz suggested the Miami-Dade Auditorium as a possible venue. He spoke in support of a full day workshop; however, pointed out that evenings would allow working people to participate. Chairman Diaz noted he had received many complaints regarding fire inspections.
Commissioner Jordan said the inspections were based on the inspectors. She noted a checklist was needed to ensure consistency in reports and inspections. Commissioner Jordan also noted that multiple departments conducted inspections during the permitting process which could affect the timing.
Commissioner Edmonson concurred with the need for workshops. She said the feedback she received was that inspections were subjective and depended on the inspectors. Commissioner Edmonson noted disparity study workshops were held recently at three different times and were all heavily attended. She suggested that more than one workshop be held.
Chairman Diaz said the proposed workshops would serve as an educational process to inform people of the permitting regulations and requirements.
Commissioner Suarez said different departments signed off on plans and this created problems. He asked whether a more unified process could be developed.
Deputy Mayor Osterholt advised that Mr. Charles Danger dealt with the technical aspects; however, most of the problems existed with the fire department or inspectors; not plans reviewers. He noted client concerns needed to be addressed and the main issue was fire safety.
Commissioner Bell commented on the complaints regarding inspections. She noted she did not believe it was difficult for departments to be consistent in their inspections, as the same rules applied across-the-board, and should not depend on the inspector’s personality. Commissioner Bell also commented on missing paperwork and said there was no room for these types of errors.
Chairman Diaz said he would work with the Administration to determine a location for the proposed workshops; and provide notification to the architectural, construction and engineering industry, as well as the general public. Chairman Diaz noted he would work with his colleagues to determine the exact date of the workshops.
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