October 28, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Announces Enhanced Transparency, Accountability for Standard Plan Building Permits

New Time Stamp to Aid City's Efforts to Shorten Time to Permit

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that all Standard Plan Review building permits issued by the Department of Buildings will now contain time stamps, in an effort to add transparency and accountability to the building process and improve the efficiency of services provided by the Department of Buildings.
“Issuing time stamps on each permit adds transparency, allowing consumers to hold those involved in each stage of the permitting process accountable for their work,” said Mayor Emanuel.
As of Thursday, October 17, 2013, standard building permits applied for and issued by the Department of Buildings will contain time stamps. The stamps will clearly show the duration of the permitting process, including the Zoning review and all of the technical reviews within the Department of Buildings. The time stamp will also show the length of time that the plans were under review or revision by the architect or developer. This will allow a two-way addition of transparency and accountability to the process, ensuring that all involved are working to make the process efficient and fair. The time stamps will help reduce the length of time necessary to move through portions of the building process.

The Department of Buildings issues building permits to give individuals, insurance companies, neighbors and the City assurance that specific minimum standards are met in constructing, repairing or altering buildings by complying with the Chicago Building Code. The Standard Plan Review permit process is intended for small to mid-size new construction or renovation projects. Eligible projects include buildings up to 80 feet high, business and mercantile projects not greater than 150,000 square feet and residential projects with no more than 40 dwelling units.

Improving efficiency and transparency while reducing bureaucracy has been a hallmark of the Emanuel administration. Recently, it was announced that the entire small business licensing process will go paperless, and already the majority of visitors to the city’s small business center can handle their needs at a kiosk in 15 minutes or less. Additionally, there were nearly 150 business licenses in the city when Mayor Emanuel took office; now there are less than 50.

The Department of Buildings continues to focus on allowing construction projects to proceed as efficiently as possible in a safe, coordinated fashion.


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