What are expedited permitting and review policies?
What problems do these policies solve?
Major administrative delays are caused when developers are required to submit multiple permit applications and secure approvals from an array of agencies. Each of these agencies will have its own timetable and set of organizational procedures. This can lead to major delay and expense before building can even begin. These costs add up to drive up the cost of new housing.
This is particularly of concern when new housing includes an affordability component. As costs caused by administrative inefficiencies rise it becomes more and more difficult to build housing that is affordable. The result of this is that new affordable housing either is not built or requires large subsidies. Expedited permitting and review policies address these issues by restructuring regulatory processes to emphasize efficiency, predictability, and cost savings. The result includes benefits for both the public and private sectors while still ensuring the health, safety and welfare of the general public.
A lengthy and drawn out approval process costs the community dearly. Streamlining the process can have numerous beneficial effects including an improvement in the morale and retention of public employees by eliminating confusing and stressful procedures. The overall community benefits by increasing housing affordability through either increased housing construction or through special treatment of affordable housing proposals. Areas where demand for new housing is greatest and the combined burden of existing regulations the heaviest are likely to see the greatest benefits.
How can these processes be made more efficient?
What policies are most beneficial in expanding opportunities for new housing?
Cities that charge a variety of fees for new residential developments. These fees are intended to cover city costs related to processing the development, land use, or city financing applications, to access city sewer and water, or as is the case with park or similar dedication fees, to offset burdens placed on city services and infrastructure as a result of the development. These fees vary greatly from city to city and project to project. and can easily amount to $20,000-$30,000 per housing unit. Waiver or reduction of fees, can therefore be very helpful in making development of new homes financially feasible and affordable to a larger number of people.
Reduced parking requirements.
Underground parking can easily cost $20,000 or more per parking space and local parking requirements that are excessive can increase the costs of housing production. Pursue at least three strategies to reduce parking costs by:
- Studying actual parking utilization in various locations and types of housing;
- Reducing parking requirements near transit, high frequent bus lines and for some types of housing such as senior assisted and dementia housing
- Using proof of parking, in which a developer is allowed to reduce required parking by showing that, if necessary, additional parking can be made available, for instance on project open space;
- Explore tools that developers and property managers can use to Right Size Parking by better managing parking supply specifically in multifamily buildings.
Related Case Studies
Development Review Committee
The City of Roseville, Minnesota created an internal Development Review Committee (DRC) to help expedite the review and permit process within the City