As any Brooklyn homeowner set on a major renovation knows, the City’s Department of Buildings permitting process is expensive, time consuming, and opaque. And it has only gotten worse in the last year or so, as we experience a building boom and the City has increased requirements for such things as sprinklers, according to what we hear from readers on the Forum and elsewhere.
Last month the City’s Department of Buildings announced a major reform initiative. This followed 50 arrests in a massive bribery scandal that erupted earlier this year.
Reform strategies include spending $120 million, eliminating in-person visits with an entirely virtual process, hiring an additional 320 employees over four years, a new fee structure, and creating one building code to speed up the permitting process. (more…)