Print
Government

New County Tool Aims To Fast Track New Home Construction Permits

By Cece Nunn, posted Apr 7, 2017
Nicholas Gadzekpo
New Hanover County has added a new tool for home builders.

The county’s Fast Track Residential Building Permit for the construction of new homes puts applicants in charge of securing the needed approvals from city of Wilmington zoning, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and county environmental health.

In return, they can expect a four- to seven-day turnaround for approval from the county’s building safety department.

“With them going in there first themselves, they have a better handle on the timelines and know first-hand what necessary adjustments they have to make in their schedules, if any, toward the construction,” said Nicholas Gadzekpo, director of the county’s building safety department.

Whereas if the building safety department has to track down the status of approvals from external reviews, he explained, the process can take longer. County environmental health is considered external, he said, because it reports to a board rather than the county manager.

"The Department collaborated and partnered with the Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association (WCFHBA), and also received strong support from the County Manager to implement the new Fast Track program on Monday, April 3, 2017," the county's website says. "The Department is implementing this new process to help residential building customers, and to expedite the residential permit process for the customers who first obtain the required approvals from the review agencies specified by the County. This means that the permit application will be filed after the approvals have been granted by those review agencies."

While the county does foresee a continuing increase in building permit applicants, a main reason to implement the fast track application is because of "the fact that a lot of the developers or builders may have taken out loans and with interest accruing day by day, if they have a better handle on where things are, they know how to properly plan or execute their schedules for construction," Gadzekpo said.

Other changes aimed at increasing efficiency in the residential permit system could be on the horizon.

"It has been a frustration for a lot of contractors for a very long time about the number of places that you have to go get even the most basic permit to build residential or to do alterations, and the wish to have a what we call a one-stop permitting or central permitting has been a goal," said County Commissioner Rob Zapple, who is also a contractor who mainly works on residential projects. 

Officials are discussing the possibility of having a city zoning and CFPUA presence at county offices, for example.

"There doesn’t seem to me to be any reason why we can’t bring all entities together so that you go to one place, maybe different cubicles, but one place," Zapple said.

New software for the permit process, by Tyler Technologies, is expected to be considered by county officials in April.

The current software vendor in use, One Solutions, has been described by officials and others as "cumbersome."

One Solutions has presented challenges and hindered the workflow in some cases for builders, said Cameron Moore, executive officer of WCFHBA.

The expectation for the new software is that "workflow processes are more linked together throughout the system and it will have notifications set up and it will also be more mobile friendly," Moore said.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Aaeaaqaaaaaaaaidaaaajdhiztrkodm0lte2yjetngrkmy1hotrmltawmdvlmwqyztmymw

Three Tools to Make Your Startup Social Media Painless

Diane Durance - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Andyolsen 161723521

Trusts As A Tool In Long-term Care Planning

Andrew Olsen - CSH Law
Denverhollingsworthheadshot

Debunking the Myths of Bulk WiFi

Denver Hollingsworth - Epproach Communications

Trending News

After 40 Years, Air Wilmington Could Have New Owner

Christina Haley O'Neal - Feb 19, 2018

Changes Coming To Hanover Center, Oleander Drive Site

Cece Nunn - Feb 21, 2018

Papanikolaou Family Opens Symposium At Mayfaire

Jessica Maurer - Feb 21, 2018

South Front Phase II Apartments Fully Leased

Christina Haley O'Neal - Feb 20, 2018

Peño Mediterranean Grill Welcomes Customers To New Location  

Jessica Maurer - Feb 21, 2018

In The Current Issue

More Rooms Mean Larger Conventions

Recent developments downtown, including the opening of a new hotel next to the Wilmington Convention Center, is expected to bump up interest...


Local Businesses Awarded AAA Distinctions Again

Three Wilmington hospitality businesses received 2018 AAA Four Diamond distinctions, a rating that less than 4 percent of thousands of annua...


Area Housing Supply Expected To Stay Low

The Wilmington housing market is expected to remain strong this year and the next, but one of the main hurdles will be the area's shrinking...

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with John Gizdic, CEO, New Hanover Regional Medical Center
Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2017
2017 Health Care Heroes