Communicate with Staff for Permit Acceptance

Posted by Daniel Silvernail on Mar 18, 2015

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Here at Daniel Matthew Silvernail Architect (DMSA) one of the measures by which we gauge our success is by counting the several hundred permits we've successfully facilitated over the years.  

Here are some key procedures we've identified over time, presented to help guide you towards a more streamlined and straightforward permit process:

1. Meet Staff Early On: Identify key, knowledgeable agency staff. Meet them in person. Do this early on.

2. Make Staff Your Partner: work collaboratively and bring them into a team-building relationship. 

3. Identify Contingent Approvals: Identify any contingent approvals which may be necessary to the primary application, and attend to them.

4. Do Your Homework: research to understand and implement key codes and ordinances.

5. Document Everything: highlight critical verbiage, and keep notes in a dedicated file.

6. Conduct Periodic Review: periodically review your Documents against key codes and ordinances.

7. Interpretations Are Consensus-Based: for critical code or zoning interpretations, seek out key staff and arrive at a consensus.

8. Don't Change Staff: Once you've begun working with a staff person, don't "cherry-pick" other agency staff for alternative interpretations. Avoid unnecessary confusion and misunderstandings. 

9. Get It In Writing: get staff to sign-off on the understanding obtained.

10. Conduct Quality Control Review: systematically review your Drawings and Specifications against your code file. Make any necessary adjustments.

Naturally, this article only scratches the surface in terms of the entire gamut of issues and procedures attending effective permit processing, and in no way do we want to oversimplify all the variables accruing to your permit process.

But hopefully we've shed some light on some of the "big picture" issues as well as the subtler nuances which may guide you to your success.

Daniel Matthew Silvernail Architect (DMSA), founded in 1997, is a full-service architectural firm in Soquel, California. 

He has wide-ranging experience in most project types a sampling of which includes:

                -Residential: remodels, custom homes, and multi-family.

                -Commercial: new buildings and tenant improvements.

                -Institutional: governmental agencies and municipal districts.

He offers an extensive range of professional services of the highest caliber, including:

                -Architectural services.

                -Structural engineering.

                -Site Planning.

                -Sustainable Practice.

To learn more about his firm or to arrange a free initial consultation, visit his Website at:

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