City staff has asked for more time to finalize draft guidelines for the new process, which would allow business owners to pay a fee to have the processing of their building permits expedited.
A memo sent to the mayor and City Council Nov. 1 from Rodney Gonzales, director of the city of Austin’s Development Services Department, states the reason for the deadline extension from Nov. 1 to Dec. 1 is to allow the city’s law department time to complete research and analysis of the program, including research on the worker protection standards City Council approved in September. The deadline extension does not require council approval, so the new deadline is now Dec. 1, city spokesperson Sylvia Arzola said in an email.
Austin City Council approved funds to staff the expedited permitting program in the city’s fiscal year 2016-17 budget, and the program would launch March 1, according to Gonzales. The new process will not replace the existing process, but it will aim to speed up the timeline for some projects by allowing the applicant to pay fees to meet with reviewers from all departments at once to address site plan changes in a single session, Gonzales said.