April 25, 2013
|The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners appoints the Building-Development Commission (BDC) as an advisory board to Code Enforcement. Membership includes representation from the design, construction and development communities, as well as the public. Check out www.meckpermit.com and go to "About Us" for more information. Contact your representative if you have any specific issues you would like the BDC to consider. |
The following is a brief summary of significant matters impacting the design and construction community on which the Building-Development Commission and the Code Enforcement Department have focused from January 1, 2013 through March 31, 2013. Further details on each of these follow:
- Change of BDC leadership
- Lien agent legislative change
- Status of December 4, 2012 position betterment
- Trends considered in FY14 budget development
- CTAC-EPS installation takes Department to 98% paperless plan review
1. Change of BDC leadership
On March 19, the BDC Chair leadership baton passed from Jon Morris of Beacon Development to Jonathan Bahr. Mr. Bahr, is a principal and founding partner of Urbana Urban Design & Architecture, and has over twenty-four years of experience in architecture and planning. Jonathan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, College of Architecture
2. Lien agent
On April 1st, the Department implemented changes in mechanics lien documentation as required by the NC General Assembly Session Law 2012-158. Specifically, as required by this law, permit applicants are now required to submit the name, address and telephone number of a lien agent registered with the NC Department of Insurance and named on the project. The related data will automatically print out on the project’s building permit, and the contractor must post this on site. Further details can be found on www.meckpermit.com at this address;
3. Status of December 4, 2012 position betterment
On December 4, 2012 the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners voted in support of an 18 position betterment proposed by the Department and BDC, including;
· In the office, 3 commercial plans examiners, 2 inspector-controller positions, and 1 project coordinator (plans review facilitator).
· In the field, 9 inspectors, 2 inspection supervisors, and 4 inspector positions-IBA focused.
The following is a brief summary of the Department’s current progress in filling those positions
· Commercial plan review positions;
- 3 plans examiner positions in final stages of the hiring process with HR
- Controller positions filled and started work 2/6/13 and 3/6/13 respectively
- Project coordinator filled and started work 4/17/13
· Inspector positions; 12 of 13 inspector positions working, with the last opening scheduled to start May 1.
Inspection Supervisor positions; one position filled and one in final stages of the hiring process with HR
4. Trends considered in FY14 budget development
Through February and March, the BDC Budget Subcommittee and Department management worked together in developing the Fy14 budget proposal. These discussions include review and identification of several economic trends both locally and nationally, including the following.
· Department data from 7/1/12 to 2/28/13 shows several measures trending up, including;
o permits issued up 8.34% and inspections requested up 15.44%.
o residential 1st reviews up 35%, commercial small project 1st reviews (in CTAC) up 19.5%, and OnSchedule large project plan review hour demand up 35%.
o permit fee revenue up 11.7% and construction value permitted up 8.1%.
· HBA “Eye on the Economy” report (1/31/13), projects single family (SF) residential new construction starts growing 22% in 2013 and 30% in 2014.
· NARI “Market Trends” local report (February 2013), projects residential remodeling will grow by 10% through 1/1/2015.
5. CTAC-EPS installation takes Department to 98% paperless review
Code Enforcement has pursued an electronic review process on several fronts since 2006.
· In June 2008, we introduced residential electronic submittal and review (RDS-EPS) as part of a residential master plan reciprocal review program with the City of Raleigh.
· In 2009, we extended RDS-EPS by offering it to custom residential reviews.
· In January 2012, we installed electronic plan submittal-electronic plan review (EPS-EPR) for OnSchedule and Mega commercial projects.
· On November 1, 2013, we went live with the final electronic plan submittal component, CTAC-EPS. On January 28, the Department notified customers that effective March 1, all CTAC reviews would be done electronically, with drawings either submitted electronically, or the Department converting paper drawings to electronic (with cost charged to the permit).
The Department estimates this takes us to greater than 98% of all plan reviews being performed by EPS (only “homeowner-as-contract” requiring plans and some SF customer projects remain).
The contribution of the EPS initiative to making Charlotte-Mecklenburg a more sustainably designed and “greener” community is significant. In March, 2013, the first full month of “98% electronic review”, we estimate the EPS process represented a savings of approximately 5000 lbs. of paper, not submitted to the Department. Furthermore, if the economy continues on its current moderate growth trend, we project EPS alone to save at least 65,000-70,000 lbs. of drawing submittal paper in Fy2014.