Letter: County building permit delays excessive, undue burden on contractors
I am writing this letter to let everyone in the Verde Valley know what has been going on at the Development Services Department (Building Dept.) in Yavapai County.
For several years now, contractors and their clients have had to wait for 2-1/2 months and often longer to get a building permit out of the county. My last permit took nine weeks and the one I am waiting on now has been, as of today, 11 weeks.
We have been told many things: We are busy. We are short-staffed. People have been sick. The holidays have slowed us down. When asked how long it will take to get a permit, we are told 2-3 weeks. When we go in after 2-3 weeks we are told that it will be another 2-3 weeks and every time there after, 2-3 weeks. I asked one of the persons working there if they had been told to say that and they just smiled but didn’t say no. I took that smile as a yes.
I then contacted my County Supervisor, Randy Garrison, by e-mail about the problem. He said that he would get back to me. Four days later I received an e-mail from him telling me that the Head of the Building Dept. said that they are getting permits out in 2-3 weeks.
I then told him that he was being lied to and that he should do some research for him self to find the truth. I gave him names and cell phone numbers of several contractors in the area and told him to call and ask them how long it was taking to get a building permit.
Later I asked all of them if Randy Garrison had called them to ask how long it was taking to get permits and they all said no he hadn’t.
I really thought that Randy would help the people in the Verde Valley with their problems since he had been a business owner himself. I have e-mailed him four times since then and have not had a reply from him. I guess he is just another politician putting out adds on the radio telling people how wants to help but never really doing anything for his constituents.
Three months (one fourth of a year) is a long time when your men are out of work and not getting a paycheck, Especially during the holiday season. People who are getting mortgages for their new homes are having to pay money to re-apply and have their points rate locked in again.
When I get busy and start getting behind I hire more help. Perhaps the county should have hired more qualified help three years ago when things started picking up.
I have tried going through the correct channels to try and get this problem fixed but I am left with having to go to the press. Perhaps they can put pressure on someone to get things done.
Other contractors said they are afraid that if they add their names to this letter they will never get their permits issued. I have even had clients say that don’t want to wait and that they are looking for existing homes to buy. I wish ALL contractors would contact their County Supervisors about this problem. Maybe something will happen for the good of the People in this County.
RSM Construction Co.