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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Survey Open Until Feb. 28

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, January 16, 2019) - We want to improve how people can apply for and receive building and planning permits in Berkeley, and we'd like those who have used our in-person or online services over the past year to help via a brief survey.

When people want to remodel a bathroom, install solar panels, or build a backyard cottage, they visit our Permit Service Center, where our staff help community members understand what's allowed, what's required, and how to reach their building goals safely and legally.

This survey, which will close at the end of February, will help our Planning Department to make the permit process as clear and efficient as possible for applicants.  We'll evaluate the results, distribute them publicly, present them to City Council and use the information to inform service improvements.

The online survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Printed survey copies are also available for pickup and drop-off at the Permit Service Center, located on the 3rd floor of 1947 Center Street.

This survey is part of Berkeley's larger Strategic Plan efforts to improve customer service in all the ways we serve our residents and businesses.

Over the last year, the Planning Department has created new permit checklists and guides, so customers can more easily understand zoning and building requirements, launched new tools including an online permits map to provide access to more information without needing to visit to our offices, and held a "Coffee with Inspectors" event to help the community meet our staff and get answers to project questions on the spot.

Goals for the next year include faster permits and reduced wait times at the Permit Service Center, simplifying the Zoning Ordinance for clarity and ease of use, and creating more and better publications to help guide customers through the permit process.

The Permit Service Center staff receive and review building applications and plans to ensure that proposed projects are legal, safe, and balance the needs of the surrounding community.  Once approved, staff issue zoning and building permits to demonstrate that the planned project is consistent with local and state building codes, the Berkeley Zoning Ordinance, fire and life safety, and matters regarding traffic, engineering, and the public right-of-way.

The Permit Service Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, except on holidays and City business closure days.



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