Might be useful to consider getting permits in private business terms.
Some business schools recommend rating potential customers when building
business plans. "A" customers are ideal, they have interesting work,
are enjoyable partners, and pay on time with few issues. "F" customers
are a pain to work with, don't know what they need, are troublesome, and
don't pay on time--or just don't pay--and have many issues. You want A
or B customers, and only take C customers when times are bad. When you
take D and F customers, your business is about to close.
Permit desk workers have to take all comers. Be an A customer and
things will likely go smoother. If they don't, the supervisor is likely
to be better help if you sound like an A customer.
On 3/13/2011 11:12 AM, Kevin Normoyle wrote:
> Jim made a lot of good points
> Jim mentioned
> "Perhaps that's why hiring a professional up front is worth it? They'll know
> the local
> processes, know what is special and what isn't, and know the right and wrong
> way to describe what you want to do."
> Permit desks definitely treat "professionals" differently than homeowners.
> Enough so it's easy to get cynical and think it's a little "insiders' group" .
> But sitting in the room at the permit desk waiting for your turn, is really
> instructive for seeing what the permit desk has to deal with, how they think,
> and pointers on how you should act.
> Most homeowners I've seen at permit desks are focused on trying to avoid the
> cost of building something right. That just stiffens the resolve of the permit
> desk, because you get lumped into the general category of "arguing homeowners
> that actually don't understand real issues:...or accept that there are laws to
> comply with, whether you agree or disagree.
> But then again, paying professionals doesn't guarantee a good job. Unless you
> can pay a lot.
> I think what works well, is to try to turn yourself into a good enough
> professional for the job. That way you can do a better job at deciding where
> spend money and where you don't.
> Like for instance: if the permit desk says they want plot drawings on certain
> size paper, you just do that, and take accurate measurements, and show all
> setbacks etc. You might need some program to do drawings on your computer.
> used Visio a lot for home projects that need drawings)
> what works: treat the permit folks like professionals. And to know enough, and
> act like, and expect them to treat you like a professional. You want to revel
> the details.
> And be ready for different people to be occasionally wrong. If you think of it
> as a joint project, where the govt workers are required to have a say, but can
> sometimes be wrong..then it'll work out.
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