One of DCRA’s most important functions is issuing permits. Whether obtaining a permit or submitting plans, the Safe & Simple predictable permitting initiatives were designed to simplify and enhance the DCRA permitting experience. It matters to businesses because they want and expect a timely review, so their project can move forward. It matters to residents because they expect the agency to review applications to ensure that they’re code compliant—and complement rather than potentially harm the surrounding area.
Enhanced Permit Intake
Enhancing the permit process began with improving the way permits are submitted. DCRA is now providing a Plan Submission Checklist. One of the most common reasons for customers to make extra trips to the agency is to supplement incomplete plans. The new checklist will help customers and plans reviewers ensure that plans are complete when they’re submitted.
Residential Review Program
Generally, applications for residential projects are less complex and can be reviewed more quickly than larger commercial projects. Typical projects include one and two-family dwellings and small multi-unit buildings. We decided to simplify the process for residential permit applications by dedicating a team to work exclusively on residential reviews. Much like express lanes at a grocery store, smaller orders can move through a line rapidly because each order only has a few items.
The Structural Self-Certification program allows permit applicants to get a structural engineer to certify that the structural elements of the project are code compliant rather than relying on a DCRA reviewer to reach that conclusion. Structural reviews are complex and can be among the most time consuming at DCRA, so the alternative is a major benefit to projects that choose to go that route.