Intown Housing Boom Adds To Permit Delays In Atlanta

Long the bane of developers and individual homebuilders alike, the Atlanta Bureau of Buildings now averages 40 to 80 days to provide building permits. Meanwhile, in suburban Gwinnett and Cobb Counties, the turnaround time is under one hour.
May 5, 2006, 9am PDT | Alex Pearlstein
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The recent boom in construction in the City of Atlanta has "overwhelmed the city's planning bureaucracy," causing delays both for big and small builders, and everyone in between. Critics say the permit-issuing Bureau of Buildings is a "plodding and disorganized obstacle that retards economic growth and drives up the cost of houses, condos and other buildings."

That sentiment was confirmed in a recent study by the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government in which "47 percent of respondents rated the city average to failing when it comes to issuing permits. Respondents complained that their documents were lost in the government bureaucracy and that they couldn't get their questions answered."

Mayor Shirley Franklin is counting on a new planning director to improve the situation.

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Published on Friday, May 5, 2006 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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