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Web Tool Offers Peek at Permit Wait Times

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September 11, 2008

People seeking building permits can now go online to find out how to avoid long waits when they come to County Department of Planning and Land Use counters.

The department unveiled its latest Web tool this week: wait-time charts that show when waits are shortest and longest at building permit counters every day, based on average times from the previous month.

“This is all about customer service,” said Building Division Chief Darren Gretler. “We want to help our customers save time.”

The charts are posted on DPLU’s Web page and will be updated each Monday.

The charts posted this week showed wait times fluctuated from five to 15 minutes in the morning and peaked at 35 minutes to 45 minutes in the afternoon.

The wait-time charts are just one of several Web-based tools the Planning Department has unveiled over the last year to help customers avoid planning-counter lines.

In August, the department created a permit fee “estimator-calculator” to let customers estimate the cost of building permits and plan checks. The department also introduced the Kivanet Public and Citizen Web sites, on which customers can research permit and property histories, and apply for some building permits. Each of the systems can be accessed on the department Web site.

The Building Division’s counters at 5201 Ruffin Road in San Diego are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The division issued more than 6,000 building permits last fiscal year.