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In 2013, City of Raleigh Engineering Manager Paul Kallam led a team of City plan reviewers on a tour of the Citrix building under construction at 120 S. West Street. Normally, site tours are the responsibility of an inspector, but Paul wanted his review staff to understand the challenges that inspectors can face in the field.

Recognizing the value of the tour, Paul wanted to share the opportunity with a larger audience. Soon, the tours included other members of the development process.

“It was a chance to break down the walls of the ‘us vs. them’ mentality,” he said. “Everyone could understand that we work together as a team. That includes community outreach efforts as well.”

To date, some of the tours include the L-Building, Skyhouse, Stanhope, A-Loft Hotel, Walnut Terrace, Rex Heart and Vascular Hospital, North Hills East Tower II, 401 Oberlin, Galleria at Cameron Village, and just recently the Catholic Dioceses of Raleigh. Understanding the challenges the developer and contractor face when orchestrating large-scale projects like these provides staff lessons in collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication while building compassion throughout the entire development process.

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Learn more about these tours.

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Kenneth Ritchie breaks down the revised Public Infrastructure Acceptance Process that goes into effect July 1, 2017 on all new development plans or projects proposing public infrastructure construction.

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DSInsiderTemp 1000x750Along with the roll out of the new development fees, comes a new tool to help you calculate building and trade permit fees. The awesome thing about this calculator (besides the fact that it provides a great way to estimate permit fees) is the fact it was developed using open source technology by our own Information Technology staff. This means that the technology is something people can modify and share because its design is publicly available. One of the changes outlined in the last blog post is the addition of a technology surcharge. This charge helps to support enhancement such as this and the future move to electronic plan review.

The Building and Trade calculator allows users to enter specific information about the construction project such as size, occupancy, construction type and in return it will provide a preliminary fee for building and trade projects. Please note that other fees may be applicable. The Fee Calculator is available from www.raleighnc.gov/dsguide.

Check out the 2017-2018 Development Fee Schedule that has an effective date of July 1, 2017. Another significant change is the new requirement that all plan review fees will be collected at the start of the Plan Review Process. For details on how these fees are to be implemented reference the Development Services Fee Implementation Guide.

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InspectorRaleighThe management-consulting firm MGT of America was hired by the City to review and update the development services fees. The comprehensive fee study conducted by the consultant group, city staff and key stakeholders identified the cost associated with providing development related services. The new fees have been set to a level that is commensurate with the services provided and administered equitably resulting in a taxpayer investment that is balanced by a user fee cost recovery.

The study resulted in several recommendations that were approved by City Council.

  • 100% cost recovery goal for development services fees except where market constraints limit cost recovery.
  • Technology surcharge on all fees to support changing technology needs.
  • Building trade permit fees will be assessed based on construction valuation set by the International Building Code Council.

Moving forward, the fees will be adjusted annually according to the Department of Labor index and/or the International Code Council tables for construction valuation. Additionally, there will be a thorough review of 1/3 of the fees conducted each year.  Fees selected may adjust upwards or downward depending on the results of the review and not move at an indexed rate.

The proposed budget for Development Services includes 12 new positions to enhance services in building and safety, land development, express services, and support. The services enhancements were identified through collaboration with our external stakeholders. Some of the services include:

  • New and expanded Express Services to include preliminary plan reviews, building comments-only review, additional time slots
  • Special consultation services for development engineering
  • Subject matter experts to answer questions, improve plan quality and project predictability, assistance with project timelines, tracking, and oversight
  • Dedicated resource within Development Services to continue the implementation of the standard legal locked forms
  • Create a residential unit made up of multi-trade inspectors that will be able to complete all trade inspections and reduce wait times
  • Provide a single point of contact for code-related issues
  • Cross-departmental inspections representative to increase efficiency and consistency
  • Develop a training program to improve staff development and review consistency
  • Enhance communications and online services with dedicated resources

The implementation of the new fees will be as follows:

If an application and complete project plans/documents are submitted for review prior to July 1, 2017, the project will be subject to the current fee structure and assessed the current fee for that specific process.

All applications for permits and/or process submitted on or after July 1, 2017, will be subject to the new fee structure and assessed fees at the new rate.

Notwithstanding the date of submittal, any fees paid/collected after December 31, 2017 will be subject to the new fee structure and assessed fees at the new rates. This provides for an approximate six (6) month period where process applications submitted prior to July 1, 2017 can complete their review cycles and incur the current fee structure.

New fees in effect as of July 1, 2017 will be applied and assessed per the new fee structure. Future fee changes are expected to become effective as per the adopted fee schedule, typically the first day of the new fiscal year.

The comprehensive Development Fee Schedule will be available mid-June 2017. For detailed information about the upcoming changes reference the documents below.

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ConcurrentReview DeveloperShakingHandsRetention of One set of Residential Building Plans: Effective June 1, 2017 the City of Raleigh will begin a new practice of retaining

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I had the opportunity to tour the recently completed Rex Heart and Vascular Hospital. This project is one of the more complicated projects to come through Development Services in some time.

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    Customer Service Center
    1 Exchange Plaza
    Raleigh, NC 27602
  • 919-996-2495
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    8320-130 Litchford Road
    Raleigh, NC 27615
  • 919-996-4200