For years, the City and County of Denver have grappled with prolonged permit review times, posing challenges for both commercial and residential construction projects. The surge in construction demand following the pandemic exacerbated the situation, pushing Denver’s Department for Community Planning and Development to its limits. With low employment rates and an escalating backlog, the Permit Review Time estimate soared beyond 300 days, causing frustration and delays. However, recent indications suggest a potential turnaround in Denver’s permitting times. Are Denver Permit Times finally turning around? Sustainable Design Build and numerous homeowners are hoping their construction projects will soon be easier to start.
I’d rather build anywhere other than Denver…
In a recent interview, Mayor Mike Johnston outlined his vision for a comprehensive overhaul of the city’s building department operations. The sluggish permitting process has become a significant obstacle, jeopardizing the viability of projects for developers and homeowners, particularly amid Denver’s ongoing housing crisis. Over on the residential construction side of things, general contractors and homeowners face extreme delays in obtaining building permits for home improvement projects that involve home additions, whole home remodels, and the trending Accessory Dwelling Unit. Mayor Johnston expressed concern, stating, “Right now, we see more and more folks who say, ‘I’d rather build anywhere other than Denver.'” In a proactive move, Mayor Johnston plans to allocate $365,000 from the 2024 budget to hire three full-time employees dedicated to reviewing permits for affordable housing projects. Additionally, $200,000 will be invested in a research study aimed at reforming the existing permitting and zoning process. If successful, these initiatives could lead to a future where building in Denver becomes more affordable and timely.
Current Denver Permit Times At The End of 2023
As of the end of 2023, the Sustainable Design Build team has closely monitored projections and estimates from the City’s Building Department. While articles and reporting can inundate property owners with misleading information, the team has observed a positive trend. Despite the current projection of 258 days for permit approval on Major Residential Projects, Sustainable Design Build has experienced faster approval times, with some projects obtaining all necessary approvals in under 200 days. This evidence suggests that relief is already underway for developers, homeowners, and property managers.
For those planning home construction projects, the closing months of the year present favorable signs to proceed. Homeowners seeking to build additions or renovate their properties stand to benefit from the shortened permit times. Sustainable Design Build, with its expertise in design-build-oriented processes, has successfully navigated construction challenges in Denver and its metropolitan areas. This tailored approach addresses issues related to timeliness and challenges associated with traditional general contracting methods. Homeowners can contact our team members to receive guidance on taking the next steps toward building the home of their dreams.
In conclusion, while Denver’s permit process has historically posed challenges, recent efforts and improvements indicate a positive shift. Mayor Johnston’s initiatives and real-time project experiences from Sustainable Design Build offer hope for a more efficient and accessible construction environment in Denver.
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Planning your next renovation, or maybe you are looking to do a complete remodel for your home? Whatever the task, it can’t hurt to ask. Reach out to our team through this form.
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