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Mecklenburg County looks at changing the permitting process for commercial construction projects

Mecklenburg County is considering changing its permitting process to allow commercial construction projects to get underway before plans are completely approved. As it stands now, all parts of a plan must meet code before the county issues a permit to go ahead with building. The County's Code Enforcement department is looking at giving firms who have a record of submitting sound plans the option of conditional permitting. That would mean construction can move forward if designs are close to meeting code requirements. Dennis Hall, a Principal with Hall Architects, says the change could save his firm a lot of time. He says re-submitting plans can easily mean a thirty day delay for a project. "The opportunity where things are right to go ahead and get the project moving and debate those issues that are in question would be very positive to the industry," says Hall. However, another architect says he's not convinced it will speed up the permitting process. A public hearing on this and other permitting issues is scheduled for this morning at the Government Center.