On Wednesday, January 22, 2020 AIA South Dakota members joined others for updates from the City of Sioux Falls Planning & Development Services. The event was arranged by Sioux Falls Development Foundation. Mike Gray, with the Foundation, explained that connecting public and private entities is a priority for development. The morning began with breakfast and socializing. Director of Planning, Jeff Eckhoff, welcomed everyone and thanked the Foundation for working with the department to put the event together. Jeff reported informative statistics: there were 7,600 building permits and 62,000 inspections last year. Jeff shared that he and his team wanted to improve the turnaround time for permit process by making the process shorter and more predictable.
In order to improve permitting, the Planning Development Services engaged in the LEAN Office Process. According to lean.org, 1 “A lean organization understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste. ” From the lean process, the Planning Development Services identified issues and proposed solutions. Ultimately, their goal is for plan review to take 2-3 weeks.
Issues & Solutions
Incomplete information on submittal documents
Plan reviewer will take an initial look for missing information
Unclear about requirements
Open Office Hours 1st Tuesday of the month from 8:30-10 am for questions/answers. You can still set up a meeting anytime.
Unclear what reviewers are looking for, what documents are needed
A single submittal process. Making sure contractors/inspectors are on the same page.
Residential reviews created bottleneck for reviewing all projects
Hiring position devoted to reviewing residential plans
The department plans to update their website. The website will include a document that outlines changes when a new code is adopted by the city. By automating some things, there should be some improvements in the process and usability. A separate submittal & permit for Footing & Foundation from the rest of the building will expedite the time it takes to break ground. Other departments within Planning & Zoning have started the LEAN process. Planning to spend time to review plans when submitting plans is encouraged to take advantage of the initial review. There will be questions, so it is best to bring them in person, or at least anticipate investing time.
The open house included intro to staff and a tour of the office. Contact numbers were available.
If you were able to attend, what was something you took away from the open house?
NEXT OPEN HOUSE
Want to attend the open house, but afraid you missed your chance? There’s another morning already scheduled! Tuesday, February 11, 2020. Stay tuned for RSVP details in the comments.
A Big Thank You
Thank you to the people who made this event possible. It was very informative. Best of luck to Planning Development Services as the LEAN solutions come to fruition!
Reference: 1. https://www.lean.org/whatslean/
Since graduating from Kansas State in 2012, Liz has gained experience from a variety of fields within the building industry. From drafting at a metal building manufacturer to working at architecture firms to assisting a real estate broker/developer, she has always had a passion for influencing the built environment. As an architect-in-training at MSH Architects, Liz enjoys learning new things and refining her skills with help from other licensed professionals. She is pursuing an architectural license and hopes to continue to shape the spaces and places around her in a positive way.