Before Hurricane Ian, the permitting counter at city hall was closed on Fridays to make progress on the backlog since the office had been open six days a week for emergency permits.
People come to city hall every day for many different reasons, lately, a lot of them come to file permits to start the rebuilding process after Hurricane Ian.
Bob Pervin has some roof, screen, and fence repairs on his to-do list. So he went to city hall to get a permit so he can take care of the smaller stuff himself.
“We have the paperwork with us. For what we want to do and how we want to do it. Hopefully, it’s going to go pretty smoothly,” Pervin said.
George Oakes has to repair his shed and pool heater, and he said he’s well aware of the city’s permit backlog.
“I had a permit pulled for solar and it must have taken four to six months to get through the process. So I thought that could’ve been done faster,” Oakes said.
For many, they’ve had better luck going through the city’s emergency paper permit process. The latest numbers show close to 3,600 permits have been issued.
Diana Lopez and Jason Polly with Roof Ez said they have seen the process speed up.
“She’ll be walking in we’ll get four or five permits she’ll walk them in same day post them and do the job,” Polly said.
94% of those emergency permits were issued at city hall.
Because of that, the Cape Coral Art Center will no longer accept emergency permits. Moreover, starting Monday, the Energov portal will accept both emergency and non-storm-related permits.
Lopez hopes the quick response time carries over online in order to make the rebuilding process easier for everyone.
“We wouldn’t have to send somebody out just to check if the inspection passed. Because that’s time-consuming and we can just do that from the office,” Lopez said.
City staff will continue to accept paper applications at city hall’s permitting counter.
What will change is the hours for the permitting counter.
Starting Monday, the counter will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19.