Pinole's Building Permit Processing

Building Permit Processing

Update on Building Permit Processing
Posted on 09/22/2021
Update on Building Permit Processing

Pinole, like many other cities, is continuing to receive an exceptionally high number of building permit applications for residential renovation projects, a phenomenon that began soon after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. When COVID began, the City implemented new online tools for building permit application and processing, so that the City could continue to process permits, in a safe manner, and the City has remained open continuously throughout the pandemic for permit processing. Unfortunately, despite new tools and remaining open continuously, this exceptionally high number of applications has increased the average permit processing timeline. Also, coincidentally, the City experienced the departure of two key building staff members during this time-frame. This created a backlog in permit processing. The City has hired new staff, as well as brought in additional temporary assistance, and is addressing the backlog as well as newly-received applications. The City has also asked our building plan reviewer to streamline their review as much as possible. Because this boom in residential renovations and permit applications is a region-wide phenomenon, there are no additional outside resources that the City can engage to supplement our permanent and temporary staff. The City had a backlog of 150 permits in August 2021, which it has reduced to approximately 80 now. Note that certain types of applications, such as for solar panels, are required by State law to be given priority. The City expects to eliminate the backlog entirely and return to normal processing timelines by the end of the calendar year. The City recognizes that permitting delays can be disappointing and frustrating. We are working as efficiently and diligently as possible to expeditiously process all permits. We are fortunate that so many members of the community are able to invest in their properties, and we appreciate applicants’ patience.