State Capitol News
10:47 am
Wed March 23, 2011

House Committee Votes to Set Deadlines for City Officials to Act on Permit Applications

Phoenix, AZ – Right now there are no deadlines. Sen. Lori Klein said that
creates problems.

(I've talked to a lot of business owners who are creating like
fast food or they're creating an automobile shop. And where it
takes over a year for something that's existing because they get
rammed through all these existing hoops and extorted on different
levels in order to start a business. And right now the last
people we want to be extorting are the people with the money to
create jobs.)

Klein said that extortion can take the form of delays unless
businesses pay extra for expedited treatment. And she said cities
sometimes force developers to deed over some of their property
for some public improvement. Her bill would create a 60 day
deadline to act, though it would allow an extra 120 days, but
only if granted by whoever is seeking the permit. Rene Guillen of
the League of Cities and Towns said the bill is built on a flawed
premise.

(We don't believe we're extortionists. I don't think anyone's
anti-business. I think when it comes to permitting and licensing
the idea is everyone wants to be pro business because quite
frankly there isn't any logical reason for any city or town or
county to slow down the process.)

And he said cities need flexibility to review more complex
requests for things ranging from stadiums to hotels. The
committee vote sends the bill to the full House. For Arizona
Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.