DENVER (CBS4) – The building boom in Denver has the city seeing a huge spike in demand for permits for everything from water heaters to home additions. A typical permit takes four weeks, but CBS4 talked with a homeowner who has been waiting four months.
“What we’re going to do is tear down this entire garage and we’re going to push it out 12 feet that way and two feet in either direction,” homeowner Fred Beck said.
When Beck applied for a permit with the City of Denver last March to tear down his dilapidated garage and build a new one, he thought he’d have a permit in hand and construction well underway by now.
“They gave us an initial estimate of April 7. And here we are in July and not sure where it’s at,” Beck said.
“We’re seeing historic permitting demand in Denver right now,” Andrea Burns with Denver Planning and Development said
Burns says the city is seeing a 24 percent increase in permit applications and is struggling to keep pace.
“Denver’s economy is very strong right now. A lot people are wanting to move here, live here, invest in their homes, invest in their businesses; and it’s resulting in a really big demand for permits,” Burns said.
She says they’re working overtime, hiring more people, and even using a third party permitting firm. But she says application reviews take time.
“We’re looking for building safety, compliance with building safety codes and zoning codes. So you can’t just rubber stamp it, you can’t cut corners,” Burns said.
“It’s frustrating,” Beck said.
Beck, who says he’s paying $250 a month for storage, says if the city doesn’t reduce the backlog soon homeowners will start skipping permits. At this rate he says he’s just hoping to get his garage built before winter.
“I’d like them to finish this. Four months seems like more than enough time to accommodate this kind of delay,” Beck said.
Burns says homeowners should consider hiring professionals to make sure their applications are complete to reduce their waits. Although Beck says he spent thousands of dollars on architects, engineers, soil samples and sight surveys — and still he’s waiting.