Austin Permit Mess

Good luck building in Austin. Seriously, the permit process in the city has been a mess for a long time. The consulting firm McKinsey & Company recently analyzed the permitting process at City Hall. They found the average site plan must go through 1,470 steps before getting approval. It works its way through 250 people in 11 different departments. Last year, the average time to do this was 345 days. And what does all this waiting add to the cost of construction? McKinsey calculated it costs the developer of a single-family home $9,700 per month in holding costs, while a large multi-family complex can wrangle with over $500,000 in carrying costs. And yet the city council has the nerve to ignore their own contribution to the affordability issues in this city. On the positive side, 1% of applicants and staffers are satisfied with the current permitting process, which is 1% higher than I would have expected.

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