The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday its recent study shows the residential development approval processes for local areas could take up to 2.5 years as currently implemented.
The chamber recommends streamlining the process to reduce time and cost, noting that the region faces serious housing challenges. Instead of passing the cost on to the consumer, it is hoped that the chamber’s Developers Council Steering Committee can find solutions to shorten this complicated procedure.
The chamber said the most significant risk to prospective homebuilders arises from delays in the permitting process; however, snags in property selling and construction are also issues of concern, with the bottom line being that the more complex and time-consuming the method, the more it affects housing affordability in the Charleston area.
The entire timeline for any residential development currently consists of four phases, starting with due diligence to oversee site assessment and surveying. Preliminary master planning with municipal review and approval then allows an entitlement phase comprising annexation, community meetings and possible rezoning.
Next, design and permitting involves variance requests, land planning, civil design and utility service agreements; followed by the construction and recoding stage with permitting, bidding and award of construction projects, and plat approval.
The Steering Committee plans to meet with local government officials to discuss the study results.
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