Building permits in Routt County and the city of Steamboat Springs move to the Web | SteamboatToday.com

Building permits in Routt County and the city of Steamboat Springs move to the Web

Helena Taylor, administrator to the Routt County manager and commissioners, demonstrates the new online process for applying for building permits.

— The Routt County Regional Building Department is bringing the process of applying for a building permit into the 21st century, and when everyone gets online, it's predicted that building contractors, design firms and government workers will benefit from increased efficiency.

In the meantime, Building Department official Ben Grush acknowledged Tuesday there are wrinkles to be ironed out.

"We're going to save a considerable amount (of time in the) filing and locating of (construction) plans," Grush said. "They're going to be right at your fingertips. It's going to save paper, storage and handling time. There's really a lot of positives to the whole thing. We do have some workflow issues, and we'll work those out."

Effective last Monday, contractors, homeowners and developers in the city of Steamboat Springs and Routt County (excluding the town of Hayden), who are seeking building permits for a new house or a renovation, will now be required to apply for those permits online. And if they wish, they can pay the permit fees online with a credit card.

The change will save the small Building Department staff from having to enter the data themselves, and it should speed up the overall process.

The system is also intended to benefit applicants by storing bulky construction plans "in the cloud." Once a permit application has been uploaded, design professionals or contractors may check on its progress, receive email notification of approval, schedule inspections and view the results of those inspections.

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Building contractors who office in their pickups should be able to easily monitor the status of their building permits from their smart phones.

"The advantages to this are that once application is made, they can go into their account, select their permit, or permits, check the workflow, see what departments have signed off and approved them and later, print out a permit," Grush said.

And if they wish, they can do all that online, on the weekend or at 2 a.m.

Jake Henry, of Jake's Drafting Service, said he is finding that the need to assign a password to each permit application in the new system is causing him to re-think his working relationships with clients (the homeowners) and their contractors.

"In a perfect world, it would be a wonderful thing," Henry said. In the past, "we've almost invariably submitted the permit for the homeowner or the contractor or both."

As the person filing the application, Henry is required to sign into each permit with a password specific to the project. That step doesn't mesh with his old working relationship with contractors.

"I don't want to do that for 100 clients a year," he said. "Whoever submits the plan gets all the info, so it needs to be the contractor (who establishes the password), as he applies for all the inspections."

Grush said his staff is working with Henry to find a way to share passwords among design professionals, building contractors and clients. It's one of the issues his staff plans to take up during a workflow meeting on Thursday.

"Jake is very practical and a team player. He's willing to work with us," Grush said.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

File for your building permit online

The Routt County Regional Building Department, in conjunction with the city of Steamboat Springs and the towns of Oak Creek and Yampa, is modernizing the application process using software that was installed in late July.

Go to: http://steamboatr…

Type your address (or county parcel ID) into the appropriate window and begin the process

Assistance is available at a computer terminal at the front desk of the building department.