Earlier this year, during the brouhaha over NAR’s dues increase, we spent time looking at the long-term value of political advocacy. We sought to share stories about policy victories that had a direct impact on the bottom line for REALTORS® and real estate consumers.
The ordinances include:
- Consolidating permitting functions within Atlanta’s Office of Buildings.
- Laying the groundwork for a fast-track process for interior tenant buildouts of up to 3,000 square feet, with higher thresholds to follow as more permit technicians are trained and certified.
- Providing financial incentives for employees to become certified as permit technicians or combination inspectors.
- Ensuring that permit fees will be used for improvements within the Office of Buildings rather than siphoned into the city’s general fund.
For Reed, the reforms fulfill a campaign pledge he made to streamline the permit process. The legislation also represents a long-sought victory for the association, which in 2009 supported Reed in a runoff election against a decidedly anti–real estate candidate, according to Robert Broome, governmental affairs director for the Atlanta Board of REALTORS® and the Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS®.
“Reforming the building permit process in Atlanta is an important step toward making our city a more attractive location for companies wanting to expand or relocate their business here,” says John Ferguson, 2011 president of the Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS® and executive managing director for the Southeast region of CB Richard Ellis Inc.
“We are proud to support this effort, ” Ferguson says, “because we know that it will mean better customer service and a reduction in costly delays for our clients on all sides of the transaction.”