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Valley Focus | Valleywide

City to Streamline Building Inspections

August 24, 1998|TOM SCHULTZ

West Valley developers of commercial projects can now take advantage of one-stop shopping for city inspectors.

The streamlined approach is available because the West Valley portion of the 11th City Council District joined a pilot program established July 1, said area City Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski.

Normally, developers must schedule specialized inspectors to OK their work in progress, one for plumbing, another for electrical, for example. Work cannot go forward until each inspector agrees that it meets city building and safety codes.

During the one-year pilot program, one specially trained inspector will examine a wide range of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

City officials selected eight of the city's best building inspectors from a field of 105 applicants to train for nearly 600 hours in preparation for reassignment to the pilot program.

"To the extent that development is happening, [the new program] will facilitate it," said Glenn Barr, a spokesman for Miscikowski. "Any time you take measures that can accelerate and minimize the cost of development, you at least create the potential for those savings to be passed along to customers."

To illustrate this idea, Barr used an example of an apartment house developer finishing his project earlier than expected because of swift inspections, enabling the landlord to knock a few dollars off the rent.

Barr acknowledged that developers may not pass the savings on, but the program "at least creates the possibility," Barr said.

Builders who wish to contact such inspectors should call (818) 756-9555 or (818) 756-9552.

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