There is no question that city planners and building officials work hard and are dedicated. Yet the current system does not work. It is so complex, so restrictive, so expensive and so time consuming that many people just give up and contractors form the mainland shake their heads and vow never to work here again.
In the end it is the city council that is responsible. It has passed the plethora of ordinances that govern the city’s building and permitting process without understanding their negative impact. It has failed to give staff clear and direct guidance.
City Hall needs to focus on reducing red tape and enabling the citizens. This means dumping a lot of rules and a shifting in employees focus from making up rules and enforcing them to helping citizens accomplish what they want.
Please see our website for more information: http://www.ReformGalveston.com
We, the undersigned citizens of Galveston, believe that the process for obtaining building permits in the city is too costly, too burdensome and too time-consuming; there are too many rules and too much red tape.
We ask the city Council take immediate and decisive steps to reform and simplify this process.
The steps should include, but not be limited, to the following:
• Replace "Licenses to Use", such as those required for the tree sculptures, with simple rules defining how, where, and when sidewalk areas can be used.
• Eliminate the requirement for an engineer stamp for most permits. Require it only on large or complex structures. Instead use existing building standards to insure that properties are properly constructed.
• Simplify, reduce, and make less restrictive the complex, hard to understand, and time-consuming planning ordinances.
• Set up an independent party, perhaps the Chamber of Commerce, to review all proposed city ordinances to determine their affect on businesses and individuals in the city.
• Make sure that the firm currently reviewing and consolidating the city's ordinances move in this direction or terminate them.
The Reform Galveston petition to Galveston City Council was written by Kenneth Shelton and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.