‘Fast-track' permitting for Calexico

February 28, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Staffers in the city building department here recently devised a system to help speed the issuance of building permits.

Chief Building Official Bob Williams explained Wednesday how the new "fast-track" system works.

Any Calexico homeowner thinking about building an addition to his or her home, enclosing a porch or adding a fence needs to get a permit from the building department before starting that work.

To do that, a resident heads down to City Hall and picks up an application. Williams said his office faxes applications upon request.

After the application is filled out, call the department at 768-2105.

Williams will set up an appointment so he can review the application and the planned improvement.

The appointment will be scheduled between 8-10 a.m.

Williams said the applicant should have the completed application and plans on arrival. After taking the application and approving the plans, Williams will deposit the fees and issue a permit.


This is a vastly more organized and efficient system, he said.

"Before people would come in and they would say, ‘I want to build a fence.' They'd drop off the application and the plans and whenever I had time I would check it out. I had a stack of ‘em so high it would take weeks to process them all. Now people don't have to wait for the smaller permits," Williams said.

After the "fast-track" appointment is over and Williams has issued the initial permit, the project still needs to be inspected after each stage of construction.

For instance, if a homeowner is building a big fence it would need to have a foundation. After the foundation is set, a staffer from Williams' office would drive out to OK its construction.

Following the OK, the homeowner could start building the main part of the fence. Once done with that portion of the project, a staffer would drive out again to sign off on its construction.

When the fence is complete, Williams himself signs off on the project and the paperwork gets filed.

In addition to a physical copy, Williams will log each permit into a computer database so statistics can be gathered from the data and projects can be reviewed quickly.

Williams and city staffer Ron De Silva put together the system and it's working really well, Williams said.

In other building department news, Williams said German Izaguirre has helped beautify the city. Izaguirre is in charge of graffiti abatement.

"He just started a month and a half ago. Boy, he's a real hard worker," Williams said.

Izaguirre has painted over or removed graffiti on public property such as electrical transformers and playground equipment at the city's parks.

"He's out there daily looking at things. He's really hitting it hard," Williams said.

In the future, Williams said the department will start targeting graffiti on private property as well.

"We'll give people the option of cleaning up the graffiti on their private property or having it done by a city staffer," he said.

If it is done by a city employee, there will be a charge.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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