We have heard many comments recently about the need to help you with the permitting and plan review process which will help you and your clients obtain permits in a more expeditious manner. After reviewing many of our past developments that had difficulties at the permit stage of the project, we discovered that most if not all of these did not include a pre-design or a code analysis meeting with City staff. Many design professionals and others take advantage of these review meetings and have found them to be helpful in expediting their projects.

The purpose of this letter is to let you know the City staff wants to meet with you and anyone on your design team at any stage during the planning, code analysis or construction drawing phase of your projects. The design process can be very dynamic when you factor in the many issues that can affect a project such as zoning, platting, special zoning conditions, utility issues, drainage issues, downtown design guidelines, Phoenix Ave. design guidelines, master street plan, bikeway plan and the many construction codes.

Some have thought we no longer give any type of partial plan reviews because of the requirement to submit a plan review fee when plans are submitted for a building permit. Let me assure you that is not the case. It is true that you must submit the plan review fee when the final construction drawings are submitted for a permit. We still offer and encourage preliminary, code analysis and partial project reviews to help expedite the permitting process. These reviews and consultations do not require the submittal of any fees.

Even the smallest of projects can have its difficulties or experience delays because of the many development issues. No project is too small to discuss with the City staff when you are developing a program or doing a code analysis.

I hope you will take advantage of our offer to meet with you during the project planning and design phase of your projects. Please contact me if you have any questions or if you want to discuss this with me.

Sincerely,

Maggie Rice
Director of Development Services

479.784.2216

planning@fortsmithar.gov