(Port Orchard) – Larry Keeton, Director of Kitsap County’s Department of Community Development (DCD), took advantage of the Kitsap County Home Builders Association’s (HBA) recent General Membership Meeting to recognize the organization’s membership for partnering with the county to improve permitting processes.
“The County received the National Association of Counties Achievement Award for improvement that help streamline the permitting processes,” Keeton said. “A critical to this holistic change was the involvement of HBA members. Without their time and input, the Lean process used to effect these changes would not have been as successful.”
When the Commissioners adopted the Lean process, we felt participation from the Home Builders Association was essential for success,” Keeton added. Justin Ingles, Karla Cook, and Jim Way represented HBA during the first Lean effort which focused on single-family residential permits. Before the improvements it took over 28 days to process a single family residential permit. After the Lean process it now takes only about 10 processing days to get a permit. More impressively, before the improvement only about 4% made it through on the first review. Today 63% make on their first review.
“In the past, people waited on us for permits,” Jeff Rowe, Deputy Director and Building Official for DCD said. “Today, we’re usually waiting on the applicant to come and pick up their approved permits.”
Having achieved initial success, the HBA and DCD partnered to improve other activities. Wayne Keffer and Miriam Villiard worked on another Lean event, focusing on the Inspection process. Berni Kenworthy, Norm Olson, and Jeff Combe helped with the Lean process to improve land use procedures earlier this year.
Four other HBA members were recognized for their efforts in improving the relationship between HBA and DCD. President Robert Baglio, Executive Director Teresa Osinski, members Mark Kulhman and Mark Eisses dedicated countless hours over the past six years helping to streamline county development code. They participated in comprehensive plan updates which received a Governor’s Vision Award, and continue to support other endeavors to enhance communication between the department and the building community.
“Kitsap County is fortunate to have a building organization like the HBA,” said County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. “While many developers suffer negative press about their environmental views, this HBA looks for ways to be environmental stewards while promoting economic development. Their showcasing of low impact development and energy code upgrades in their offices reflects this attitude,” Commissioner Charlotte Garrido added. “It’s a pleasure to partner with them to make Kitsap County the place to live, work, and play.”