Commercial property development projects are exciting. Watching your vision for a building come to life step by step is very gratifying. However, one step that isn’t especially enjoyable is completing the paperwork that is required before your project can truly get underway. Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle all forms and applications on your own.
Meeting Municipal Requirements
If every municipality nationwide used the same forms and documents, completing the paperwork required for commercial property development would be, if not easy, at least more straightforward. But, that is not the case. Every village, town, and city has a unique set of laws, rules, and regulations to which property owners and developers must adhere. For example, just a few of the entities from which your project might require the stamp of approval include:
- Historic District Commission. If your project is in an historic area, you will likely need to explain how the new or renovated building will blend in with existing structures so as not to distract from the look and feel of the neighborhood.
- Design Review. In most areas, including those not designated as “historic,” there is a particular design aesthetic that buildings must adhere to.
- Inland Wetlands Department; Water Pollution Control Authority; Coastal Area Management Department; DEEP (Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection). Clean water is one of our area’s most precious resources. A number of organizations and entities may have the power to review your project and ensure it meets detailed guidelines before it is approved.
- Planning & Zoning or City Plan. The areas in and around cities have requirements regarding how the buildings within them will be used. As a building owner, you must describe your project and explain how it meets the requirements for its location.
- Zoning Board of Appeals. In some cases, municipalities will allow a property to vary somewhat from the zoning guidelines. However, being granted a variance or special permit requires additional paperwork and often appearing before a board to plead your case.
- Permitting. Officials and organizations like the Fire Marshal, Building Department, Health Department, and others will have a say in the permitting of a commercial real estate project. It isi always best to engage them early on in the process, in advance of building permit application.
Approval and Permitting Challenges
The sheer number of agencies and volume of forms that you have to contend with as a property owner can be perplexing enough. However, those aren’t the only challenges. You may also face issues related to things like:
- Timing. Boards, committees and commissions typically meet just once or twice a month, so completing applications fully and properly the first time around is key to preventing delays.
- Finding the right entity. In some instances, simply determining the entity with which you need to engage can be difficult. For example, the process of design review may be performed by a group called the Advisory Committee on Community Appearance, Architectural Design Review Board, Architectural Review Board, Architectural Review Committee, Center Revitalization Review Board, Design Review Board, Design Review Advisory Committee, Design Review Committee, etc.
- Procedural sequence. The order in which you must provide information to a series of organizations or government entities can vary from location to location.
The Right Team for Cutting through the Red Tape
The best way to move efficiently through the paperwork stage of a commercial property development project is to rely on experts who are familiar with the different processes. At Patriquin Architects, we have a great deal of experience with all of the various boards and committees. We also have long-standing relationships with all the different industry partners you need to connect with to get your project off to a strong start. We can quickly assemble a team that typically includes:
- You or your representative
- Civil Engineer
- Architect from our team
- Landscape Architect
- Mechanical Engineer
Working with the attorney, we develop a detailed roadmap for completing the various applications and requests in the most efficient manner. From experience, we know that early communication and coordination with town or city staff helps streamline this process.
How can your specific project benefit from our experience and attentive assistance? Contact us today and let’s talk about your objectives.