Greg Franzen, P.E., M.C.P.
Reports to Tom G. Coyle, Director
|Business Services Division|
Reports to Greg Franzen
The primary responsibilities of the Business Services Division of Development Services are management of the fiscal and administrative functions for Development Services. The division handles all human resources-related activities within Development Services, as well as the City Planning and Development Department as a whole. The division coordinates with the Human Resources Department in the areas of recruitment, benefits, compensation and City policies. The division also handles revenue management for City Planning and Development, including collection, posting, tracking and reporting revenues for all fees charged.
Customer service continues to also be a central focus of Business Services--second only to ensuring public safety. To this end, Development Services has undergone complete restructuring to improve efficiency and customer service delivery. The Customer Services Branch of the Business services Division provides receptionist, customer service and other forms of support for operations in Development Services' field office. The customer service representatives assigned to assist the Inspections and Investigations divisions receive inspection requests, process complaints about contractors, maintain a centralized repository for building plans, and provide customer service to the general public. In order to measure the effectiveness of our service delivery and to and help pinpoint areas needing improvement, the Customer Service Satisfaction Survey was developed and implemented several years ago. Division managers receive completed questionnaires, monitor the responses and follow up on complaints about service received. Feedback has been tremendous and customers may now complete the survey on-line.
Development Services is constantly striving to find new customer service initiatives to make business transactions easier for our customers. One such popular initiative has been the fax credit card payment method of payment (see authorization form attached to IB 109) which has proven a popular alternative to payment in person or by mail. For their convenience, walk-in customers at both offices have the option of paying permit and license fees by Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club and Discovercard, as do our customers paying by fax or mail.
The most significant initiative by far has been the acquisition and implementation of Kiva, a citywide Automated Development and Permit Tracking system. Development Services (formerly the Department of Codes Administration) was instrumental in acquiring and implementing this Y2K compliant software program and making it available to all departments with permitting functions, replacing many of the mainframe and PC legacy systems that the various departments were using. Permit applications may now be entered on-line through KivaCitizen, as well. This is by far the quickest and most efficient manner for permit application. Try it at KivaNet
Greg Franzen, P.E., M.C.P.
The Inspections Division of Development Services is the primary field enforcement agency for the City Planning and Development Department for all permitted construction activity on private property. The program's goals and objectives reflect those of Development Services, including ensuring that buildings, structures and building service equipment are constructed or installed according to the minimum standards set forth in the building codes. The Inspections Division accomplishes its given task through an inspection process. The majority of inspections are done in response to requests for inspections related to building permits. Other inspections are done on a random, spot-check basis or in response to complaints. Inspections are performed on various aspects of building construction, including framing, fire protection, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical.
The North and South Construction Inspection branches are responsible for inspecting all work related to residential and commercial construction under active permits. Development Services has made a commitment to the community to respond to most inspection requests within twenty-four hours. All inspection requests received prior to 6:00 a.m. on any given work day are scheduled for that day. To further assist the construction community, Development Services responds to certain inspection requests within two hours, e.g. commercial and residential footing inspections; and residential foundation wall, garage slab, basement slab, and masonry fireplace throat inspections.
The third branch of the Inspections Division is the Special Inspections Branch. This branch monitors the activities of third-party inspectors required by the code for commercial projects or provided on specified types of inspections on one-and two-family residential projects at the option of the builder. The optional third-party certification program for one-and two-family residential projects allows the builder flexibility in obtaining certain inspections outside of normal working hours by utilizing individuals from an approved list to perform those inspections. (See Informational Bulletin 102) Special inspections are required by the Building Code on various aspects of commercial construction projects that require special knowledge or an unusual amount of time or equipment to determine compliance with construction plans, e.g. high-strength bolting or welding of structural steel, soil testing, etc. Monitoring activities include conducting preconstruction meetings prior to permit issuance, reviewing subsequent work activity reports for completeness, and making random job site visits to verify the use of appropriate personnel and procedures.
The Inspections Division manager is a registered professional engineer, a master code official, and a certified building official. The division staff comprises construction code inspector supervisors, graduate and registered professional engineers, and construction code inspectors with engineering or construction-related degrees and/or construction trades experience.
Wilson Winn, C.B.O.
Reports to Greg Franzen
The Investigations Division of Development Services is charged with ensuring public welfare and safety through the enforcement of the Building Code and Zoning, Parking Station, Floodplain, Mobile Home, and Fences and Wall Ordinances. The Investigations Division has three broad areas of code enforcement responsibility: (1) Permit Compliance, (2) Development Compliance, and (3) Periodic Inspections. The division manager of Investigations also serves on the State of Missouri Elevator Safety Board.
The Permit Compliance Branch conducts investigations concerning sign and demolition complaints, permit compliance, building code violations, and certificate of occupancy violations. Land use and development compliance, floodplain violations, and processing Certificate of Legal Nonconformance applications are the responsibility of the Development Compliance Branch. Periodic safety inspections; billing and collection of fees for elevator equipment; and inspection of parking structures, underground spaces, mobile home developments, and communication towers are performed by the Periodic Inspections Branch.
All associates of the Investigations Division must be familiar with the details of the applicable ordinances and performance code standards, the proper methods and legal aspects of code enforcement, the land use development process, flood damage assessment surveys, and the various means for abating violations. Additionally, associates must provide professional staffing and prepare a comprehensive case summary for issues brought before the Board of Zoning Adjustment, Building and Fire Code Board of Appeals, City Plan Commission, and Municipal and Circuit Courts.
Jomy John, M.C.P.
Reports to Greg Franzen
The mission of the Permits Division is to provide complete, accurate, and timely service in the issuance of construction-related permits, zoning determinations and clearances, floodplain information, and conformance verification letters for lending institutions. The Permits Division is also responsible for processing applications for certificates of legal nonconforming use and encroachment ordinance requests related to construction permits, addressing new residential subdivision plats, and routing construction plans for review by other City departments prior to permit issuance. The Permits Division is composed of two distinct work teams: the Permits Services Branch, located on the 5th floor of City Hall; and the Plans Management Branch, located with Development Services' Plans Review Division at 324 E. 11th St., 2nd Floor, Oak Tower.
The Permits Services Branch assists those customers seeking permits for projects that do not require detailed plans review, such as residential remodeling, residential decks, elevators, signs, moving, and wrecking projects and preapproved mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and fire suppression system work. Building permits for new one- and two-family residences may also be obtained at this office, provided a master plan has previously been approved by the Plans Review Division. This office also serves those customers seeking zoning clearances for new businesses locating within the City and provides detailed information on policies and procedures. This office serves the majority of Development Services' walk-in customers and, therefore, emphasizes prompt service. New and ongoing customer service initiatives in the Permit Services Branch include Limited Service and Repair Permits, which allow licensed contractors to certify their work on limited projects in existing one- and two-family residences; and fax permits, which allow customers to obtain permits by fax without having to come to City Hall, thus saving them time and money.
The Plans Management Branch provides one-stop service for those customers seeking permits that require submittal of detailed plans for review and approval prior to issuance. Upon submittal, the plans are reviewed for completeness and then routed to the appropriate City departments for technical review and approval. Once all required approvals have been received, the permits are issued at this satellite office. The Plans Management Branch Supervisor is a member of the Business Assistance Center's Development Assistance Team, established several years ago in response to recommendations of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce's Development Process Review Task Force. New customer service initiatives in the Plans Management Branch include Quality Control Review of plans for completeness on submittal for plans review, tracking and monitoring (through all City departments) the status of projects from the plans review process through permit issuance, and monitoring partial and conditional permits issued to expedite the start of construction prior to full approval by all City departments.
The Permits Division represents Development Services in meetings of the Plats Review Committee, Redevelopment Coordinating Committee, Street Naming Committee, Development Assistance Team, Board of Zoning Adjustment, Building and Fire Codes Board of Appeals, City Plan Commission, City Council committees, and other public meetings. The division manager of Permits is a member of the FOCUS Core Team and is responsible for coordinating its policies and procedures with the FOCUS Kansas City policy statements and implementation strategies.
The Permits Division also administers the Contractor Licensing and Registration Program, which plays an integral role in safeguarding the public. Program staff are responsible for determining the competence, qualifications, and eligibility of individuals and companies to work in 23 regulated trades; processing approximately 240 applications annually for third-party trades exams; monitoring contractors year-round for code compliance; processing, issuance, and renewal of supervisor certificates, contractor licenses, and contractor registrations; and assisting the Permits and Investigations divisions with issues related to licensed and registered contractors. Program personnel bill the roughly 5,000 active accounts for renewal and assist about 10,000 customers each year. Approximately 2,800 new and renewal supervisor certificates and 1,000 contractor licenses and registrations are processed annually.
|Plans Review Division|
Gary Marker, R.A.
Reports to Greg Franzen
The safeguarding of public health, safety, and well-being is accomplished by the Plans Review Division by enforcing compliance with the building code and its technical articles, the Zoning Ordinance, and the Floodplain Ordinance through the examination and review of all plans for construction, renovation, or remodeling of buildings and building systems; staff resolution of questions posed by property owners, contractors, and designers; and the evaluation of code modification requests submitted by designers. The Plans Review Division is located in the Oak Tower building adjacent to City Hall where the public can conveniently complete many commercial and residential building permit-related activities. Those activities include Scheduled Express Plans Review of tenant finish projects, review of one- and two-family dwelling permit applications, review of fast-track sprinkler permits, and preapproved construction permits. The division manager of Plans Review or his appointee represents Development Services at such functions as Building and Fire Codes Board of Appeals hearings and City Council committee meetings.
The Plans Review Division is managed by an Engineer Section Head. The Commercial Plans Branch is supervised by an Engineer Group Leader who is a registered architect. The branch is staffed by registered engineers and graduate engineers who perform structural, nonstructural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, elevator, fire protection, floodplain, and zoning reviews. All plan reviewers are cross-trained to enable each of them to review all aspects of a project rather than just one specialty. Additional services provided by Plans Review associates include providing code interpretations to telephone callers and conducting preliminary code review meetings and team inspections for projects in the developmental stages. The Residential Plans Branch is managed by a Development Specialist II and is supported by a Graduate Engineer, as well as by the Plans Review staff in general.
Timely service is a high priority in the Plans Review Division. Because the combined expertise of the entire Plans Review staff is available throughout the day, the division is able to handle projects of considerable complexity by appointment on a one-stop basis, resulting in permits being issued the same day in many cases. Projects of larger scope are logged into the plan tracking system for a detailed plan review by the Plans Review staff and staff in other city departments. One- and two-family dwelling permit applicants are also handled primarily on an appointment basis with homeowners and builders, with pre-certified plans and preapproved master plans being served on a one-stop basis. All others are logged in for review by Plans Review staff. The Plans Review Division works very closely with the Permits Division to ensure the completeness of submittals before plans review efforts are expended.
|Land Development Division|
Dion Waldon, P.E.
Reports to Tom G. Coyle, Director
On May 2, 2005, the Department of Codes Administration was consolidated, along with the Development Services Division of the Department of Public Works Engineering Division, into the new Development Services group of the City Planning and Development Department. The former DSD became the Land Development Division of the consolidated department. The functions of the former DSD initially will remain the same, however, without the constraints of being in separate departments. The new Land Development Division is involved in Permitting, Plats Review, infrastructure Plan Review, and general services, such as culvert sizing, Grade Ordinances, Street and Alley Vacation Review, and Encroachment/Street Banner Authorizations. Below is a brief description of various functions that will continue to be provided by this branch.
The Permitting Group is responsible for issuance of private development funded project permits for construction of major public infrastructure, such as street improvements, storm and sanitary sewer improvements, street lighting and signals improvements, public grading improvements, land disturbance permits, drive approaches, sidewalks, and general sewer connections.
The Plats Review Group is responsible for creating proposed development project files and acquiring land development records necessary to identify land development conditions pertaining to plats review and infrastructure improvements, reviewing proposed subdivision final plats and lot splits for conformance to the Subdivision Regulations and the requirements of the Plats Review Committee, City Plan Commission, and Planning Zoning and Economic Development Council Subcommittee.
The review of the privately funded development public infrastructure will continue to be provided by the engineering staff of the Land Development Plan Review Services Branch per the familiar Public Infrastructure Reference Standards & Requirements. Currently, traffic review, traffic closure review, traffic operation plan review, traffic engineering review, street lighting review, excavation permit review and issuance, right-of-way management, water main extension review and permitting, and water tap or connection permitting will remain outside this branch's responsibilities. Land Development review will be focused on street design, storm and sanitary sewer design, grading, land disturbance, and stormwater studies. This branch will continue to include Quality Control Review, which is responsible for ensuring package completeness on all submittals, in accordance with the Checklist under the former Department designation. QCR pre-submittal meetings will continue, along with general project meetings and Review Comment Resolution (RCR) meetings, as necessary, to ensure timely and responsive assistance to the development community.