All construction plans for commercial or residential plans in St. Louis County can now be submitted online, a milestone officials have worked toward for years.
Plans can be submitted through the new Citizen Permitting Portal on the St. Louis County website. The county started accepting online submissions Monday.
Previously, all plans to be reviewed by the Public Works Department had to be printed and dropped off at the county administration building in Clayton, which cost each applicant thousands of dollars, according to a news release from the county.
Code enforcement employees would then make comments on construction plans either by mail or email, “leading to confusion and delays,” the county said in the release. Those employees perform about 12,000 initial plan reviews each year, the county said. In the new system, applicants can track all comments made about a project, and can also renew and apply for electrical, plumbing and mechanical licenses through the online portal.
The county estimates the move to online submissions will save applicants $24 million a year, which should “lead to even more robust economic development for our community,” County Executive Sam Page said in the release.
The move to online permits was a key goal of the St. Louis Regional Permitting Collaborative, a group of interested organizations that started meeting around a decade ago to figure out how to make the move online and to streamline the process between county municipalities and county government.
The chair of the collaborative and the director of government affairs for St. Louis Realtors, Charles Hinderliter, said in a statement, “This will save time and money and make it easier for residents and small businesses to build and renovate in St. Louis County. These efforts are a win for economic development and attracting more jobs to the County.”
The organizations that make up the permitting collaborative are the American Council of Engineering Companies, Associated General Contractors of Missouri, American Institute of Architects St. Louis Chapter, Greater St. Louis Inc., Home Builders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri, International Council of Shopping Centers, Missouri Growth Association, Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, St. Louis Realtors, St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and Urban Land Institute St. Louis.
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