CARLSBAD — Development is expected to slow down over the next several months, or even year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has put millions out of work.
For developers, it means slowing or even shutting down plans for new construction or renovations. However, the City Council approved a one-year extension for building permits and permit applications in response to COVID-19 during its June 16 meeting.
Jeff Murphy, community development director for the city, said delays are inevitable and by allowing permits and applications an extension, it will help ease the burden moving into the future.
“The number of delays will continue to increase in the foreseeable future,” he told the council.
On May 18, staff met with the economic revitalization ad hoc subcommittee to provide recommendations on authorizing automatic time extensions for building permit and building permit applications.
The 2019 California Building Code authorizes building officials to grant time extensions on building permit and building permit applications on a case‐by‐case basis in response to an applicant’s written request demonstrating justifiable cause for the extension.
However, when the city adopted the state standards last year, the ability to extend building permit applications was inadvertently excluded from the city’s building code, Murphy said.
Regardless, the council approved the item on June 16, which included the ability to grant an extension.
Murphy said the first steps for the process are submitting an application followed by obtaining building permits, which are valid for one year. Additionally, the city reviews the applications and permits on a case-by-case basis for an extension.
Under the new resolution, the automatic one‐year extension will provide additional time builders will need while avoiding the case‐by‐case evaluation process that is currently required for granting time extensions.
The council also approved authorizing building officials to extend unexpired applications and permits an additional year from the date they are issued.
Building permits expire within 180 days from the date of issuance unless work authorized under the permit commences. The section goes on to authorize officials to grant one or more extensions of time for periods not to exceed 180 days, each for a cumulative total of no more than three years, on a case‐by‐case basis, again upon the applicant’s written request demonstrating a justifiable cause for the extension, according to the staff report.