Planning doing its best

The perception that the Planning Department, as the setter and monitor of high and necessary building standards but slow in handling requests and submissions, is shared by not just individual home owners but by contractors and developers.

This image became even more widespread following the visit of Hurricane Ivan as various applicants for permits and inspections expressed frustration at the delays encountered.

However, the Director of Planning, Mr. Kenneth Ebanks, at the recent Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon effectively shot down that perception.

He gave statistics of the numbers – literally thousands of inspections and site visits made by the Department’s small number of inspectors in the effort to have people with damaged homes re-housed and re-connected to utilities. His explanation of the handicaps and challenges the Department encountered (and are still facing) with lost records and lost offices, converted the harshest skeptics and critics to realize that delays resulted not from bureaucratic hassles, but from sheer volume and less than adequate tools and work environment.

Since the luncheon, the matters before Planning in which I have an interest, have started to move.

I trust this is the experience of others and that this continues to be reality.

Lee Maragh