Mecklenburg County is consolidating all of its building permitting, construction inspection and other development work into an office in uptown Charlotte.
The work is all handled by the county’s Land Development Program, which had been operating out of two satellite offices in northern and southern Mecklenburg.
Staff already have moved out of an office the county had in the Fullwood Commons development in Matthews. And employees are expected to move out of a second office on Verhoeff Drive in Huntersville at the end of November.
The county said the land services will all be handled out of the Hal Marshall Services Center at 700 N. Tryon St. in uptown. Other county agencies will use the Huntersville and Matthews office space, said Joe Aug, manager of the Land Development Program.
The shift of services only affects projects built in one of the county’s six towns or in unincorporated portions of Mecklenburg County. Projects planned within the boundaries of Charlotte are handled by the city.
Officials said the consolidation of the development offices comes, in part, because of budget cuts to the agency. The land services are paid for primarily through fees from developers, and that revenue has dropped as construction slowed in recent years.
In addition, officials said that blueprints, site plans and other forms can be submitted electronically, so developers don’t need to come to an office.
Aug said the Land Development Program has eight employees, and having the staff all together could help the office work more efficiently. It also will save money, though the amount would not completely make up for the money the office has lost in recent years.
Staff plans to meet with town managers next month to discuss how the land program will be funded in 2013-14.
The county’s Land Development Program handles the following type of work:
• Land development plan review and permitting for subdivisions and commercial projects.
• Land development bonds and sureties.
• Residential building permits.
• Construction site inspections, such as roadways, driveways, sidewalks and storm drainage infrastructure.
• Water quality regulations including erosion control, stream buffer protection and impervious area limits.