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By Phil in Peoria, AZ on 5/1/2007


Hi all,

We just made an offer on some land in Peoria, still unincorporated county. Can anyone tell me how long they are taking for permits on a new build? Also we need to put in septic, any good subs would be very helpful.

Thanks,

Phil


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By C in Chandler, AZ on 5/3/2007


Well, I think I am the exception, but it took me 10.5 months to get my single family permit from the City of Chandler. I don't think that the county is quite as stringent, but if there are big holes in your plans (HVAC, gas, plumbing, etc.) it could take you a while to proceed.

My best advice is know EXACTLY where you are getting water, sewer, electricity and any other utilities you will need. By exactly, I mean, how deep is your sewer connection within a couple of inches? Where is your water tap? What PSI is your water? What size water lines and sewer mains are you connecting to? Do you need to dedicate any easements to the utility companies? Show all of this information on your plans, first submittal, with any supporting documents you can get from the utility companies.

Best case scenario is that you will get one set of red lines, and be permitted in two months. Or you could be like me, receive 6 rejections before finally strong-arming the city across the finish line. The worst part of it all is all the way through the process and right up to the day I pulled the permit, I could not have told you if I was 6 days, 6 weeks or 6 months away from starting construction.


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By Phil in Peoria, AZ on 5/3/2007


Thanks for the heads up. We hope to break ground by fall, but who knows what the county has in store for us. My architect is pretty thorough and we will submit plans this month. The property has a shared well and we have to put in septic, so a perc test is in order. If you have any good subs, please let me know. I have the finishing skills, so finish work is not a problem; it's the rough-in subs we need to find. Thanks again and good luck with your build.
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By Terry in Phoenix / Oracle, AZ on 5/8/2007


I know various owners that have had to wait 10 to 15 months in Maricopa County or the general Phoenix area for permits.  Also, be aware that many of jurisdictions can be more than a bit anal about the process and even in-progress work.  Even then, there are likely to be red-linings on your prints and even outright rejection even if you think you have your ducks in a row. 

A couple of examples:

A owner building west of the White Tanks in an unincorporated area is now going on a year just getting his septic approved.  He has not even gotten to the point where he can get the house started as he cannot get the septic in. The county wanted multiple perk tests.  Then they wanted a redesign with more reserve piping.  Then there was a question about placement, etc.

A guy building in the Buckeye area on a hillside lot ran into an absolute mess with grading and putting in retaining wall on his lot.  He (like I, was in Pinal county) permitted to one design and then told his design would not pass inspection.  He had to completely rebuild the retaining walls as the county was adamant that they would not pass them as built (they suddenly wanted 12" block versus the designed 8" over 6 feet even though current code requirements show 8" requirements for over 6 foot walls as designed).

One owner I know that built in North Phoenix near Cave Creek got slapped (undeservedly) with code violations based on satellite photographs of his property recently.  Just be loaded for bear dealing with the local permitting agencies.

 


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By Phil in Peoria, AZ on 5/9/2007


Thanks Terry, I talked to the county today and they said it is taking about two weeks to review plans, then after they are kicked back another two weeks and so on. I guess it's not so bad since things have slowed down in the real estate market. My biggest problem now is that I can't even get started until we close on the land, they are asking for a copy of the deed when we submit. So I guess we just sit and wait, but hey whats a few thousand $ in interest anyway!
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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 5/9/2007


There are two reasons the county wants to see the deed. And if you push the issue you might be able to speed them along. Reason number One is verify legal access to property. Too often in the past people have created lots which did not have legal access of either a road or ingress/egress easement, leading to big battles with the neighbors.

Reason number Two is to verify ownership. On this issue i have presented a copy of the contract which the county accepted as grounds for letting us submit for permits, but they would not issue the permit until after closing. Another way has been to submit the plans in the name of the seller with a clear written agreement that the name would change on the permit once closing occurred.

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By Phil in Peoria, AZ on 5/9/2007


Thanks Dale,

I already thought about the contract and I emailed the county with that question. I'll wait for their answer and if that's not good, I'll try that deal with the owner. I'll let you know what happens.


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By Dusty in Tucson, AZ on 5/15/2007


I heard a rumor some months ago that Pinal County was raising building permits to ~$7K... any truth to this? Does anyone have a ballpark number for the typical 3BD/2BA residential permit costs in Pinal? The last time I checked with them, it was like 6-8 weeks for permits... is that about right?

Thanks!

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By Terry in Phoenix / Oracle, AZ on 5/16/2007


Yes, Pinal County did raise the cost of getting permits. What they are assessing now is an "impact fee" of about $5K to $9K, depending on where in the county you are building. This was done to make up for the rapid growth in the northern end of the county in the Queen Creek and Gilbert areas where the county could not keep pace with the construction and infrastructure.


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By RogerC in Phoenix, AZ on 5/7/2008


Hi Terry,

You've got me curious... what did the satellite photos show as a code violation that actually wasn't?


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By RogerC in Phoenix, AZ on 5/7/2008


Hi Dale,

I'm just getting started with the O-B process. Your post caught my attention, because the first hurdle I must overcome has to do with legal access. I do have my deed, but I bought the land 'with exception to legal access'. I did this knowingly and with good reason, but now, if I understand your explanation correctly, I won't be able to submit a permit request until I get legal access ironed out. 

I intend to hire a real estate attorney to gain legal access across the parcel adjacent to mine (currently vacant land), but I had hoped to get going with the permitting process simultaneously. 

Two questions for you:

1) Do you think a real estate attorney is necessary, or is this something that could be done without one?

2) Are you saying even though I have a deed, the county will not even consider my permit without me first showing proof of legal access? Or is having the deed all they are really interested in? What did you mean by "if you push the issue you might be able to speed them along"?

Thanks very much for any thoughts you might have.

RogerC


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