What is a Permit Expediter? Planning process

Permit Expediter, Planning Department Process, Property Regulations, Application

What is a Permit Expediter and Why Do You Need One?

Building Regulations – Planning Department Article

21 Jul 2018

What is a Permit Expediter – Why Needed?

What is a Permit Expediter and Why Do You Need One?

Whether you are building an extension to your mega-mansion or planning a retail shopping center downtown, sooner or later, you will come up against the local planning department. City planners are responsible for managing all developments in their area. It’s their job to enforce planning regulations so that architects and builders don’t erect monstrous structures that are unsafe, hideous, and generally out of place.

What is a Permit Expediter and Why Do You Need One?
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Applying for permits can be incredibly frustrating, especially if the clock is ticking on your project and your financial backers are impatient about the supposed lack of progress. Most people find that their local planning department is confusing, and the system is completely baffling for everyone who doesn’t work there – and probably plenty who do!

What is a Permit Expediter?

A permit expediter is a consultant or firm who ‘expedites’ the process of obtaining the necessary permits to allow work to go ahead. Most ordinary people wouldn’t need to hire a permit expeditor. They would just grit their teeth and work through the mire of paperwork and forms until a permit was granted. Big developers are different.

For them, time is money and a two-month delay on a housing project could cost them millions of dollars, so they hire a permit expediter to ensure a nine-month process doesn’t take a day longer than it should.

The role of a permit expediter is to manage the process of obtaining the necessary permits. They can’t speed the process up as there are no legitimate backdoors to obtaining a permit in super quick time, but they can make sure the right forms are submitted on time, the correct information is provided, and no mistakes are made along the way. Since omissions and mistakes all take time to correct, the job of a permit expediter is extremely important on high-value construction projects.

Choosing the Right Permit Expediter

There are many different sub-types of permit expeditor, depending on your budget. The cheapest permit expeditors will deliver forms and paperwork for clients, but they won’t carry out any research or prepare your case.

If you just need someone to make sure paperwork is delivered at the right place and in time, one of these guys will do the job, but if you need the whole process managing from start to finish, it’s best to hire an experienced MAP Strategies permit expediter consultant to make sure your paperwork is compliant and your case is well-researched.


Check to see whether your permit expediter has inside knowledge of the local planning department. This is often critical. People who have inside contacts, or used to work in the planning office, know how to get the job done in the shortest possible time.

There are many risks involved in a large building project and compliance is critical. Your permit expediter must be familiar with all the local programs and geography, or your project could come off the rails pretty quickly.

Finally, select a permit expeditor according to your budget, but be wary of going too cheap, or it could come back to bite you.

Comments on this PPlanning Department Process advice article are welcome.

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