Mayor Don Wesely today announced a new process for reviewing development applications that will shorten the processing time by six to 12 weeks and save money. The new process eliminates the preliminary plat process and the requirement that the final plat be approved by the Planning Commission.
“We are committed to reducing the time it takes to process applications, cutting unnecessary paperwork and streamlining procedures,” said Mayor Wesely. “The changes will make the process much less time-consuming for developers and City staff, reduce the application fee by about $300 and save money for both parties. Developers are still required to comply with all design standards and minimum improvements called for by city ordinances.”
The change was identified by the Mayor’s Initiative on Regulatory Streamlining, created earlier this year to examine how to expedite the development process. The group consists of directors of key city departments.
Wesely said the requirement to file a preliminary plat (the proposed layout and design of all features of the development) will be eliminated because the information contained in community unit plans is basically duplicated by the preliminary plat. The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning staff will forward the community unit plan directly to the Planning Commission, eliminating the “director’s review” of the preliminary plat and reducing the processing time by 30 to 60 days, according to Planning Director Marvin Krout. Eliminating the requirement that the final plat be approved by the Planning Commission will reduce the processing time by an additional two to four weeks.
The Mayor and the Planning Department urge all developers and consulting engineers who want to use the modified process to request a preliminary meeting with Planning Department staff to discuss the development before officially submitting the application. The Planning Department is also asking developers to double check the plans they submit so that corrections can be kept to a minimum.