It Takes a Village

Each town, village and city is unique…not just in it’s feel, look and population, but in it’s ability to approve a building project. This is not so obvious to somebody that has not gone through the process before. It’s really insane.  The review boards, the applications, the sequence of approvals vary dramatically from year to year -even in the same town!

How?  For example, many review boards that get involved in  approving a building are comprised of volunteer members who serve for terms. The term expires, and you can have genuine havoc as the new members try to assert themselves in a pecking order.  Truthfully, many appointees are political, or social in nature, some members with virtually little or no training in understanding the complexities of design and construction. Yet they frequently have authority to derail or harm you project.  It can be very frustrating. That’s why it is important to have a strong advocate for your project and somebody, not always an architect, to represent you and your ideas. Often times it can be a lawyer.  If you consider the lawyer  route, make sure they have related experience in this field, and are not just a polished speaker, because the questions can come fast and hard. Additionally, the approvals can change as a result of code revisions, zoning changes, personnel changes and of course- enforcement. Enforcement is tricky- as the even-handed treatment that you think you are entitled to, is not always the case. And yeah, you can certainly challenge City Hall, but that will not get you far. They always have the upper hand. We have 20+ years of experience in front of these  boards and like to share the banter and persuade these folks to see our point of  view!. Call Steve now 914 980 5532 to discuss you project.