City of Atlanta Technical Advisory Committee Updated on BKD Timeline and Approach

The City of Atlanta Technical Advisory Committee met at Atlanta City Hall on August 18th, 2015. Members of the Committee heard from Ms. Julia Mast, forensic accountant and senior consultant with the firm BKD CPA and Advisors. For the next six months, BKD and their partner, Fiscal Choice Consulting, will assist the City of Atlanta to streamline their present regulatory infrastructure. To achieve this, they will assess all opportunities for regulatory reform and culture and staffing improvements. They will also conduct a process and technology assessment and facilitate multiple community outreach events to ensure there is public support for the action plan that will be submitted to the City of Atlanta by January 2016.

A more specific breakdown of the timeline presented by Ms. Mast is as follows:

  • August and September: In the backdrop of ongoing data analysis, BKD will host a kick-off meeting and conduct interviews that capture a cross-section of community interests.
  • October and November: BKD will assist the City of Atlanta in addressing fixes which can be made right away. They will also develop a set of strategic recommendations regarding more complex concerns.
  • December and January: Strategic recommendations will be submitted for stakeholder review and validation. The Final Business Plan will provide a road map with strong accountability standards the City can use to transform the way they do business.

Upon review of the timeline, it was suggested that retail and industrial, single family construction, high rise, multifamily construction, engineering and architectural interests be asked for their input separately, rather than approaching the development perspective as a single entity. There was a hard emphasis placed on ensuring that the outreach process solicits feedback from experts who do not sit on the TAC, and who possess on the ground, day to day experience with the permitting process as it stands.

The meeting concluded with the City of Atlanta’s webmaster, Mr. Chris Colbert, walking TAC members through the stylistic and content changes made to the Office of Building webpage. Modifications included the addition of new graphics, removal of dead links, and editing of the amount of information which hits the eye upon arrival to the site.

Members are encouraged to view the new site HERE.

The City also took the opportunity to premiere their new, larger, color-coded placard to the committee. It is hoped this placard will make inspection and development site information more easily visible to the public from a distance and harder to remove from the premises.

The next City of Atlanta Technical Advisory meeting is scheduled for September 15, 2015 on the third floor arborist room in Atlanta City Hall.

As you may recall, in 2012, the Atlanta City Council, with the support of the Council for Quality Growth and MARTG partners, passed an ordinance that created the Office of Buildings Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), with Mayor Reed appointing a key advisory committee to oversee the Enterprise Fund, a provision left from the overhaul of Atlanta’s Building Permit Reform package.

The TAC, chaired by Scott Selig, of Selig Enterprises, is composed of nine members appointed by the Mayor, with seven of the appointments stemming from recommendations of interested stakeholder groups. It is charged with advising and making recommendations to the Mayor, the Commissioner of Planning and Community Development and the Director of Office of Buildings on service levels, procedures, fees and staffing, along with providing insight into the permitting process and monitoring revenues and expenses for the Office of Buildings Enterprise Fund. The committee meets monthly to discuss updates, reports, and potential reforms to the City’s operations.