Howdy ACRP members
First off, to echo our president’s message, we here at ACRP sincerely hope that all of you are staying safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. Here is a brief overview of where we stand with Community Service & Government Affairs:
We were sincerely disappointed not to see everyone in person at the zoo for the Chron’s & Colitis Foundation event, but we were VERY pleased with the response we got from our online event! On March 28, we reached nearly 1,400 people and almost 700 people engaged with the IBD community through the Chron’s & Colitis foundation Facebook page. We had participants from California to New York, even Spain and Dubai join us, and actually, we aren’t done yet! We received such positive feedback from our Take Steps Community Connection, that we want to keep the virtual connection going. On June 20th, Take Steps communities from across the country will come together as one for Take Steps + VIRTUAL to raise critical funds for the 3.1 million Crohn’s and Colitis patients who need us NOW more than ever! The Chron’s & Colitis’ local website has been updated to reflect this information, and we’d love to have your continued support. We have currently raised $112,000 of our $200,000 goal
- Harris County
- Harris County Permits will remain open to the public and has enacted a social-distancing and sanitation policy. They are still accepting appointments, however, appointments will be over-the-counter. They are limiting face-to-face meetings as much as possible. Additionally, high traffic areas, including the permit lobby, are being sanitized throughout the day. Effective immediately, the Harris County Permits Office will not be accepting or processing cash payments for all permit or inspection fees, in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Customers may pay by check at the cashier's window or by credit card in-person at the kiosk located in the Permits Office Lobby at 10555 Northwest Freeway, Houston TX 77092. Customers may also pay by credit card online at https://epermits.harriscountytx.gov
- Thankfully, we are seeing turnaround times about 20% faster for permit reviews even during this health crisis and the majority of county staff working from home
- Harris County Permits Office will no longer be accepting hard copy paper plans for the Record Drawing submittal. Please upload the drawings to the project file in CRM. If you need any further clarification on the actual process, please contact Marc Barbe at Marc.Barbe@eng.hctx.net
- City of Houston
- Beginning Monday, March 23rd, The City has implemented certain measures to protect their permittees as well as their employees. To minimize the number of customers in the lobby, The City has moved the majority of its services online, and will require appointments for in-person transactions. The Permitting Center is doing this to maintain operations while protecting the community by reducing the number of customers in waiting areas
- All services (including permits, certificates of occupancy and temporary certificates of occupancy) are available online, except for:
- Fire Prevention Permits (Houston Fire Department)
- Auto Dealers & Identification (Houston Police Department)
- Boiler Operator’s Testing
- Stationary Engineer’s Testing
- Customers will have limited access to the Houston Permitting Center building. In-person visits to the Houston Permitting Center will be scheduled by appointment, only when necessary. Customers must show proof of appointment or a valid sales order to enter the building
- All customers must go through the north entrance by the Information Desk
- Occupancy Inspections
- Pick-up of Certificates of Occupancy (CO) and Certificates of Compliance (CC) will be done by appointment. Please email email@example.com to schedule an appointment time.
- When you arrive at the building, please wait at the building entrance and call Occupancy Inspections at 832.656.2773. Your certificate will be brought out to you. Please have your ID available
- Traffic Permits and Plan Review
- Effective immediately, the Traffic walk-in service has been replaced with a quicker more efficient process. All customers seeking to remove and replace (in kind) sidewalks, driveway and curb must submit a permit application and site plan through iPermits portal. Customers should select Sitework Application
- The required permit application can be found here: Form CE-1023 Sidewalk Driveway Permit Application. All questions and concerns about the walk-in service can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Any minor plan review, consisting of no more than two comments that have been effectively resolved may utilize the email@example.com inbox. Any other plan review requests submitted to this inbox will be reviewed through the standard HPC review process
- BCE Traffic review appointments will be handled over the phone, via Skype or by other virtual means. Customers are advised to contact their most recent Traffic reviewer to set up an appointment.
- Storm Plan Review
- Effective March 24, projects that qualify for the storm plan review walk-in service can e-mail StormPlanReview@houstontx.gov on Mondays from 8 am to 3 pm. Please include the project number in the subject of your e-mail
- All projects using this service must be electronic plans. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to convert your existing project to online submission before you request "walk-in" service.
- To see if your project qualifies, please refer to the Stormwater Walk-In Service Guidelines.
- If your project does not qualify for walk-in service and you need to expedite your project, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for all storm projects and follow the procedures for paid plan review
- If you have any questions, please e-mail StormPlanReview@houstontx.gov
- Office of the City Engineer
- Projects that started on paper must be continue through the paper and mylar approval process. They cannot be converted to online submission
- Pick-up and drop-off of paper and mylar plans will occur on the 1st floor by appointment. Please email email@example.com or call 832-394-9149 to schedule a time
- Archive requests
- Still being done in person, but by appointment only. Please contact Linda Garrison at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (832) 393-8543 for more information.
- Private Utility Signatures
- Representatives from ACRP approached Director Carol Haddock to ask for her assistance in asking AT&T & Centerpoint Energy for their signature procedures during the COVID-19 crisis. Both utilities have issued new procedures and be accessed here:
CenterPoint Standard Procedure Instructions 4-2-2020
AT&T Electronic Signatures Procedures 4-2-2020
Have a great weekend!
Austin Brauel, PE, ENV, SP
ACRP Community and Government Affairs Director