Thursday, June 10, 2010

More Mishegoss with the City of Berkeley (who else?)

The Permit Center of the City of Berkeley. What a joy, what a pleasure to deal with.

Last week, Tom went in to submit the corrections for the Delaney House. When you submit a permit, the City comes back with corrections, that you then have to resubmit. Tom made an appointment and went down at the agreed upon time. After waiting 45 minutes, his name was finally called, and he went up to the desk.

The woman behind the desk took his packet and said "Thanks you're done". There was no discussion, no meeting, nothing. It was like dropping off a package at UPS.

So today, Tom went down to submit the Cheney Cottage corrections. Because of his experience, he figured that he would just drop it off, so he went by the Permit Center to give them the package. But no! That's not the way things are done at the Permit Center. We again need an appointment, presumably so we can sit around and wait to hand the package to someone behind the counter. And we can't get an appointment to hand the package to someone until Monday.

Remember that we are under some time pressure to get the houses moved. And remember that the City of Berkeley says historic preservation is important, restoration of blighted properties is important, and creating additional rental housing is important. City staff have told us that they are glad we're doing this on 62nd Street, a neighborhood that needs more homeowners who are passionate about improving the area. Yet the Permit Center can do nothing - NOTHING - to help move the process along.

It's beginning to feel personal. Are staff ot the Permit Center reading this blog, and treating us this way as retribution? Is the City really pissed off that we managed to save the Cheney Cottage despite their best efforts to (you'll pardon the expression) "queer the deal"?

Or is this just typical Berkeley Bureaucracy?

Whatever it is, we're tired of it. The next house we restore will be in Oakland.

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