Bellone, Spencer Unveil Streamlined Health Permit Review Process

Streamlining will reduce permit approval times and expedite the approval process.

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Hauppauge, NY - June 9, 2014 - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Legislator Doc Spencer and members of the Department of Health, the Department of Economic Development and Planning, and the Office of Performance Management announces a new streamlined health permit review process to reduce permit approval times and expedite the approval process. Suffolk County collaborated with building industry leaders to conduct a coordinated review process to determine what specific areas of the permit process needed the most improvement.
“Our goal is to ensure safe, responsible and quality building practices while at the same time make certain the permit approval process is as efficient and timely as possible,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “These new modifications and enhancements will encourage and strengthen positive economic development by putting in place a more efficient and manageable permit process.”  
The session, which took place on Thursday, June 5th in William T. Rogers auditorium was kicked off by Legislator Spencer. “Numerous times I’ve been approached by individuals who are navigating the health permit process and are left frustrated over to the length of times it takes for an approval,” said Legislator Spencer. “To help address this issue we’ve worked to form a public/private partnership with Long Island Builders Institute and The Association for a Better Long Island. I’m confident this new and improved process will boost our local economy while protecting our environment.”
The training seminar drew over 150 participants. Attendants, eager to learn the new system, spanned a wide spectrum of professionals including: businesses, engineers, environmentalists, land-use professionals and local village and town leaders.
“The ability to properly expedite these applications is the most important oversight aspect of Suffolk County Government,” stated Mitch Pally, CEO of Long Island Builders Institute. “It will benefit our economy and environment if applicants can get it done right the first time. We are very pleased to participate with the County in moving to reform the health permit process.”
The revamped process, as presented by Thomas Melito, Suffolk County Deputy County Executive and Walter J. Hilbert, Suffolk County Principal Pubic Health Engineer Chief, will focus on guiding applicants to submit higher quality applications as the first line of defense against the system’s perennial backlog; the number one cause of the lengthy process.
An analysis of the process revealed that 1% of the total time, from submission of application to approval, is spent on reviewing the technical aspects of the application; the balance of the time is spent on an iterative process of awaiting, reviewing and evaluating additional information from the applicant. This process can delay approvals by months.
The new process, to kickoff on July 1st, 2014, will address numerous long term and short term activities which will include, but are not limited to:
  • simplifying communications,
  • modification of resubmittal process for incomplete applications,
  • establishment of on-going working group for design professionals,
  • establishment of an outcome based performance management system for shared use by design professionals and county staff
  • implementation of complaint system for discovered waste and abuse involving licensed professionals. 
Desmond Ryan, Executive Director of Association for a Better Long Island pointed out, “Long Island makes up 2% of the US economy. The ability to move these projects forward will have far reaching impacts on our local economy.”