Building Departments are often characterized by bureaucratic permit processes, red tape, and constant delays. But change is in the air as many departments take advantage of online permit processes, improved customer service, digital plan reviews, remote inspections, and nimble organizational structures.
The tragic 2007 fire at the Deutsche Bank Building in New York City exposed safety lapses and communication breakdowns at various levels. It prompted renewed emphasis on “safety first”, and a major overhaul of demolition and abatement processes in the City.
Zoning was a tool to separate harmful industrial uses from residential and commercial uses. However, the impact of zoning has been far greater. Recent studies have shown that zoning regulations create racial and economic divide in cities.