Blog note, Business/Economy, Denver

Denver uses red tape to pick winners and losers

A recent KMGH Ch-7 report pulled no punches on the state of bureaucracy in Denver:

Tens of millions of dollars in private sector construction projects are bottlenecked because the City and County of Denver isn’t approving permits fast enough to meet the demand, a CALL7 Investigation has found.

Contractors say while work on commercial and residential properties around Denver is plentiful, they often must wait months for bureaucrats to approve their paperwork so they can get started.

But the insult becomes injury when you look back and remember the city has previously boasted about their fast-tracking of solar projects!

From the Denver Biz Journal:

icon_blog_note“Denver’s efforts to cut the cost and time needed to get permits to install solar power systems at homes and businesses has landed it a designation as a “Solar Friendly Community,” the first in the nation.”

The same article goes on to say, “Denver’s permitting office can issue a permit at the counter in 15 minutes, while it can take up to 20 days in other jurisdictions…”

Pardon my snark, but La-Dee-Frickin-Da!

A Denver Post article from November of last year laid out just such a juxtaposition in which “regular” business owners were feeling pushed aside by the city in favor of tech startups.

Or, compare Denver’s solar policy to a flare-up that slowed down the food trucks of one small business owner in 2011. The same story included allegations of vague threats by city workers of tickets and ‘mandatory court.’

The KMGH article makes plain to anyone who reads it that bureaucracy is grinding down the pace of construction, which means overall economic activity and progress are slowed in the process.

When compared to Denver’s solar fast-track policy, this is the very sort of thing that makes the average person cynical about city hall.  The city should take its thumb off the scale when it comes to zoning and permits.  It’s obviously more fair, and should work to make a more prosperous Denver in less time.  Funny how that works.

It’s all too reminiscent of this “Back to School” clip starring Rodney Dangerfield:

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