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Web tool offers peek at building counter wait times

People seeking building permits can now go online to find out how to avoid long waits when they go to the San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use counters.

The department unveiled its latest Web tool last week: wait-time charts that show when waits are shortest and longest at building permit counters every day, based on average times from the previous month.

The charts are posted on and will be updated each Monday.

The wait-time charts are just one of several Web-based tools the Planning Department has unveiled over the last year to help customers avoid planning-counter lines. In August, the department created a permit fee “estimator calculator” to let customers estimate the cost of building permits and plan checks.

The department also introduced the Kivanet Public and Citizen Web sites, on which customers can research permit and property histories and apply for some building permits. Each of the systems can be accessed at

The Building Division’s counters at 5201 Ruffin Road in San Diego are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The division issued more than 6,000 building permits in the 2007-2008 fiscal year, which ended in June.

The charts posted this week showed wait times fluctuated from five to 15 minutes in the morning and peaked at 35 minutes to 45 minutes in the afternoon.


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