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Nov 07

Menlo Park faces increasing building inspection demands

Posted on November 7, 2015 at 6:13 pm by Clay Curtin

August through the end of November is typically the busiest time of the year for building inspection services. This year, the City is experiencing an unusually high level of demand due to the level of overall development activity and the possible El Nino storms that could impact construction. This has been exaggerated further by the recent loss of one of the City's three building inspectors who has resigned to accept a job with a City closer to his home. Under normal circumstances, the City completes 64 percent of its inspections within one day of the request and 95 percent within three days. With the increase in activity and the loss of an inspector, the rates have dropped to 33 percent within one day, 72 percent within three days and 28 percent now taking longer than three days to complete. Although the City was able to hire a new inspector who started this week, it will take time for him to come fully up to speed. The City was unable to fill a second vacant inspector position. The Building Division is taking steps to address the inspection delays by allowing overtime for the inspectors, having the assistant community development director personally conduct inspections of the three major residential projects on Haven and Hamilton Avenues and contacting contract inspection firms. To date, none of these firms have available contract inspectors. Through these efforts, the Building Division is targeting a return to normal operations near the first of the year.