HBA staff and members have been working closely with the Washington County Land Use and Transportation Permitting teams to address the extensive backlogs and delays in their current permitting system. While engaging with staff, we’ve heard how a multitude of factors have driven unprecedented wait times for the intake and approval of residential permit applications, including staff turnover and shortages, effects of Covid-related closures, and a surge in permit activity at all levels. In addition to several one-on-one meetings and a meeting with more than a dozen builders on a stakeholder call on Monday, August 8th, we have proposed several solution-oriented practices to cut the backlog, like reducing or adjusting public OTC hours, triaging permit activity and staff time, and separating different applications at intake and revision stages, among others. We will continue to communicate with county officials and press them to make this issue a top priority until it is solved. If you would like to provide feedback or get involved, please reach out to Preston Korst (firstname.lastname@example.org).