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The city’s Planning and Economic Development Department has been working remotely during the COVID 19 pandemic. At this time, staff is fully functional and can respond to voice mails, emails and all land use and sign application requests. When meetings are required, staff has used the Zoom tool to meet with developers/and or citizens who desire to have face to face meetings. While staff misses the day to day interaction with citizens and staff, we are accomplishing what would normally be required in the office setting.
Speaking of being fully functional, staff continues to see development occurring and continues to take development applications on a number of projects. The May Planning Commission meeting had four new commercial applications and recently approved residential projects are continuing to move forward. We see this as positive at this point in time given the traumatic events the world has seen in recent months.
For a complete list of all projects that are either in process or moving forward please visit the Planning Department website.
Building Inspections has continued to remain busy during the COVID 19 pandemic. Since March 1, the department has issued over 1,200 permits and completed 3,700 inspections. The department has seen increased numbers in residential permits, likely as a result from more people working from home and having the flexibility to complete projects.
Continuing to complete inspections and issuing permits is important to keep economic investment active.
During the pandemic, inspectors are completing on-site inspections for commercial projects and new home construction. Inspectors have improvised and are completing virtual inspections in instances where inspections are required in an occupied home. This provides the highest level of safety to both the inspectors and home owners. In addition, maintaining a high level of customer service continues to be a focus of the department.
If there are any questions that need to be addressed by the Community Development Department, all contact information, including city issued cell phone numbers, are available at BlaineMN.gov/CommunityDevelopment