Office of Mayor William Peduto
New Department Approved To Oversee Building Inspections and Permitting
Department of Permits, Licenses & Inspections to Ensure Efficiency and Safety

PITTSBURGH, PA (Dec. 9, 2014) Mayor William Peduto’s plan to overhaul the Bureau of Building Inspection and make it more efficient for neighborhoods, businesses and city residents was finally approved today by Pittsburgh City Council.

The new Department of Permits, Licenses & Inspections -- to be overseen by current BBI Chief Maura Kennedy -- will keep working closely with Public Safety bureaus while also upgrading technology and establishing a modern permitting department better suited to a growing city.

“A modern Pittsburgh requires a break with the past, and a permitting office that can work with other city departments, community groups and businesses to cut through red tape. This move will do that,” Mayor Peduto said.

The Mayor thanked council members for approving the overhaul and thanked those from outside city government who stepped forward to back the proposal.

“The new Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections would be a natural next step in the process of modernizing the bureau while expediting the permitting process and recognizing its critical function,” wrote Susan Niedbala, president of Building Owners and Managers Association of Pittsburgh, in a letter to Mayor Peduto. “This change would highlight the value of this agency for its role in encouraging the growth of the city but also its importance as it relates to the safety for those who live and work here.”

Ernie Hogan, executive director of the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, wrote in a letter to City Council: “We welcome new ideas and change in our City and within our city government is no exception. It is vital to continue to strive to streamline, update, and invest in systems in which our agencies will function better and become even more efficient. We support the ideas brought forth in merging several city functions -- Permits, Licenses, and Inspections -- into one agency and elevating the Bureau of Building Inspection to its own full Department.”

Richard Caponi, Director, AFSCME Western Pennsylvania Public Employees Council 84, last week stated, “AFSCME District Council 84 supports Mayor Peduto’s efforts to restructure the Bureau of Building Inspection, which we all agree are long overdue. We look forward to working with the City to implement the changes, especially those that ensure the safety and enforcement capacities of our members in BBI who provide a vital service to the City of Pittsburgh.”

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