A magazine rack that adorns the lobby of the new government center is filled with booklets telling residents and builders what they need to know before the building inspector arrives.
Bill Davis, building inspector, developed the booklets combining old city forms, ordinances and instruction lists with covers he created with a computer program.
“We run them off my computer and print as needed so there’s not much expense,” Davis said.
As the city’s chief building inspector, Davis is aware of all the things that surprise residents when the inspector shows up to approve a building or occupancy permit.
“We had forms before,” Davis said. “But they weren’t as informational, didn’t have the catchy coves and they weren’t in the lobby.”
The new booklets are intended as a service to help residents prepare for an inspection.
City officials have heard complaints from residents wanting to install an aboveground swimming pool to homebuilders who want to erect a new fence, that they never knew the rules until after their money had been spent.
“People don’t read the ordinance books when they get ready to build,” Davis said. “This is a simple way for people not to know what the building inspector will be looking for to approve their project.”
Each booklet covers one topic. The fence permit handout, for example, explains when a fence permit is required, contains the ordinance language that explains what kinds of fences are required, necessary information needed to apply for the permit, how to obtain an application and how to schedule an inspection.
The small information center is just the beginning, Davis said. He is in the process of creating a welcome packet for new residents that identifies government departments, location of city parks, provides contact numbers for police, fire, and ambulance and includes a listing of family services such as schools, the senior center and the care center. A list of civic groups would also be included.
“The idea is that I would leave one of the booklets after the final inspection of new homes,” Davis said.
Davis is also working on a commercial packet to show what individuals would need to open a business in Pacific.
“This will include what they need to know to occupy the building and what will be required to obtain a use permit for the type of business,” Davis said.
“You have to enlighten the public so they know what has to be done for their property,” Davis said.