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Back to Basics: How Long Does It Take to Get My Permit?

This is one of the most common questions we get here at Milrose.

As expediters, we expect this. Our job is to get permits filed accurately and quickly.

However, it’s a tough question because much of the process is out of our hands. We can expedite to our little hearts’ content, but speeding things up isn’t always possible.

Project delays come in two flavors—controllable and non-controllable.

What we can control

A common delay results from submission of an inaccurate or incomplete Request for Information (RFI). In other words, all requested information needs to be filled in. Incomplete or inaccurate information in the paperwork slows down the whole process.

Secondly, once we fill out the filing paperwork, circulating those forms takes time. Messengers are not instantaneous, and people aren’t always at their desks patiently waiting to sign things. Sometimes the progress of an entire project depends on a piece of paperwork that gets buried on someone’s desk.

What we can’t

Uncontrollable delays typically take the form of standard processing times at the Department of Buildings (DOB) and the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). Have mercy on the poor DOB and FDNY: Business is boomin’ in the Big Apple, and so are permit applications.

The current timelines for initial reviews are as follows:

  • Alt 1 Standard Filing – 3-4 months
  • Alt 1 Self Certification – 3-4 weeks
  • Alt 2 Standard Filing – 4-6 weeks
  • Landmark Approval (expedited) – 4-7 business days
  • Landmark Approval (standard) – 4-6 weeks
  • Landmark Fastrack – 10-15 Business days
  • Fire Alarm Preview (FDNY) – 3-5 weeks
  • Fire Safety Plan (FDNY) – 6-8 weeks

There are only so many examiners available to review plans and process paperwork.

Help us help you

To get your permits as quickly as possible, please do the following:

  • Provide accurate (and complete!) RFI information
  • Return paperwork as soon as you can
  • Have patience with the DOB (Trust us on the timelines and advice; we’ve done this before.)

For any additional questions or comments, please contact Milrose Consultants.

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