In March and again at the May 2 City Council meeting, angry representatives from sign companies have complained about the cost and length of time it takes to get projects permitted and inspected in Greensboro.

The speakers have not been polite, have made threats and appear to be really angry about the whole process.  They said they were back with reinforcements on May 2 because they said the City Council, despite making promises, hadn’t done anything.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan said this week that while some of the complaints have turned out to not be entirely accurate, “We are aware that we need to make some improvements to the permitting and approval process.”

Vaughan said, “We met with a large group of developers on Wednesday to find out what they think.  We got a lot of good feedback.”

She said, “One thing the developers recognized is that we are at an all-time high when it comes to permit applications.”

She said that with all the economic development coming to the area, it was expected for the number of requests to continue to be high for both residential and commercial projects.

Vaughan said, “It’s obvious we need to hire more people.”

She said that one factor that was increasing the time for permits to be approved is that “the permit application has become more complex, especially when it comes to commercial and industrial construction.”

She said, “We did not hear that it takes longer in Greensboro and heard from developers expanding into Greensboro who said that it has not been their experience.”

Vaughan said that doesn’t mean that Greensboro can’t improve the process and said, “We are proactively reaching out to the development community about how we can be more user friendly.  We had a really good discussion on Wednesday and got a lot of good feedback.”

Vaughan said, “These recent economic development announcements are dream announcements that we have been waiting for a long time and we are experiencing some growing pains.”