A bill introduced in the state Senate attempts to encourage more workforce affordable housing by eliminating some of the development regulations imposed by cities like Greensboro.

According to a study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 23.8 percent of the price of a new home is due to government regulations.

When you look at the chart of how to get plans approved in Greensboro, it may seem that the cost estimated by the NAHB is low.

Above is the plan review process in Greensboro in chart form from the City of Greensboro website.  It can be found at: https://www.greensboro-nc.gov/home/showpublisheddocument

Perhaps this makes the plan review process clear as a bell to some people, but anything that takes that many steps, has that many arrows and possible routes the plans could go, appears to be the opposite of streamlined.

According to this chart, a plan can make its way through all the steps to arrive almost to the bottom of the chart and then be sent all the way back to the starting point.

The arrows that go around in a circle for Technical Review Committee (TRC) approval seem particularly noteworthy.  There is no indication on the chart of how a plan gets out of that circle and moves on to the numerous rectangles and arrows.  Perhaps the circular arrows indicate that at some point centrifugal force spins the plans out of the TRC circle and into the tangle of other approvals necessary. Or perhaps it is an indication that if a plan gets caught up in the TRC vortex there is no exit.

Imagine a developer planning their first project in Greensboro and being handed this chart on how to get their plans approved.  It’s hard to imagine anyone would look at that and say, “piece of cake.”