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Finger-pointing ensues over project plan notifications

Developers and engineers who have been wondering why they haven’t received notifications on project plans from Mecklenburg County might soon get an answer.

Following weeks of complaints from the likes of the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition and others, the county’s Land Use and Environmental Services Agency said it is checking for problems in the system that sends those alerts, although the county’s code enforcement director has already said user error, on the part of real estate industry officials, could be to blame.

The system is supposed to send developers and engineers an email or text message once the county is through with reviewing project plans. Earlier in the year, the alerts would arrive within 10 days of a plan review, but the response time has been as long as two weeks recently, according to Joe Padilla, executive public policy director for REBIC, a Charlotte-based lobbying group for the real estate industry.

Last week, REBIC used its blog to complain about the delays.

Jim Bartl, director of code enforcement for the county, said that although the county is looking into the complaints, some in the real estate industry are not registering for the notifications.

“The way it works now is exactly how it is supposed to work,” Bartl said. “But sometimes the customer forgets they have to register for this notification, or sometimes they register with a certain phone number and then they change that number.

“It is functioning now the way it was agreed to with customers back in 2007. It is just that some customers don’t get the messages because they have the wrong subscriber name or phone number.”

Scott Baughman can be reached at scott.baughman@mecktimes.com.

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