Investigation into El Dorado County Planning and Building Department


Staff member
Apr 16, 2023

Interesting article reporting on an investigation into administrative problems at the El Dorado County Planning and Building Department. The investigation found that there are extended delays in the permit process and that "there is little to no assistance or communication from the county, leaving homeowners to navigate the complex and unfamiliar maze of the building permit process on their own." The investigation also identified issues with poorly conducted inspections and permit status not reliably updated in the County's "TRAKiT" online permit tracking system.

Recommendations for improving the process included expanding simple permit programs, assigning a single staff member as POC for more complex projects, and improving systems for tracking a permit application's status.

I think the problems reported here, mostly involving delays, poor customer, and disorganization, are probably relatively common among underperforming permitting offices. It will be interesting to see whether this investigation leads to any real efforts to improving processes. It seems rare that public programs are subject to this level of third-party review, but these kinds of audits are critical, I think, if a government really values accountability/continuous improvement of its public-facing programs.
El Dorado County, California, United States
I went to the El Dorado County Planning and Building Department website. What I found interesting is that the layout is clear cut, except they state that:
Yet there is no link to actually get to those codes and ordinances on that line. You'd think you would expect that important information to be plain and clear for applicants?

Sometimes departments like these need a good audit to clear out the workers who haven't been diligent in doing their jobs! A lot of government jobs like these can be easy for lackadaisical workers to take advantage of their positions and not do their jobs well.