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Like so many other Napa residents we lost our home to the Napa fires. Over six months later we still don’t have a permit. Why? Because our planning departments are mired in bureaucratic red tape, in which nothing is actually done in helping residents to do anything but stall and run up costs.

The agencies have been wasting time and money so long they don’t even realize what they are doing. You wonder why houses cost so much here?

The first finger you should point is at the city and county. Redundancy and waste is pretty much the answer. Why trust an architect, engineer and special inspectors you pay for, when the city can force you to pay for them and then do the work again?

In my case I spent four-plus hours on three separate days trying to explain building systems to plan checkers that had no idea what they were reviewing.

I feel so sorry for the people that don’t have the energy to fight this ridiculous system.

P.S. You thought they said they were going to streamline the process? Yes, the lines you wait in are very streamlined.

William Kastner

Napa

Editor's Note: The Register asked county officials for a response. Planning, Building & Environmental Services Director David Morrison responded with a letter that is running simultaneously with this letter and is attached to the online version.

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