Permits in store for Sunnyvale

The time-consuming process of acquiring building, electrical, plumbing

and other permits can delay new construction and home improvement projects.

In Sunnyvale, Calif., officials understand that for contractors, lost time

is lost money.

By this time next year, the city's chief information officer, Shawn

Hernandez, wants to establish partnership agreements with local home improvement

retailers to set up Internet kiosks so customers can pull permits when they

shop for supplies.

Fix-it-uppers and contractors would be able to apply for, pay for and

receive building-related permits, as well as schedule inspections.

"What I'm hoping for is that suppliers see the potential there for

more business," Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he has discussed the idea with some suppliers but still

needs to target the right decision-makers at outlets such as The Home Depot

Inc. and Orchard Supply Hardware. "If Home Depot does it on a trial basis,

it will explode on its own," he said.

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