By Steven P. Fuhr Managing member, aGroPack, LLC
As I stumble through the dark with other licensees going through the permitting process and trying to figure this crazy game out, I’ve come across some simple ideas worth sharing:
- Start by working with a professional architect to plan your building and site, even if it’s within an existing structure. If you can’t afford one, you probably can’t afford to play the game.
- Take time to become an expert in your local code and remember that sometimes the Liquor Control Board makes mistakes and code enforcement officers make mistakes. Only knowing the difference between the rule and someone’s “interpretation” will make the difference.
- Put a plan together for your pre-permit meeting that encompasses 90 percent of what they asked for in the permit itself. Don’t make the mistake of going to a pre-permit meeting thinking that’s the time to get all of your questions answered like so many people do. Be prepared, if not scared.
- Download and read any applicable sections from the International Building Code (IBC) and local codes. Bring it with you to the meeting and make sure to find out if your county has any special ordinances or building codes for I-502 related businesses. Most do.
- Make sure to contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture and L&I to find out what their rules are regarding I-502. Make a note of who the inspector is and send them product samples (just joking).