(a) Program Created. - The Department shall develop a fee-supported express permit review program in each highway division. The program is voluntary for permit applicants and applies to permits, approvals, or certifications that allow for a connection to the State highway system through the use of a driveway, street, signal, drainage, or any other encroachment.
(b) Implementation. - An individual highway division may opt out of the express permit review program created under this section if the highway division routinely reviews and issues special commercial permits within an average of 45 days. Any express permit review program created under this section shall be supported by the fees established pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.
(c) Procedure. - In reviewing a permit application under the express permit review program, the Department shall undergo the following steps:
(1) The Department shall, within three business days of receipt, determine whether an express permit review application is complete. If the Department determines the express permit review application is not complete, the Department shall return the express permit review application and all fees to the permit applicant to allow for a complete express permit review application to be resubmitted to the Department.
(2) If the Department determines the express permit review application is complete, the Department shall, within 45 days, issue or deny the permit based upon its review of the application. Failure of the Department to issue or deny the permit within 45 days is a denial of the express permit review application.
(d) Staffing. - In order to implement the express permit review program, the Department may utilize either of the following or a combination thereof:
(1) Existing Department staff and resources.
(2) Contracted engineering firms supporting each highway division to provide express permit reviews, comments, and recommendations for issuing express permits. If the Department utilizes contracted engineering firms to provide work under this section, any fees received by the Department pursuant to subsection (e) of this section shall be credited towards the cost of the Department utilizing these contracted engineering firms. Any additional costs associated with engaging the contracted engineering firm shall be agreed to by the permit applicant prior to incurring the costs and shall be paid by the permit applicant.
(e) Fees. - The Department may determine the fees for an express application review under the express review program conducted by highway division staff. Unless a contracted engineering firm is utilized, the maximum permit application fee to be charged under this section for an express review of a project application requiring all of the permits listed under subsection (a) of this section shall not exceed four thousand dollars ($4,000). Notwithstanding Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, the Department shall establish the procedure by which the amount of the fees under this subsection are established and applied for an express review program permitted by this section. The fee schedule established by the Department shall be applicable to all divisions participating in an express permit review program.
(f) Use of Fees. - All fees collected under this section shall be used to fund the cost of administering and implementing express permit review programs created under this section. These costs include the salaries of the program's staff and costs of contracted engineering firms.
(g) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-145, s. 28.35(a), effective July 1, 2011. (2008-176, s. 1; 2011-145, s. 28.35(a).)
Last modified: March 23, 2014