BURLINGTON – Responding to complaints from residents regarding the length and environmental impact of the permitting process, the Burlington City Council has approved a new system for obtaining building permits. Residents will now be able to simply visit City Hall to receive the fast-growing seeds of the White Birch tree, the only subspecies from which the permitting paper can be made, and wait until the tree matures to create the documents needed.
“This is really going to speed things up,” said city councilor Gritt Locke. “The white birch can mature in as little as three years, so we expect most residents to have their permits within five years of their initial inquiry, which is much faster than our current system. And we’ve also reduced the process to a simple ten steps, compared to our current 23-step process. We’ve even taken out the physical fitness portion of the requirements.”
Some residents expressed concern at the city council meeting, saying they were unsure how to pulp their own paper once the trees had matured.
“Jeezum crow, do you want the government to do everything for you?” said the council president, promptly calling for a vote.
The vote was unanimously in favor of the new process, as all present conceded that, while the system may not be perfect, it was still an improvement over the current one.
“I voted for it, yes,” said Ward 5 Councilor William “Woody” Chipper, “but we still have a long way to go.” Chipper’s amendment that would require two trees to be planted for every one needed for the paper was voted down in committee. “Still, this should go a long way in convincing people who think our permitting processes are boring, that in fact they are arboreal.”
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