This process is broken and corrupt. Being a "permit expediter" should be obsolete, as no one should be able to game the system. A lot more needs to be done.
We will not be satisfied until everybody loses
Does Melgar need a city permit to build a gazebo in her own garden? She’s the well-connected, savvy former president of the San Francisco Planning Commission, but she has no idea.
Or maybe she fell asleep before getting to that part of the 58-page document that begins, “Obtaining a city permit can undoubtedly be one of the most confusing processes you may ever experience.”
It’s all such a complex web that “permit expediter” is an actual profession in San Francisco in which connected people charge large sums — topping $200 an hour — to spend their days at the department walking their client’s permit applications to the right desks, making necessary changes and extracting permits faster than normal.
The department’s top dog, Tom Hui, resigned in March after a city attorney’s investigation alleged Hui gave preferential treatment to permit expediter Walter Wong and developer Zhang Li in exchange for gifts and meals.
Chron story: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/heatherknight/article/The-S-F-building-department-is-a-mess-Its-ties-15796068.php