Did you know Salt Lake City offers extra assistance to businesses who are applying for building permits?  

Mayara Lima is a liaison between Building Services and the business community. She works to reduce the turnaround time on your permit application, enabling you to open for business faster.

The City Council funded the position to help small businesses who don’t always have the funding or experience with City permitting. And so far, public response has been very positive — with hundreds of jobs in the queue, she is saving business owners months in permitting time and minimizing hassle overall.

Mayara brings many years of experience and training to the role, and we are thrilled she has joined the team! She has been working in Salt Lake City’s Building Services for the past 5 years in zoning and planning and took the job because of the fascinating opportunity to be both public facing and involved in the many sides of development in the city. 

And quite frankly, who could blame her?  Salt Lake City is in the middle of a remarkable period of growth, and we are uniquely positioned to embrace, foster, and champion the startup and entrepreneurial spirit of our community. With all of the growing pains we are experiencing, she believes that change is important because it allows for the city and for all of us to improve in so many ways. She adds, “We need to find better ways to live sustainably, embrace the growth, and keep the mindset to improve continually.”

When it comes to the permitting process, Peter Makowski, Acting Director of Business Development for Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development adds, “It’s all about cutting the red tape. When businesses want to invest in our City, we don’t want to get in the way.”

Mayara obtained her Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and undergraduate degree in architecture in Brazil. She practiced architecture for over 3 years in a federal government agency approving airport buildings and infrastructure.  

Lima says, “My experience as an architect made it really clear for me that I wanted to look beyond just one building. I wanted to help people, I wanted to be accountable for my work, and I wanted work to improve communities. That’s how I ended up in planning and local government. I love it.”

When she is not working hard at planning assistance for a building project, she loves planning her next trip somewhere in the U.S. – in the last 6 years has already visited 23 states, 21 by car. That’s a lot of miles! Oh, and if you also love taking pictures of state capitol buildings, she’s your person (16 collected so far!). She loves language – speaking 3 ½ (Portuguese, English, Spanish and ½ French) with the goal of learning more. It’s that experience with traveling and languages that allows her to get to know cultures and people, a great perspective that really helps with this job!

Mayara offers assistance to whoever comes in the door. Sometimes it’s a 5-minute conversation and sometimes it’s a 5-month long process helping a small business move into a new space. 

If you’re starting a new construction project, it’s important to ask the right questions early to find out which permits are needed. It helps to research the design professionals who help produce complete construction documents that are needed for the permit application and familiarize yourself with the city’s computer tools at slcgov.opencounter.com, aca.slcgov.com, and slcgov.com. Most permit problems occur when a building is being used differently than it was before (also referred to as a “change of use”).

Have questions? As always, we’re here to help. Give us a call at (801) 535-7200 or email ed@slcgov.com.

Welcome, Mayara!