have permit, will build
Good news from the architect today: We have permit! (hip hip hooray!)
First, we needed to submit a Tree Ordinance Review Application to remove a protected tree, a hackberry split at the trunk. Trees of a certain size (19 inches diameter at breast height [4.5 feet above ground level]) or larger, regardless of species, require a permit from the city before they can be removed. That certain size is cumulative for a clump; that is, on a tree with two trunks (like our hackberry), you have to add the two trunks (12.5 inches + 17.5 inches) together to determine if removal of the tree requires a permit.
Second, we needed a Plan Review and Building Permit, which is what got approved today. There are more permits to come (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing permits), but they are not required until a bit later.
One step closer...