Development and Permitting Update

from Gary Neumann

Mayor and Council,

At the 5/21/12 meeting Jerry Williams will be providing you with an update from the Development Permitting Task Force (DPTF).  The DPTF has been meeting every two months and the staff has been updating them on our activities to make progress on the various development permitting issues.   I believe that the comments that we have had with the Task Force to date have been generally positive and supportive of what we have been doing.  In my opinion I think that our departments have taken the charge of improving customer service and making improvements in the development permitting process very seriously and have made very reasonable progress.

In addition to updating the Task Force on what the staff has been focused on I should have also provided our elected officials with an update. I have not provided that for which I apologize, but will provide you with a very brief summary now.  Our main staff focus has been on five items as detailed in a prior memo I sent to you in December. Our efforts in very brief form:

1.       Customer Service.  You are well aware that we have completed a multi-department effort to develop consistent standards and guidelines for employee’s customer service. In addition the Department Heads held a 2 day customer service planning session in which the brand statement of “First Class City, First Class Service” was agreed to .  At this point the Department Heads are in the process of discussing both of these initiatives with their individual departmental staff.  I think we have made excellent progress to date.

2.       Accela Improvements for automated on-line access and tracking. The Mayor and Council approved the retention of consultant services for Building Safety for this effort.  This is a work in-progress by Building Safety.  It is making reasonable progress.  A County upgrade in their GIS system is required to allow us use the newest version of Accela.  The County has approved that GIS update.

3.       Communication Improvements To The City Website For Development Permitting. I am pleased to report that the City staff, lead by Terry Spaeth and Steve Houglum of IS , have provided a new easy to access link to permitting information for building permits and land development matters. Hopefully sometime this weekend you can go to the City’s home page and you can click on the green development permitting icon/button that is prominently displayed thereon.  This provides a greatly improved way for builders, developers and members of the public to access all the needed information on the building and land development process.  Also thanks to Randy Johnson, Phil Wheeler and Richard Freese for the many flow charts and supporting information.

4.       Customer Surveying.  Planning has been surveying their customers for several months using the same questions as they used last year.  Building Safety has prepared revised forms for their surveying of customers and will start using those on permits issued this year.  Public Works is also developing revised survey documents and will start surveying in 2012, but only after fully reviewing the survey documents and what is expected with their permitting staff.  Each department is taking a little varying approach on this, but is committed to doing this and doing it in a way that provides them with the best input for their use.

5.       Process Improvements. As discussed with the Task Force throughout their work last fall, this primarily involves Planning as the lead agency.  To date Planning has identified some simple types of work for which zoning permit approval will not be required. They have discussed this with the PASC and are working out the details with Building Safety. In addition there are other process improvements relating to the Planning review process that they are working on.

Overall, I believe we have made very good progress, in light of the fact that these department heads that are working on this are already very busy staff members.

I look forward to Jerry’s discussion with you on May 21.  I do believe the Task Force has been very good to work with and very understanding of the other job pressures that our staff is under.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.