e-Permits: Jump Out Of Line, Get Your Permit On Time!

In August we hosted our first ideas competition called the Civic Innovation Challenge. Approximately twenty ideas were submitted by employees to improve City operations. As part of the competition, entrants had to explain how their idea related to the City’s guiding principles and objectives.

 Civic Innovation Challenge judges (left to right): Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens, Director of Administration Christie Elliott, Councilor Michael Green, Mayor Ben Walsh.

Civic Innovation Challenge judges (left to right): Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens, Director of Administration Christie Elliott, Councilor Michael Green, Mayor Ben Walsh.

One of the winning ideas is to institute electronic permit applications for HVAC and electrical permits, and was presented by the Director of the Central Permit Office, Jake Dishaw. This idea is linked directly to the following objective and key result.

Objective: Increase economic investment and neighborhood stability

Key result: Ninety five percent of building permits will be issued by their reported issuance time

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Neither HVAC nor electrical permits require staff to review them prior to their issuance. However, with the current system, applicants have to come in person to the Permit Office, and explain their project. As they provide project details, Permit Office staff fills out the permit application form for the applicant.

  • Each permit application takes approximately 15 minutes of staff time to complete.
  • Last year there were 1,639 HVAC and electrical permits filed.

By instituting electronic permit applications for these two things alone, the Permit Office will gain over 400 hours of additional staff time. That means one employee would gain an additional 2.5 months of productivity!

With this time savings, Permit Office staff will have more time to get other applications approved. This will help to increase the percentage of permits that are approved by their appropriate issuance time.

 Civic Innovation Challenge Winners, Jake Dishaw and Don Lough, with our judges.

Civic Innovation Challenge Winners, Jake Dishaw and Don Lough, with our judges.

You can see the powerpoint slides from Jake’s winning presentation below.