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Continuous Improvements and Innovation in Challenging Times

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Plans Examiner Newsletter
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We appreciate your patience and understanding as the Bureau of Development Services and our partner bureaus work to support the construction activity and the local economy during these difficult times

The current public health emergency requires BDS to implement innovative new approaches to how we do our work remotely and with minimal in-person interaction. These innovations were long planned but put in place quickly to meet current challenges.

We know there are concerns about how quickly we can approve permits and review plans, respond to inquiries and set-up intake appointments. We know our new processes involve new ways of doing business with BDS and our partner bureaus, and there are learning curves for all involved.

Due to the closure of the Development Services Center to walk-in traffic, rapid deployment of new processes and technology, and mandatory city employee furloughs, currently it can take up to three weeks to receive an appointment to upload a building permit submittal. We are working to reduce that delay by creating different "lanes" for different types of requests, re-allocating staff, and other measures to address the current pinch points. We are not only making improvements to our interim processes, we are simultaneously building a new system for the online submittal of more types of permit applications through Development Hub. The appointment system for intake is temporary, and the goal is to make online application submittal available 24/7 through Development Hub. We should have that online system set up for Deferred Submittals (DFS) and Revisions (REV) in October, and more permit application types will follow.

Since the Development Services Center was closed to walk-in customers, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of calls and email messages to the front reception desk, which has resulted in delays in responding to customers. We have re-allocated staff and put several new internal systems in place.  We are making good progress and expect to be caught up by mid-August.

Here are some ways you can help us in processing your permit application as quickly as possible:

  • After you submit a request for an appointment, please use the time before your appointment to ensure that your application is as complete as possible and meets the submittal requirements. Incomplete applications will be returned, which may cause further delays.
  • Please do not send multiple email messages and make multiple phone calls about the same issue as they will lengthen the delay. Phone and email messages are being returned in the order that they are received.

The Bureau of Development Services and our partner bureaus are committed to continuous improvement in all aspects of our operations so you can complete your work. We appreciate your business and your patience as we work to support your projects.

Contact

Development Services Center

Development Services

phone number503-823-7310

Monday through Friday from 8 am - 5 pm. Leave a message with detailed information.

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