City Outlines Next Steps in Implementing Gartner Report Recommendations on Development Permitting Process

During a recent meeting of the Development Services Technical Advisory Committee (DSTAC), city staff provided a report detailing numerous initiatives that have been or are in the process of being implemented from the Gartner Report on ways to improve the Building and Development Permitting Process. They included the following:

  1. Governance – The City and County are conducting research to establish a properly structured governance body tasked with fostering lasting collaboration between the City and County and follow through on change initiatives. A draft series of recommendations are expected to be unveiled in January.
  2. Gartner Phase II – Upon completion of the final report in March of 2015, the City and County engaged Gartner to draft additional recommendations to streamline service delivery for the building and development permitting process.
  3. Seamless services with integrated technologies – Upon completion of Governance and Gartner Phase II work, the City and County will work together to establish a service delivery model offering streamlined and easy-to-understand services for customers.
  4. City Fire and Charlotte Water Expanded Services – City Fire and Charlotte Water are now regularly invited to participate in all Pre-Submittal and Urban Conceptual meetings.
  5. City Unified Review – Charlotte Water, Planning, and Engineering are teaming up to test the validity of including Charlotte Water in the subdivision review process.
  6. Automated Rezoning Process – Beginning July 1st, 2016, the Planning Department’s process for reviewing administrative amendments to conditional rezonings will be managed on the City’s development services database (Accela). Customers will submit the administrative amendment application and proposed amendment plan through Accela Citizen Access and will be able to track the status of their application.
  7. Expedited Pre-Submittals – Also beginning July 1st, 2016, customers will have the option to request an Expedited Commercial Pre-Submittal meeting if they do not wish to wait the typical 4 to 5 weeks for the free Pre-Submittal meeting. This optional fee funded request should allow a meeting to be scheduled within two weeks or less.
  8. City Rezoning Teams – Planning has established geographically based teams to evaluate rezoning proposals. Each team includes a rezoning staff member, long range planner, urban designer, and subdivision representative.
  9. City Rezoning Process Improvements – City Planning is working to streamline the rezoning process by reducing the time between application and approval and improving the partnership between staff, the development industry, and the community for rezoning applications.
  10. City-County Web Portal – Phase 1 of a unified web page with Mecklenburg County is under design.
  11. City-County Vision Statement – City and County staff, in collaboration with the development industry, worked on the creation of a Unified Vision and Expectation statement. During November and December, the final version of these statements will be outlined to staff and the development community. Staff is working with both the City and County’s Corporate Communication departments for consistent branding and marketing opportunities.
  12. Business Permitting Wizard – City and County staff is in the final selection phase for a business wizard that will assist customers in determining business location, permit requirements, zoning issues, and fees. Presentation for Council approval is tentatively scheduled for January 2016.
  13. Improved City-County Coordination on Permit Holds –The City and County are establishing a “key words” list that will assist staff when directing customers to the right contacts to address permit holds generated by the Accela system.
  14. Metrics Development – Beginning in the 3rd quarter of 2016, projects in the City’s database will be charted for determination of internal review time , as well as for determining revision time by the customer’s design firm,to give a clearer metric for total review times.
  15. Due Dates and Reviewer Names on Project Record – Based on customer feedback, City staff worked with its software vendor to include due dates and reviewer names on each task for each submittal. Implementation began in October.

REBIC is continuing to work with both the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to identify and implement improvements to the Plan Review, Permitting and Inspections process, and will keep our members apprised of our progress.

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