Mayor Chris Beutler today said a customer survey about the City's new Development Services Center (DSC) resulted in high marks for the new permitting process. The DSC — a "one-stop shop" for the review, permitting and inspection of development projects — has been in operation since March. It co-locates five departments that work with development projects on the second floor of the County-City Building, 555 S. 10th St.
DSC Manager Fred Hoke said the survey also provided information to create a general profile of customers and to learn about potential improvements the customers would like to see, especially in the area of technology.
"All City departments are striving to improve how we do business, and the results of this survey are a step in that direction for the new DSC," Mayor Beutler said. "The DSC is cutting red tape and saving time and money for developers. This type of survey information directly from those customers allows us to further enhance customer service delivery and continue to promote economic development."
Hoke said the survey focused on the permit intake and issuance process because those steps involve extensive customer interaction, information exchange and financial transactions. Nearly 80 percent of the 89 survey respondents identified their primary occupations as building trades (44 percent), architect (20 percent) and general contractor (15 percent). The percentage of respondents who agreed or strongly agreed with the following statements are:
More than half the respondents indicated that they submitted their applications in person, but they indicated strong interest in more online services:
Other areas suggested for improving the plan review process were the more availability of review team members as well as clear, concise and timely written comments. In both the plan review and inspection processes, respondents indicated they would like to see more consistent application of codes, standards and requirements.
"The next steps for the DSC include expanding our Process Improvement Teams that we call 'PIT Crews,'" said Hoke. "We also plan to expand our pre-application meetings, launch our DSC website, finalize our risk management and business continuity plans and incorporate more technology into our systems."