List of Permit Streamlining Improvements, City of San Carlos, April 1997 by SanCarlos

VIEWS: 1 PAGES: 10

									updated: April, 1997

City of San Carlos Permit Streamlining Process
The City of San Carlos established a Permit Streamline Core Team in 1995/1996, comprised of City Staff, Chair of the Citizen’s Task Force and a consultant who volunteered her services through Joint Venture Silicon Valley. The Core team has completed its recommendations to improve the City’s development permit process. The Development Departments are currently working on the implementation process, and looking for ways to continually improve service in the years to come. Weekly Planning and Community Development Department (Building, Redevelopment, Economic Development and Housing) staff meetings are being held to facilitate our commitment to improved service.

Policy and Operational Changes Wishing to encourage businesses to move into San Carlos, a “Quick Response Team” was developed for larger businesses and includes members of the Planning, Public Works, Fire and Community Development Departments. This team sits down with the prospective customer, their design teams and construction teams to cooperatively develop all the permits and plans they need to satisfactorily do business in San Carlos. A “Project Manager” approach is used for large to medium businesses. This gives the applicant a key contact person from the Building Division or Planning Department to carry the project through to successful completion. Processing times for many applications have been significantly reduced, and our goal is to continue to move toward further reductions in time, and maximizing over the counter processing. Smaller changes have also been accomplished, and improved handouts, forms and brochures are now available (with continuous improvements). Changes in policy or ordinances have also occurred to reduce the levels of review and processing time. We are actively participating with JVSV Network, SAMCEDA and ICBO to accomplish these objectives. Staffing and Training The Core Team has agreed that we must operate from a “can do “ attitude of friendly and helpful customer service. We believe and are committed to open communication and constructive criticism, continuous improvement, and honor the value of quality and excellence in all we do. Training is important for City staff to accomplish this goal of increased efficiency and customer service. The Building Division has increased staffing levels to improve permit processing and building inspections. A full time Building Technician has been hired to facilitate the processing of incoming applications and reduce waiting time for permit issuance. The contract Plan Check Engineer in now available in the Building Division for 3 days per week instead of 2 days per week (when needed) and is available to work more hours when the workload requires. Consulting services would be retained for larger projects. Our field inspection services have been increased with assistance (when needed) from the Building Technician. Physical Changes/Modifications to City Hall Some of our more obvious and immediate physical changes have included comfortable meeting locations to review permit applications and to answer the questions of our customers and citizens. We now have comfortable tables and chairs as well as the use of lobby conference rooms available to our permit processing staff. A high volume copier has reduced staff time in producing documents upstairs, as well as a fax machines in the Building and Planning areas. We have viewed other cities to view what works. We are finalizing construction of physical changes to City Hall to increase efficiency and improvements for the future. These changes include; staffed information desk, sit down public counters (with computer terminals) and more efficient office layouts. The City is also purchasing permit tracking software later in 1997 to further streamline the development process. For further information, please contact Steve Watry, Community Development Director, at (650) 802-4209. Page 1

updated: April, 1997

Core Team Recommendations TASKS COMPLETED/IMPLEMENTED
BUILDING DIVISION
Policy/Operational Changes
1. Issue roof permits within one day. Eliminate plan check requirement. Permit Technician to do as many as possible over the counter. Prepare a Building Appeals Board Ordinance. Worked with Joint Venture Silicon Valley and adopted Uniform Code Adoptions. Reduce as many items as possible and consistent with other cities Avoid backlog in Building permit plan checking. Obtain computer for Plan Check Engineer. This will expedite plan check comments/response to applicant. Obtain computer for Building Permit Technician Electronic retention of Building Division documents (ongoing). Obtain cellular phones for Building Inspectors. Establish a “no wait” program for field inspection schedules. Inspector calls 30 minutes prior to arriving at site. Establish a list of outside plan checkers customer can go to (3rd party plan check option). City would then only do a quick check at the end and charge a reduced plan check fee. Develop brochure. Issue Building Permits by fax. Accept credit card payment. Contractors information computerized (worker comp., business registration). 1st Phase completed. Eliminate the building plan check for wall and monument signs. Permit fee (over counter) and electrical permit (if illuminated) are required. Planning to inform applicant early on process. Soil review fee of $500 to be added to and charged with permit fees (avoid appearance of ‘added fee’). Include increment charges for re-checks of soils reports. Fee noted on revised handout.

Responsible person
Building Division/ Building Technician Building Official Building Official

Status
Implemented

2. 3.

Completed Implemented and Ongoing Implemented Completed

4. 5.

Building Official Building Official

6. 7. 8. 9.

Steve Building Official Building Official Building Official

Completed Ongoing Implemented Implemented

10.

Building Official

Implemented

11. 12. 13. 14.

Building Official Building Official Building Department

Implemented Implemented Completed Implemented

15.

Building Division/Mike

Implemented

Submittal Requirements
16. Prepare a list of minimum items that must be included on Building permit plan submission. 17. Determine number of sets (building plans) to be submitted. Reduced from four sets to three sets.

Responsible person
Building Official Building Official

Status
Completed Implemented

Forms/Handouts
18. Revise Building permit application. Standardize form county-wide 19. Combine all logs to create one central log. Start with one manual log - later computerize. 20. Develop forms/brochures - coordinate with other cities. (SAMCEDA effort)

Responsible person
Building Official Building Divi sion Staff/Steve

Status
Completed Completed Phase I completed, others ongoing

Page 2

updated: April, 1997

Core Team Recommendations TASKS COMPLETED/IMPLEMENTED
BUILDING DIVISION, continued
Staff
21. Plan Check consultant time expanded. Bring in additional consultant time as needed to avoid any backlog on plan checks. 22. Appoint Community Development Director to oversee the Building Department, Redevelopment, Economic Development and Housing. Office located downstairs near Building department. 23. Hiring a full-time Building Technician. 24. Establish program to provide approvals for holders of old permits to finalize permits prior to cancellation.

Responsible person
Building Official

Status
Implemented

Implemented

Building Official Building Official

Implemented Completed

Training
25. Empower/train staff to make decisions. 26. Relieve phone duties from the Permit Technician. Building Clerk to answer phones first. Allow Permit Technician to assist customers at the counter without interruptions.

Responsible person
Building Official Permit Technician/ Building Clerk

Status
Completed Implemented

PLANNING DEPARTMENT
Policy/Operational Changes
27. Soil review time with City Geologist significantly reduced 28. Eliminate requirement for Planning department to review window changes in Planned Community zones. 29. Open the office to the public earlier (7:30 a.m.) and remain open longer (5:30 p.m.) Monday thru Friday. (Building, Planning and South County Fire). 30. Archive Planning documents (electronic). 31. Fee reduction and expediting plan check process for “repetitive” events. Charge handling fee only for second event, etc. (annual tent sale). Policy prepared

Responsible person
Neal/Mike Mike

Status
Implemented Implemented

All

Implemented

Mike/Neal Staff

Ongoing Implemented

Forms/Handouts
32. Creation of a file folder packet given to applicants with all forms: include list of required information/documents. 33. Prepare flow charts and handouts with check-off lists and time lines as processes are modified. 34. Prepare complete handouts and brochures for commonly asked questions. Include both planning and building code information on same handout.

Responsible person
Planning

Status
Implemented Improvements ongoing. Substantially completed Substantially completed

Staff Staff

Submittal Requirements
35. Reduced number of soils report copies required by applicant from four to three copies.

Responsible person
Mike/Building Official

Status
Implemented

Page 3

updated: April, 1997

Core Team Recommendations TASKS COMPLETED/IMPLEMENTED
PLANNING DEPARTMENT, continued
Staff
36. Staff to provide public notice notification list (purchased Metroscan program). Applicant previously went to County offices to obtain.

Responsible person
Staff

Status
Implemented

SOUTH COUNTY FIRE
Policy/Operational Changes
37. Work with Joint Venture Silicon Valley on Uniform Code Adoptions. Reduce as many items as possible and consistent with other cities.

Responsible person
Staff

Status
Completed

PUBLIC WORKS/CITY ENGINEER
Policy/Operational Changes
38. Create criteria that identifies which plans do not have to be routed through Public Works. Reduces plan check time. 39. Allow applicants to pay sewer capacity fees by credit card.

Responsible person
Parviz

Status
Completed

Brian/Linda

Implemented

Forms/Handouts
40. Prepare a criteria and/or guidelines for required soils and geothechnical reports. Planning can then inform applicant early in the process. 41. City Geologist to update geology maps.

Responsible person
Parviz/Mike

Status
Completed.

Parviz

Completed

FINANCE DEPARTMENT
Policy/Operational Changes
42. Name of Business License changed to “Business Registration”. Issue a “Business Registration Certificate”. Revised application form completed. 43. Established a petty cash fund to facilitate reimbursements.

Responsible person
Finance

Status
Implemented

Finance

Completed

Forms/Handouts
44. Simplify timesheets (internal). (Reduce employee time to complete and Finance department time to process).

Responsible person
Finance

Status
Completed

Page 4

updated: April, 1997

Core Team Recommendations TASKS COMPLETED/IMPLEMENTED
ALL DEPARTMENTS
Policy/Operational Changes
45. Modify review and approval process for Business Registrations. Finance to route applications to Planning on a daily basis. Planning to approve within one day. Fire to be sent a copy of the approval. Out of town business licenses to be issued same day. Time reduction; in-town business licenses from 3 - 5 weeks to 2 days; out of town business licenses from 5 days to 10 minutes. 46. Develop a “Quick Response Team” to respond to significant development requests and to provide information on all City requirements, timelines and fees. Can meet on-site or at City Hall. 47. Team approach to review preliminary applications. Staff provides comments to applicant prior to final plan preparation and submittal 48. Commitment by the Development Review Team to make staff available to the customer and avoid sending the customer to other departments (avoid getting the “run-around”). 49. Prepare a (quarterly) newsletter for the Development Community to inform of City and Department changes and helpful hints. 50. Staff has made a commitment to avoid having applications sit in in-baskets awaiting processing. 51. One hour staff meeting/briefing held once per week between Building, Planning and RDA, invite Public Works and Fire when appropriate. Each department holds staff meetings as needed. 52. Quicker retrieval of files from archives. Goals; 24 hour turn-around; reduce fee (currently $42); if no file there, do not charge fee and; log archive information onto spreadsheet for quick reference. Consider outside - quick retrieval. 53. Simplify deposits to Finance Deposits. Submit check with receipt and account number to Finance. 54. Utilize color code envelopes for inter-office mail - red is urgency mail, all others regular inter-office business mail. 55. Round up/down City fees by five dollar increments and lump together fees where possible ($53.27 = $50.00). Make fee schedule simpler. 56. Assign Project Manager to certain project applicants. Identify criteria to determine which projects should have assigned Project Manager and develop Project Manager role and responsibilities. 57. Implement off-site file storage.

Responsible person
Finance/Planning/ South County Fire

Status
Implemented

Planning, Building, Public Works and South County Fire All

Implemented

Implemented

All

Implemented

Community Development Staff All Steve/Neal

Implemented

Ongoing Implemented

ArLyne/Steve/Neal

Completed - offsite storage & quick retrieval available Completed Implemented

All Margaret

Brian and affected departments Building Official/Neal

Completed

Implemented

All

Implemented

Page 5

updated: April, 1997

Core Team Recommendations TASKS COMPLETED/IMPLEMENTED
ALL DEPARTMENTS, continued
Training
58. Staff trained to be courteous and customer service oriented. Customer service training for all personnel. 59. Staff to ask customers “May I help you?” rather than “are you here for building or planning”. 60. Cross-train personnel in Building & Planning and possibly South County Fire. Goal: continued counter and phone coverage for customers. Coordinate with Personnel Department. 61. Staff providing complete information to the customer as early as possible (no late hits, no surprises). 62. Assign counter duties and customer assistance as the primary job responsibility. Other tasks are secondary. 63. Provide special assistance for inexperienced customers 64. Staff to identify name and department when answering the phone

Responsible person
All/Leslie Loomis All All

Status
Ongoing Implemented Ongoing

All All

Ongoing Ongoing

All All

Ongoing Implemented

PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENT STUDY
Physical Changes/Modifications to City Hall
65. Clean up offices, work area, front counter and bulletin board in Building/Planning. Staff volunteered for a Saturday work day. 66. Field visits to (four) other cities. Three separate groups completed visits. 67. Place additional tables and chairs in the waiting area for customer work and staff consultation. 68. Expand Planning office area into East Gallery. Utilize West Gallery as conference room. 69. Update City Directory maps. 70. Frame and hang zoning map for convenient customer access. 71. Place more fax stations throughout City Hall: downstairs (Kiosk), Personnel/Park and Recreation. First phase: fax machine in Building/Planning. 72. Place a high-volume copy machine downstairs (Planning/Building)

Responsible Person
Building/Planning

Status
Ongoing

Steve Neal/Building Official Neal/Steve Neal Neal Included in Physical Improvement Study. Neal

Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Implemented

Implemented

Page 6

updated: April, 1997

Core Team Recommendations TASKS COMPLETED/IMPLEMENTED
PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENT STUDY, continued
Physical Changes/Modifications to City Hall
73. Improve/upgrade current phone system. Formed a subcommittee of users, developed specific recommendations. First phase: Building, Planning, RDA, South County Fire and Receptionist. Second phase: City wide public building upgrade. 74. Establish a permanent bulletin board downstairs to post public meeting notices (indoor and outdoor). 75. Prepare “Physical Improvement Goals and Objectives” for all proposed physical changes/ modifications to City Hall. Hire an architect to review Staff’s initial office space study and design space to accommodate these goals and objectives. 76. Include adequate storage cabinets and shelves for storage. (option: off-site storage).

Responsible Person
Connie Dillard

Status
Phase I: Implemented Phase II: target completion summer, 1997 Ordered Study completed. Construction to be completed 5/97 Implemented

Len Miller Neal

Neal/Lisa w/ Architect

Page 7

updated: April, 1997

Core Team Recommendations TASKS BEING ACTIVELY WORKED ON
BUILDING DIVISION
Policy/Operational Changes
77. Create a database of Building permit cards, logs and forms on computer.

Responsible person
Building Division

Status
Reviewing vendors

Forms/Handouts
78. Include language on Building permits and plan check comment letters informing applicants that “two plan checks are included in the fee, each plan check thereafter will be charged on time and materials”. Consider pre-printing “key” information on reverse of plan check letters.

Responsible person
Building Official

Status
Working on it

PLANNING DEPARTMENT
Policy/Operational Changes
79. Purchase computer Permit Tracking system on the computer. Criteria and top vendors identified, issuing Request for Price.

Responsible person
All

Status
Anticipate system installation summer, 1997

PUBLIC WORKS/CITY ENGINEER
Forms/Handouts
80. Prepare a chart/formula to determine sewer capacity fees. Planning can then give to applicant at initial contact.

Responsible person
Parviz/Mike

Status
Working on it draft completed.

FINANCE DEPARTMENT
Forms/Handouts
81. Create a stamp for check requests (internal)

Responsible person
Finance

Status
Working on it

ALL DEPARTMENTS
Submittal Requirements
82. Determine what city requirements may be eliminated and/or reduced (tree removal permit)

Responsible person
All

Status
Initial list/ ongoing

Forms/Handouts
83. Create a master list of outside agencies (County/State/Federal) 84. Update “Doing Business in San Carlos” booklet

Responsible person
Lisa Steve/Lisa/Brian

Status
Update completed Working on it

Staffing
85. Assign (hire) staff for the Informational Kiosk. Duties defined (Community Services Coordinator)

Responsible person
Core Team/Leslie Loomis

Status
Estimated hire 5/97.

Page 8

updated: April, 1997

Core Team Recommendations TASKS BEING ACTIVELY WORKED ON
PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENT STUDY
Physical Changes/Modifications to City Hall
86. Construct an informational Kiosk in the downstairs’ lobby area. Kiosk to be staffed - duties determined. 87. Consider constructing a counter in the current upstairs reception area. 88. Reallocate office space. South County Fire to locate second floor south wing, Planning Department/Community Development Director to occupy prior SCF area. Building Division to expand to west gallery and Public Works to move into former Planning area. 89. Create a Permit Center with a “sit-down” customer service counter. Construct an accessible counter for South County Fire and Finance Department. 90. Relocate the Fire Chief’s office within the Fire Department. 91. Construct partition walls and install systems furniture in Finance Department (privacy for better work efficiency). 92. Adding cash register capabilities to Kiosk. 93. Include space for plan-check layout table to be available for Planning/Building/Public Works review.

Responsible Person
Neal/Lisa w/ Architect Neal/Lisa w/ Architect Neal/Lisa w/ Architect

Status
under construction Possible future under construction complete 5/97

Neal/Lisa w/ Architect

construction complete 5/97 construction complete 5/97 construction complete 5/97 construction complete 5/97 construction complete 5/97

Neal/Lisa w/ Architect Neal/Lisa w/ Architect

Neal/Lisa w/ Architect Neal/Lisa w/ Architect

Core Team Recommendations TASKS BEING STUDIED/FURTHER RESEARCH UNDERWAY
BUILDING DIVISION
Policy/Operational Changes
94. Compare San Carlos Building operations to other Cities; number of permits issued per year; amount of valuation; number of staff by position; etc.

Responsible person
Building Official (SAMCEDA)

Status
Information obtained.

Submittal Requirements
95. Consider a flat Building Permit fee based on value per square foot.

Responsible person
Building Division, JVSV and SAMCEDA

Status
Researching long term

Page 9

updated: April, 1997

Core Team Recommendations TASKS CONSIDERED/REJECTED
ALL DEPARTMENTS
Policy/Operational Changes
96. Use one large stamp for approved; Building permit/tree removal/smoke detector 97. Consider combining Building and Planning applications (one file) 98. Start paying pay vendors once a month. This should reduce the number of checks that are printed. 99. Consider name badges. 100.Study need to pay individual check requests once a week.

Responsible person
Building Official Building Official/Mike

Status
Determined not necessary Determined not appropriate at this time Tried/Rejected Rejected Working on it.

Finance Department Heads Finance

Page 10


								
To top