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Posted on: November 20, 2012

Online upgrades make building permits faster and easier

Screen shot of dashboard

Before you apply for a permit to build the ultimate man cave, you can now check online to see how many people are waiting in line at the Pierce County Development Center.

That’s one of several online improvements launched by Planning and Land Services (PALS) to make it easier for residents and businesses to apply for permits for projects in unincorporated Pierce County. Another new tool enables applicants to see which properties are set for inspections each day.

These tools are part of the online dashboard that enables customers to submit and track applications at their convenience, saving an estimated 3,000 miles per month in trips to the Development Center in Tacoma.

“Thanks to the online dashboard, we have seen a 25 percent decrease in walk-in traffic at the Development Center, even as business has increased,” said PALS Director Dennis Hanberg. “Customers tell us the dashboard makes key information quick to find and easy to track.”

Hanberg and his staff have been adding features to the online dashboard for more than a year. The newest tools, launched in October, show wait times in the Development Center and the list of inspections for the day.

Other popular tools include:

About My Property: Provides detailed information about specific properties, including zoning regulations, environmental conditions, and school and fire districts. Public GIS mapping technology gives a visual of the parcel with terrain, photo and information overlay options.

Permit Search: Allows users to easily search records of any current and past permits on a property, including any comments or public access documents and maps attached to the permit application.

E-Notification: Keeps customers informed via email on the status of a permit application.

E-submittal and e-payment: Allows users to quickly and easily apply and pay for permit applications online.

“When I hired Dennis in 2011, I told him I want to remake PALS into the best county permitting agency in the state,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “Dennis and his staff put themselves in the customer’s shoes and built a system that makes the permit application process more efficient and transparent. I am excited to see what they come up with next.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dennis Hanberg, Planning and Land Services director 253-798-2754 dhanber@co.pierce.wa.us

Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director(253) 798-6606hgeorge@co.pierce.wa.us

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