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Tiny Homes and the Permitting Challenge: Are Governments Ready?

Accela
tiny-home
This is the second article in a 3-part “Trends in Permitting” series authored by Accela’s Building and Planning solution team. “They’re everywhere across the nation, and a lot of municipalities are trying and wanting to do tiny houses. But cities don’t know what the heck to do with these things.” — Robin Butler, CEO of the National Organization of Alternative Housing From millennials looking to own their first home in high-priced urban centers, to empty-nesters and retirees seeking financial freedom and independence, interest in tiny homes has grown steadily in the past few years. And though it’s estimated that there are now more than 10,000 tiny homes across the U.S.,… Continue reading
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It’s Your Time to Shine: Accela Offers Nine Spots for the NEHA 2020 Annual Educational Conference

Accela
Application opens today! On July 13, 2020, the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) kicks off its annual educational conference (AEC) in New York City. For three days, environmental health professionals will attend sessions on topics such as climate change, data and technology, food safety, emergency preparedness and response, and more. NEHA is a leader in advancing the environmental health practice in the U.S. and internationally, and the AEC is a great opportunity to meet with and learn from like-minded experts in the field. As a long-time NEHA partner and sponsor, Accela Environmental Health always looks forward to attending the AEC, and every year we bring a few EH professionals with us!… Continue reading
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5G and the Small Cell Permitting Challenge: Are Governments Ready?

Jason Christensen
5g-network
This is the first article in a 3-part “Trends in Permitting” series authored by Accela’s Building and Planning solution team. America has traditionally led the way in mobility. The cell phone, smartphones, the app store, and modern 4G networks were deployed here first, and the U.S. wireless sector continues to drive our economy, power innovation across industries, and help create safer communities. Now, the race to implement 5G has gone global and countries like China, South Korea, and Japan are doing all they can to win. Considering the economic and technological advantages of 5G, the stakes for leadership are high — and local government agencies are feeling the pressure to fast-track permitting and implementations…. Continue reading
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Moving to the Cloud is a Relationship, Not a Transaction

Accela
Ted is staring out the window of City Hall, thinking, “This is a huge commitment, it feels like it’s forever. Can I really trust this person with everything that matters the most to me? What could go wrong? How can I keep from getting hurt? There is so much at stake!” Ted is not deciding whether he’s going to propose to his girlfriend. Ted is trying to decide if he’s going to transition his agency workflows to the cloud. The idea feels like an enormous, scary undertaking. He’s seen headlines of data breaches from private companies — almost every day there seems to be another cyberattack exposing sensitive data and compromising huge numbers of people’s privacy…. Continue reading
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How Local and State Governments Can Close Revenue Gaps in 2020

Accela
city-hall
This was originally published by the National League of Cities. It’s been called a billion-dollar prize – the gap between available revenue opportunities and the ability of local, state and federal government agencies to turn those potential revenue opportunities into reality. It’s a challenge that many municipalities face. Research from McKinsey estimates that close to 20 percent of government revenues worldwide – or $309 billion in the U.S. – are lost each year, either in uncollected agency fees or due to outbound payment issues. Compounding the current problem of unrealized revenue are new business models driven by technological, economic and social forces. In addition to financial services such as peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding,… Continue reading
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Three Keys to Transforming Alcoholic Beverage Licensing

David Maxwell
alcohol-licensing
The holiday season is nearly upon us, ensuring a packed schedule full of family, friends and work gatherings. It requires a lot of behind-the-scenes effort to pull off a successful holiday party. With alcohol included in many holiday gatherings a critical, behind-the scenes effort is the regulation and licensing of the businesses that serve and sell alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverage control departments protect public safety while facilitating key economic interests such as dining, entertainment and tourism. Despite the vital role ABC departments play, too often the tools and technology used to administer liquor licenses lag behind the times, leading to delays in issuing licenses, less than optimal workflows and a poor citizen experience…. Continue reading
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Modernizing Business Licensing for Today’s Dynamic Economy

David Maxwell
business-licensing
One of the primary pillars of building a strong community is nurturing and growing the local economy. Streamlined businesses licensing – often an afterthought in economic development – serves a vital role in developing and sustaining the overall business environment. A city’s licensing system can also set the tone for future interactions between business owners and City Hall. An outdated, confusing system makes obtaining and issuing business licenses a frustrating experience for both citizens and agency staff. What does your licensing system say about you? Fortunately, with the right tools, governments can make these licensing processes efficient and less resource-intensive. With this week’s launch of the Accela Civic Application for Business Licensing,… Continue reading
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ICMA 2019 Roundup: The Role of Technology in Emerging Regulations

David Maxwell
icma
Emerging technology presents a difficult challenge for government agencies tasked with balancing citizen rights, public safety and privacy with the demand for new economic opportunity. Often, agencies are slow to react until new technologies have already disrupted a community’s equilibrium. At the 2019 ICMA Conference in Nashville this month, I discussed the challenges of emerging regulatory arenas with fellow panelists Anuj Gupta, Deputy City Manager of Santa Monica, California, and Amy Hamilton, City Manager of Richmond Heights, Missouri. Topics included the emergence of e-scooters, short term rentals, cannabis legalization, and still-developing technologies such as autonomous vehicles and drones. Throughout the presentation and discussion, several key themes developed to assist city managers and others tasked with licensing and regulating new technology…. Continue reading

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Three Ways Technology Is Transforming How Governments Serve Constituents

Accela
transforming govt
This article was previously published on Forbes.com and written by Khurram Mahmood, Accela Technology Advisory Council member. For many individuals and small business owners, the word “government” carries a decidedly sluggish connotation. Many of us think of outdated operations, slow-moving lines and long wait times for public services. We struggle to renew driver’s licenses, stress about documentation at the planning department and fret about building permits as we endure red tape and delays. Though stubborn issues persist, a shift in government service is underway. In my experience as an advisor to Accela, I have had the opportunity to learn about the transformation that state and local governments across the country are going through…. Continue reading

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Denver Business Journal: How Denver Is Using Software, Enforcement To Increase Short-Term-Rental Compliance

Accela
  Originally published in the Denver Business Journal – October 22nd, 2019   When Denver began regulating short-term rentals in January of 2017 — requiring operators of properties listed on sites such as Airbnb and Vrbo to obtain a license and rent out only their primary residence — the city was well aware that a simple licensing process would go a long way toward boosting compliance.   The city turned to California-based Accela, a provider of cloud-based platforms for government, to implement a process for short-term-rental operators to apply for a license online.   The short-term-rental licensing process was the first among Denver‘s more than 100 business and liquor licenses to move entirely online,… Continue reading
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