Planning Archives - Accela

Tag Archives: Planning

Customer Spotlight: High Point, N.C. Leverages SaaS to Improve Planning and Development

Adam Stone
In High Point, N.C., a longtime hub of the U.S. furniture-making industry, city officials needed a better way to engage with developers, service citizens and ultimately guide the community development process. They needed digital tools in place of outmoded manual processes. The city needed a solution that would dramatically reduce permit time, in part by taking the plan review process online and also by facilitating improved communications between developers and city officials. “We started looking for vendors that we thought would be stable and be here with us for the long run,” said Mark Schreoder, a senior planner in the city’s Development Services Center Administration. After a thorough vetting process,… Continue reading

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Customer Spotlight: Mesa, Arizona Answers New Service Demands with Data

Adam Stone
Mesa, Arizona, City Hall
When Mesa, Ariz. decided to take its planning and building processes digital, city officials got more than they expected. They had hoped that purging manual tasks from the development cycle would speed the planning process. What they didn’t expect was the degree to which a digital framework would lead to new transparencies, and how this in turn would boost economic development. “When we implemented Accela we also went completely paperless,” said the city’s Permits Supervisor Heather Basford. “The feedback that we’ve received from our users is that it is much more convenient and it saves them time and money on their end to be able to make those transactions electronically.” A suburb of Phoenix,… Continue reading

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Deschutes County: Advancing and Optimizing Services through Cloud Technologies

Adam Stone
Deschutes County, Oregon
Aging systems, manual tasks and paper forms present formidable hurdles to responsible land-use, especially in fast-growing counties. While some struggle to manage these legacy processes, others have seized the opportunity to revitalize services with modernized Software-as-a-Service solutions. In a recent webinar, officials from Deschutes County discussed their efforts to accelerate planning and building services through cloud technologies, including Accela’s Civic Solutions for Planning and Building. They described the improvements they have experienced through the adoption of automation, mobile applications, citizen data portals and data-driven reporting. “We’ve seen a huge impact,” said Angie Havniear, an administrative manager at Deschutes County. “We can now track our workflow data,… Continue reading

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Charlotte County Digitizes Disaster Recovery Services

Accela
charlotte county
PHOTO: The U.S. Coast Guard conducts an overflight assessment of Punta Gorda in Charlotte County, Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irma in September 2017. On the morning of September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma hit land, ripping off roofs, flooding coastal cities, and amassing $50 billion in damages. Yet, despite the destruction and devastation, officials in Charlotte County, Florida, showed they had the people, plan and tools to ensure residents had immediate support to begin the recovery. With a unique geography, that includes 858 square miles of Florida’s gulf coast, Charlotte is home to both excellent beaches and outdoor activities, as well as environmental challenges that include a large flood plain and hurricane prone areas…. Continue reading

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8 Planning Trends That Will Transform Your Community

Accela

We look at the tools and agile planning strategies that will streamline the next generation of planning, zoning, and code enforcement processes

Editors Note: This blog is based off of the Accela white paper 8 Trends Transforming Community Planning. The world’s population is projected to increase from 7.6 billion to 9.8 billion by 2050, and with this growth, the characteristics and demands of the population are changing. To scale and enhance services planners must be innovative, searching out new tools, and new ways to solve problems. Cities are getting denser and larger, life expectancies are longer, increasing demand for nearby medical and care services,… Continue reading

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Tackling our Housing Crisis with Technology

Gary Kovacs
America is facing a serious housing crisis. Cities from coast to coast are affected. In fact, no city or state in the country has an adequate supply of housing for the lowest income renters. Complicating matters further, often affordable housing construction is stifled by an arduous and outdated permitting process that can delay or halt progress altogether. We have yet to fully acknowledge and embrace one of the simple truths about this glaring problem: the important role technology can play in resolving it. May is Building Safety Month and this is an opportune time to discuss the proverbial “elephant in the room.” If we are serious about tackling this issue,… Continue reading

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Planning and Building: Pima County Spotlights 4 Benefits of Going Digital

Accela

Pima County Modernizes Planning, Permitting and Inspection Processes with Accela Community Development Solutions

Editor’s note: This is a case study of Pima County, Arizona, that used Accela to improve its permitting and planning department operations.Key Benefits: Staff save an average of 8-hours in processing time per week Reduced office foot traffic, and 24/7 online access to residents Quick reporting for better workload management Reduced permit turnaround times Pima County utilizes Accela Building and Planning for all permitting and planning functions including inspections, code enforcement, record searches and more. Each year, a total of 35,000 building inspections are conducted within the county limits, presenting processing challenges for the agency…. Continue reading

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Building Safety Month: Tips to Safeguard Your Community

Accela
Building codes can seem frustrating. They demand building plan approvals, collaboration with city planning and building departments and they create a chain of checkups and inspections along the way. Yet building codes also protect residents and save lives and this is why Accela celebrates May as Building Safety Month. The International Code Council (ICC) has set the time aside to call attention to the significance of building codes and provide education to governments and communities about how they can leverage this regulatory tool to protect residents during times of disaster. “All communities need building codes to protect their citizens from disasters like fires, weather-related events and structural collapse,” the ICC notes…. Continue reading

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Event Roundup: 4 Things I Learned at the 2019 National Planning Conference

Jason Christensen
high risers
Last week, city planners from across the country descended on San Francisco, CA for one of the largest planning conferences of the year – the 2019 National Planning Conference – hosted by the American Planning Association. As an attendee and exhibitor, I wanted to share some of the highlights from the show, along with some of my key learnings. Learning 1: The Downtown Paradigm Shift 15-20 years ago, one major concern for city planners was rescuing downtown areas. Today, however, this is no longer an issue. Yet due to evolving urban demographics and emerging technology, planners are being presented with a new set of unique challenges and opportunities,… Continue reading

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Speed, Service Quality, Agile Strategies: Manatee County Moves to the Cloud

Accela
Bradenton, Manatee County
Aging software and systems are a struggle for governments everywhere, but what do officials do when these same systems jeopardize essential services? They adapt. In this video, Manatee’s Director of Building and Development Services John Barnott explains how the county took 20-year-old systems and transformed them with the help of Accela’s cloud solutions for planning and building. This helped them save $250,000 annually and dramatically accelerate operations. Barnott said the county wanted to ensure services could meet the demands of residents, and many of the county’s older system were no longer supported by the vendors that had originally sold them. This meant constant fears of possible service outages and potentially high repair costs if a system went down…. Continue reading

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