The city hopes to speed up its permitting process with a system that gives residents instant access to its building and planning services.
Accela’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Accela’s Environmental Health Division Darryl Booth, left, and Fresno Mayor Lee Brand celebrate the launch of the city’s new permitting system.
Officials in Fresno, California announced the launch of an interactive permitting and planning tool Thursday, a measure that replaces the city’s previous system while supporting Mayor Lee Brand’s effort to drive economic development through modern city services.
Fresno calls the system, developed by Accela, the Fresno Accelerated Application System to Track Electronic Reviews, or FAASTER, to denote the quicker service residents and building developers can expect when submitting applications for business permits and construction plans online. FAASTER enables any applicant to submit, track and pay for their building permit online 24 hours a day. FAASTER uses technologies from Accela’s Planning Solution and Permitting Solution.
“It was essential for our goal, to make Fresno the most business-friendly city in California, to have an online system that works and Accela has delivered,” Brand said in a release. “FAASTER is a ‘one-stop-shop’ that’s easy to use and can be configured to work on mobile devices.”
Brand added that the mobile component is a “game changer” since most developers spend their days on project sites and can’t always head down to the city’s planning department to provide updates or check the status of their applications.
The online service is an extension of Brand’s Business Friendly Fresno 2.0!, an initiative that seeks to increase transparency and streamline interactions between local residents and businesses. In its beta testing phase last April the city found that the new system has “dramatically” improved turnaround times for the developers and contractors who tested the service.
Accela Chief Customer Officer Jonathon (JK) Knight praised the launch as a milestone for the city.
“Accela is honored to collaborate with the city of Fresno on their FAASTER technology and understands how important the Business-Friendly Fresno 2.0! initiative is to the city and their residents,” said Jonathon (JK) Knight, Chief Customer Officer for Accela. “We are extremely proud to work with them to enable more seamless and efficient interactions between the city and their businesses.”
The FAASTER permitting system is the second Accela developed service in Fresno. The city also has a mobile app for citizens to report issues to departments called FresGO. Beyond Fresno Accela has deployed permitting solutions for the comparably sized cities like El Paso, Texas; San Bernardino County, California; Mesa, Arizona; and Evanston, Illinois. Larger cities include San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta and Denver.