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Santa Monica Upgrades to Accela Automation for User-Friendly Online Permitting

Resort city looks to raise efficiency using web-based applications that automate routine tasks and support ongoing goals for environmental, social and economic sustainability


Accela, Inc. announced today that the City of Santa Monica, Calif., will replace its existing ‘PERMITS’ Plus client-server system with Accela Automation® to enable web-based automation for development and construction projects, and to ensure public safety and code enforcement. The city expects a wide range of departments to use and integrate with the new web-based system, including Planning and Zoning, Building and Safety, Fire Department, Public Works, Transportation Management, Public Landscaping, City Finance, Rent Control, City Attorney’s Office. Santa Monica also plans to leverage Accela Automation’s mobile and citizen-engagement functionality and integrated Geographic Information System (GIS) capability.

The oceanfront city in Los Angeles County has an estimated 89,000 residents and attracts millions of visitors each year, both to its beaches and the iconic Santa Monica Pier. The 8-square-mile city has a strong and growing commercial district that hosts business and industry conferences, and a range of environmental programs that align with its decades-old Sustainable City Plan, setting the groundwork for responsible growth in its residential population and commercial businesses.

Santa Monica will use the Accela Automation system, with its add-on products Accela Citizen Access™, Accela Mobile Office™ and Accela GIS™, to perform a wide range of community planning and development functions, including the capability to:

  • track property information;
  • issue and track permits of varying types;
  • schedule inspections and track inspection information;
  • maintain information on owners, developers, contractors and design professionals;
  • post and report fees and securities; and
  • produce standard and custom reports.

The city is also looking to enforce building codes and manage environmental programs at the local level, addressing issues around hazardous materials and waste, compliance with the California Fire Code, placement and monitoring of petroleum storage tanks, and adherence to the California Accidental Release and Response Program. Accela Automation’s ability to easily integrate with the city’s Esri® ArcGIS system, as well as its financial applications and other ERP systems, was a key factor in the selection process. The city also took advantage of a quick and easy upgrade process to move from its existing Accela ‘PERMITS’ Plus software to the new web-based system.

“Accela is pleased to have won this land management RFP from the famed city of Santa Monica. We look forward to working with the city towards its multiple goals: for empowered and efficient local government, responsible growth and its vision of a sustainable and livable city that upholds its stated environmental, economic and social values,” stated Maury Blackman, Accela CEO and President. “We’re especially excited about Santa Monica’s use of our integrated GIS technology and web-based mobile applications.”

The new Accela Automation system is expected to go live in April 2013. The City of Santa Monica is working with long-time Accela partner TruePoint Solutions to configure and implement the software according to its needs.


Accela Automation is deployed by hundreds of governments of all sizes as a platform delivering services via the web, and for automating critical tasks associated with permitting, licensing, code enforcement, community development and planning, inspections and investigations, infrastructure asset management, emergency response, and more. The software, which can be deployed on-premise or hosted in the Accela Cloud, uses an open architecture and a centralized database—allowing information to be shared across departments and improving communication between agency, field staff, the public and businesses.

Media Contact

Gabe Graham

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