County in California’s Central Valley examines more efficient ways to share online permitting and planning services with local cities
MODESTO, Calif., June 5, 2012 – Accela, Inc. announced today that Stanislaus County, Calif., has selected Accela Automation® enterprise software to speed up and simplify the permitting process for the county. The Accela solution will be the foundation for a one-stop e-permits web portal that will allow builders, contractors and owners to apply and pay for a range of permits from the convenience of their home, office or smartphone. Stanislaus County currently provides inspection services for the cities of Ceres and Oakdale, and the deployment of Accela Automation will create an opportunity for the cities to improve on their existing systems.
A world-renowned agricultural center, Stanislaus County is home to a culturally diverse population of 514,000, which has grown 15 percent in the last 10 years as individuals and families from around the world seek a lower cost of living outside the San Francisco Bay Area. The county includes nine cities and part of the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge.
Stanislaus County’s Department of Planning and Community Development is replacing Accela’s Tidemark Advantage client/server software with Accela Automation web software to provide e-permitting capabilities for unincorporated areas. The county also will create an online shared services portal with Ceres and Oakdale, which will be used for submission and tracking of permit applications. This approach will enable contractors and builders to use the same online interface and forms to more efficiently complete applications for multiple projects in different parts of the county. The new system will also make it easier for individual communities in the county that may not have the budget, IT manpower or infrastructure to modernize their permitting services via the web.
In particular, the Accela-powered system will be the backbone for a “one-stop shop” that allows citizens to:
- Determine which permits are required in different jurisdictions;
- Apply and pay for permits in a single “shopping cart”;
- View the status of their inspections and authorizations at any time.
For Stanislaus County, the new system will provide numerous benefits, including:
- Reducing staff time spent on data entry;
- Providing staff with a clearer application status;
- Streamlining the permitting process;
- Providing opportunities for web-based operations in field reporting;
- Allowing the IVR system to interact with the Accela software for scheduling and routing operations.
The system will also relieve counter congestion with the e-permits web portal, eliminate staff repetitive operations and reduce staff time. This opens a completely new world of technology for Stanislaus County Planning and Community Development Department.
“Increasingly state and local governments are looking toward cloud-based, shared services models, so they can springboard their entire regions into a more citizen-centric and efficient way of delivering services and also remove outdated barriers to economic growth,” said Maury Blackman, President and CEO of Accela. “Accela is focused on delivering technology to help make government operations easier, faster and more accessible for both citizens and agency staff. We’re thrilled to partner with Stanislaus County in this effort.”
The e-permits portal will leverage Accela Automation’s highly scalable land management application to serve county residents and meet future growth. Stanislaus County also will deploy Accela Citizen Access™ so that contractors and building professionals can complete entire processes online, initially starting with over-the-counter permits—such as re-roof, water heater, HVAC, and others—without a counter visit. In addition, the county will use Accela GIS™ for integrated access to GIS and map data and for a richer view of project worksites.
The county’s new Accela Automation platform will be implemented by Accela partner TruePoint Solutions and is expected to go live in fall 2012.
ACCELA AUTOMATION POWERS SHARED SERVICES
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.
Accela Automation is used as a backbone for numerous shared services portals, such as https://aca-oregon.accela.com/oregon/, the nation’s first statewide, electronic building permits system. Administered by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Building Codes Division, the site serves as a “one-stop shop” for building department permits and services from multiple cities and counties across the state—enabling construction projects to move more quickly and efficiently, and contractors to save time and money. Online permits are available from 34 jurisdictions, covering nearly 60 percent of the state’s population. More than 100,000 permit applications have been processed since the site’s launch.