We’ve come a long way since our permitting software went live in April. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from customers on how to improve the new system. Here are the highlights of the customer suggested improvements we’ve made so far:
- Our Public Notices feature (The Land Use Information Bulletin) now includes better notice descriptions and a summary report of the current public notices. Customers can now search by project number and create a customized report by publish date.
- We modified the pre-application process to automatically advance some permit types, create a new construction or MUP permit record, and email the applicants their new record number. This allows applicants to schedule their intake appointments more quickly.
- We added a “Next Available Date” tool tip on the appointment calendar pop-up to make it easier to schedule intake appointments.
- We added filters to the My Records portion of the portal to allow you to filter your records by:
- Additional Information Requested
- Corrections Required
- Corrections Submitted
- Intake Appointment Scheduled
- Intake Scheduled & Documents Submitted
- Permit Applications in Review
- We updated the fee payment process for preliminary applications so fees can be paid by someone other than the applicant.
- We added the ability to pay with trust (escrow) accounts in the Seattle Services Portal.
- We clarified language on the section where you upload documents to make it easier to navigate.
- We updated the customer sign-in tool at the Applicant Services Center, which had been slowing down the entire system. The update improved the system performance and response time.
- We updated the system to automatically send side sewer applicants an email when their application has been processed so that they know when to pay their fees.
- We now send emails for annual equipment inspections to the Financially Responsible Party as well as Owner once an inspection passes so they know they need to pay their fees.
- We now allow you to schedule inspections on certain construction permits that don’t need a pre-construction conference without being unnecessarily delayed by that requirement.
- We updated the search function so that licensed contractors can search for their existing license number to start the renewal process.
- We set up an automatic Grading Season Extension Alert to remind our customers to apply for an extension, if needed.
- We corrected technical issues that caused inspections to be scheduled incorrectly, and fixed issues to make it easier to do inspections in the field.
- We fixed an automated procedure to show current licensed contractor information from Washington Labor & Industries.
- We updated Phased Construction permits so that they automatically progress to the next step when the applicant pays fees or submits corrected plans.
- We streamlined the staff dashboard so that they can more easily see their daily assignments, and so they can better monitor critical tasks, such as reviews and permits ready to issue.
- We created the Issues and Resolutions blog so customers can see some of the items we’re tracking.
In addition to these improvements, we have made significant updates to continuously improve the behind-the-scenes processes. Those updates have helped us process permits more quickly and will lead to additional efficiencies in the future.
As we continue to make changes to the system to provide better customer service over the next several months, we would appreciate your suggestions on where we can focus our attention next. If you would like to provide input, please contact SeattleServices_ITHelp@seattle.gov. We greatly appreciate our customer’s patience and understanding during this significant system transition. We are committed to ongoing and continuous improvements that enhance your experience in working with us. Thank you for your ongoing guidance and suggestions!