Permitting Overview

In this extended demonstration see the entire permit process including online application, plan review and permit issuance, inspections and finally generating a certificate of occupancy.

In this demo I'll give you a complete overview of the permitting process. We'll start with the online portal and we'll submit an application, then we'll go through the plan review and permit issuance. We'll do inspections and then we'll close up by issuing a certificate of occupancy. So I'm going to start here on the portal. In the portal you have various options that you can configure. You can allow your applicants to search online. They can look at reports, they can contact you - [there are] various different configuration options. We're going to drill down on the permitting options, so I'm going to go to Services and then select Permits, and this page, again, is configurable. All the pages - you can change how they look and feel. But the basic template starts out with a simple checklist so your applicants can be guided through the application process. So we'll start here with 'Do You Need a Permit?' And on this page you can describe all of your different types of permits and additional information about that. The next step would be Submittal Requirements so once your applicant has looked at it and they decide hey I do need a permit they can go on to Submittal Requirements to see what information they're going to need to supply with their permit application - again another customizable page. You can change the text you can change how it looks. In this example we've got a building permit overview, and this page provides links to additional documents. So if I click this link it will pull up that PDF that kind of describes "okay I'm going to need - for new construction, i'm gonna need site plans, and cost affidavits, and so on". These pdfs can be customized and set up based on your permit application process. You can also create links to submittal requirements for each permit type, so if I click new construction I can see just the documents that are required for new construction.

So now I know I need a permit, I've taken a look at the submittal requirements. I'm ready to apply online. So I'm going to click Apply Now, and your applicants can either register if they're new to the portal, or if they've already registered they can log in. I've already registered so I'm going to go ahead and log in, and that takes me to the Apply For a Permit Page. I'll select the permit type - on this example we'll do a building permit and new construction. Once you select the subtype, if you've attached a submittal requirements document of that subtype, it will become visible so that they can click it again to see what information they're going to have to provide. Let's say I'm building a new single-family home and I'll select whether it's a new or an existing project. This lets you tie permit applications to existing jobs so if they come in with the building permit application and then a month and a half later they come in with the electrical they can piggyback the electrical off of the existing building permit.

In this case I'll say a new project and I'll enter an address and click Find an Address. That validates the address against your parcel database and pulls in related information such as a parcel number and property owner. From this point on these are all custom fields so these are fields that we've set up based on your permit applications. You can add fields, you can remove them, you can customize this to match your application. So we'll start here by selecting the number of structures to be built. I'll say there's one structure and I'll select an occupancy type. Let's say this is going to be an R-3 and it's an IB. It's 2,500 square feet and we think it's going to cost 250,000 dollars to build this house, or that's what the contractor says.

Next I'll enter our contractor - I can start typing in a contractor's name - so I'll start typing in Acme and then list all matching contractors with their associated license number. And you can set this up so that they can only select active license holders. I'll go ahead and select Acme and I'll do the same thing for my architect. You can also determine what field should be required - so if there's a little red line that means that the field is required. You determine which fields the applicant will have to fill out, and you can also add help text to any field, so if you want to provide additional information you can add this help text. We'll attach some documents - I'll select a site plan and the preliminary cost affidavit and a certified plot plan.

You can set up as many different types of documents that you'd like to have them attach and they can select multiple files for each one. I filled out my permit application. I can save this for later so if I'm not quite finished, I haven't gathered everything, I can save it for later - it'll go in my cart, and then I can come back later and finish it. It won't get sent to your staff until they actually submit it, so I'll click Submit and that will calculate the fees and show them. In this example I'm only collecting plan check fees upfront. You can set it up so that you collect all fees or just plan check fees or no fees and if you'd like to add a convenience fee to that, you can. So the applicant would fill out their credit card information and click Submit. So once it's submitted it'll be routed to the permit staff.

So let's come over to citizenserve. So I've logged in as Morgan and she's got an application intake task on her list, so we can go ahead and do this permit review. I'll pull it up and Morgan will click the dot dot dot (...) here, [This is] the more information icon, to pull up the building permit. I'm going to look at it to make sure things are complete. So the system has done a few things: it's taken a look at what the contractor said for the occupancy type, construction type, cost ,and square footage, and it's calculated the valuation. So in this example, the contractor said that the estimated construction cost is $250,000 - the system is is telling us that's closer to $350, so if you want to see how that number was derived you can click the icon and it'll show you. It will say, okay, this is an r3 one and two-family building, it's an IV, and it's 250 square feet. The cost per square footage for this combination is $139 dollars and sixty seven cents, so that gets our total to three hundred and forty nine thousand. So if you decide that, you know, that we want to calculate our fees based on this valuation rather than what the contractor said, we can come down here and say, you know, let's change this to estimate a construction costs, and then it calculates it off of this. By default we've got it calculated off of this, but you can go back and forth so if I use that and it'll adjust our fees and come up with a different amount.

So Morgan is going to be doing her review. I'm going to kind of go back and forth between these two tabs so you can take a look at it now. She can pull up the book icon and it'll give her a checklist of items you should look at: Is a contractor valid? Did they conclude all their submitted documents? And was the application complete? This is a custom checklist - you can put whatever items on here that you'd like. Let's say that everything is complete. So I'm going to mark this task is complete and plug in today's date, and we'll click Save up here . So now when I look at the Reviews Tab, we can see that Morgan has finished the initial Application Intake task, and now all the different reviewers are sitting here.

On the review we can tell that this activity has been assigned to the reviewers because there's a due date on each one and there's no completion date. So we know they haven't finished it. So each person in each department will log in and do their plan review. So let's take a look at that. I'm going to log in as Ryan James. So I'll log off here and we'll log in as Ryan James, and that Application Review is sitting here on my task list. Ryan will also pull this up and he'll click the dot-dot-dot to pull up the Permit Tab, and Ryan might want to take a look at some of the documents that have been attached and mark them up. So I can pull out this layout plan. I'm going to click the Mark-up Tool, which will open this up, and I can make comments on this so I can, you know, draw a circle things and add comments - [I] can highlight items. I can do measurements and put tags - various markup options. I'll save all of those and start entering some comments on this review.

So I come back to my Review Tab and I click the book icon. I can see comments that are specific to my department. So as each person goes in they're only going to see their departmental comments. So let's say we've got an issue here, an issue here, and couple other things. We'll select these items and they go down in the review comments. I can change these if I want to, so it's not permitted in the residential zone. And I can also add blank items - so if I have a unique comment that wasn't in my checklist I can hit new and just add a comment here. So I'm going to select the status of Resubmittal Required and plug in today's date and click Save. So now when I look at the Reviews Tab I can see that Morgan has finished her Intake Application, Ryan has finished the Application Review, and we're still waiting on Engineering, Fire, and Building to finish their reviews.

Normally each person would log in and do theirs, but for the sake of speed I'll just do each one here quickly. So let's say Engineering was happy with it, no comments, nothing, so they'll just approve it and say today. And let's go into Fire let's say Fire had some comments, so we'll click the book again to add some comments, and we'll just select a few things here, but they're going to say that it's Approved With Conditions, and these comments would be their Conditions. We select today's date and save it, so now we can see that each department is doing part of their work.

We're down here to Building. Let's do Building. So I've got two tasks set up for Building. I've got an Application Review and Required Inspections. You don't have to have this Required Inspections task, but if you want to set it up what it lets you do is it lets you route this to a Building Inspector who can then go in and select what inspections will be required with this permit. So if you want all of them you can just select all. And let's say he maybe wants everything but the demo and the Required Inspections are inserted here. When we print our building permit these inspection types can print on our permit card.

So we'll approve this one - say today's date - and we've got one more task that's not done here - Liam Jameson's building. I'll plug in some comments. You can also filter your comments by a group. So let's say I just want to see new construction comments. I can select a few of those, and maybe I also want to look at the site plan checklist. So you can have as many different checklist groups as you'd like. I'll hit save again. Those get plugged in here. I'm going to select Resubmittal Required and plug in a date.

So now all of our application review tasks have been completed. What happens now is it gets sent back to Morgan Katz with a task that says the review is complete, so that Morgan knows that the review has been completed, and she can either issue the permit or send the applicant a plan review report.

So let's take a look at that. I'm going to log off and go back in as Morgan and here it is on my task list: Review Complete. So I'll pull it up, and typically you just click Save here because this lets you look at all the comments. So you can look at everyone's comments - you can look at the statuses and go "okay we've got Resubmittal Required and we've got some Approvals so I need to send the plan review report because we've got some Resubmittal Requred' - so I'm going to grab my Review Complete [activity] and we'll mark this as Complete. Plug in today's date, and send our plan review report. So to do that, I'm going to come up here to Send Email and I'll select a template - so Permit Application Plan Review Reports. I'm going to send it to our contractor and if I want to copy anyone else I could. Let's say I also want to add those attachments, those documents that we marked up. I can click add attachments and we'll select those three documents that we attached, click attach, and it knows that we've put comments or markups on those documents so it's asking us 'do you want to include your comments or markups in these attachments?' so we'll say yes we want to attach all the markups.

And now I can just hit send it - i'll click preview just so i can show you what it looks like - click preview here. So you can see that it's pulled in each reviewers comments. I'll go ahead and hit Send and that will send that plan review report over to the applicant. It will also save it to the Documents Tab, so if I come over here to the Documents Tab here it is so if you want to take a look at it later, we can. The applicant can also see those, so the applicant can then go online, look at their comments, resubmit information, send it back, and you can do an entire another review route if you need to. You can do it as many times as you want.

Let's say that the applicants gave everything and we're ready to approve the permit. I'm going to go to the Permits Tab and pull up this permit. And I will change the status to Approved. That's going to plug in an approval date here and I'll click Save. by changing the status to Approved we've sent the applicant an email letting them know that their permit has been approved. So I'll show you that email here it is so it's just a simple template that says that their permit has been approved and it will be issued after they pay their final fees. We can show them what their fees are and they can click here to view their application and make that online payment.

Once the payment has been received we can now issue the permit. So to do that I'll just pull the permit up again. We'll select the status of Issued. it'll plug in today's date and our expiration date which is typically six months out - but you can set that to whatever get you want, and I will generate our permit document. I'll select that, we'll click the Permit Card and click Generate, and that pulls up our permit card. So we can print this, we could mail it if we wanted to, or we can just hit save and that saves a copy of it to the Permit Tab where our applicant can see it online. So we've seen how to apply online and how the review process works and the permit issuance.

Let's take a look at inspections now I'm going to jump back to the portal and we'll schedule an inspection online. So I'm going to go into My Accounts and I'll log into the portal. I'll view My Requests and let's pull up our permit that we just issued here on Bakersfield. I'm going to click Request Inspection and I can select our inspection type.

So let's say it's a Footing Inspection. Select the desired date now you can configure what dates you'll accept inspections. If you don't do inspections on Friday you just disable Fridays and they won't be able to select that date. You can also disable non-working or holidays - like Memorial Day - so I'll say I want to schedule it for today. You can also set limits on the max number of inspections that can be requested for a certain date, so if you're only able to do 10 inspections per day, once the 10th one's been scheduled, if anyone else tries to schedule an inspection they'll get a message that says that there's no available slots for that date and ask them to select a different date. And I'll select the time - let's say I'm looking for a PM time and click Submit. That will request the inspection. I'll click OK here and if I look at my Inspections Tab, here, it's sitting and it's been scheduled. So let's take a look at how we do inspections in citizenserve.

I'm going to come back to citizenserve and log out, and I'll login as our inspector. That inspection is sitting here on his calendar. You can also take a look at his inspections due on a map. So I'll click the map icon. So it will display my inspections due on a map. I can click a map marker to take a look at the details and if I want to complete that inspection I can just click this link. You can do all this from a tablet out on the field, so if your inspectors have iPads or other tablets they'll be doing exactly what i'm doing while they're out in the field.

So I'll click this footing inspection. My inspection activity is displayed and I can start to enter inspection comments. Again, you can have another checklist for this. So I'll pull up my inspection comments and here are all my footing comments. You can have a different checklist for each inspection type, so if I wanted to look at the rough plumbing, I could take a look at that one, or jump back to footing. So let's say we've got a couple of issues. I'll just pull a few of these hit Save and that'll plug it into my inspection comments similar to the way it did with reviews. If I wanted to add anything or change anything in here, I can. So let's say that this inspection was Failed and I'll plug in the date I finished it, and we're going to send the contractor an email.

So to do that I'm going to click the Send Email icon and we will send them the Inspection Reports - send it to our contractor. I'll click preview so that I can show you what it looks like. So it's just pulling in our basic permit information and that checklist of items that they need to complete. We'll go ahead and hit Send and that'll send it to the applicant. So the applicant can come back on to the portal, and pull up their permit, and go to the Inspections Tab, and see all of their inspections, and the status, and if they want to they can click view comments to see those comments again.
So the inspection process is just more of the same. You schedule different inspections, the inspector will complete them, put in comments, or if they just pass it, they'll just say that they pass. You can also let your applicant's schedule or request inspections through our IVR system, or through our text messaging system. So let's say construction is complete. We finished all our inspections and we're ready to issue a Certificate of Occupancy. All we have to do is pull up our permit and click the Generate Document, and this time we'll select our Certificate of Occupancy and that pulls up our CoO, and you can make this look however you want - this is just an example. I'll show it to you on print preview so you can see what it looks like on a page. And that's an overview of the permitting process in citizenserve.