Latest News Summer 2019 Development Services Permit Application Center recently remodeled DSD launches new online development notification tool City of Asheville launched new services-oriented website Fees and Charges changes for FY 2019-2020 Digital residential permitting portal update Continuing education and training available Sign up for E-news from DSD Development Services Permit Application Center recently remodeled If you have been to the Public Works building recently you likely noticed some changes happening. The Development Services Permit Application Center (PAC) lobby has gone through a complete remodel to better serve customers and improve efficiency in this work space. Improvements for customers and staff: • Creation of two self-serve kiosks where customers can access DSD’s online services quickly and easily to apply for residential permits, check permit status and schedule inspections. • New lobby furniture incorporates more workstations where customers can talk one on one with plan review staff. • Separation of Permit Facilitators creates an office-like experience for the customer to allow a more collaborative and secure exchange of information. The new lobby also provides additional space for customers to meet one-on-one with the Planner of the Day (POD) and Permit Facilitators. DSD is located in the Asheville Public Works Building, 161 S. Charlotte St. Stop by and take a look at the improvements. Let us know what you think. DSD launches new online development notification tool In a time of development and growth, Asheville residents have asked how they can stay better informed about upcoming projects. We heard you and are pleased to roll out a new online tool residents can use to stay informed about upcoming development such as major subdivisions, apartment complexes, retail establishments and hotels. The site contains specific information about opportunities for public participation in the development process. Best of all, you can sign up to receive notifications when a development application is submitted for land in your area. The new development tool is embedded in the City’s Simplicity search engine. This site, which contains all sorts of neighborhood and City services information, now also has a development tab. Click on “Development” in the lower right-hand corner to find our all new Large-Scale Development webpage. This page includes information on project types, the development process, and how and when the community can get involved. Brought to you by the City’s Development Services and IT staff, creation of this tool was informed by surveying our residents about their preferences regarding development notification. Based on the survey data, staff developed this new notification tool that allows for opt-in email notifications of development applications submitted to the City based on geographic preferences. These notifications will lead residents to detailed informational pages about the submitted applications for development approval. The Large-Scale Development webpage also links to detailed, user-friendly pages and resources regarding the development review, engagement and approval process in the City of Asheville. Want to get notifications about developments near you or for the entire city? Sign up here. If you prefer to not get emails and to simply check in on development from time to time you can always visit this data-rich development webpage. This development notification tool will continue to be updated as we receive feedback and suggestions. If you have any ideas for improvements or features you would like us to consider, please tell us here. City of Asheville launched new services-oriented website The City of Asheville has launched a new services-oriented website, with key resident services front and center on the home page. The site is built with usability in mind, based on key analytics of our most visited pages and requested services. City staff worked with local vendors to build the site on the open source WordPress platform. Over the summer City staff continue to migrate content to the new site. The site is built with continuous improvement in mind and will be adapted to the changing needs of the community. The former website will still be available at legacy.ashevillenc.gov for several months as content continues to be migrated to the new site. The website url address remains the same www.ashevillenc.gov. To navigate to DSD, click “Departments” in the top blue navigation bar and then “Development Services” or go directly to www.ashevillenc.gov/department/development-services. Fees and Charges changes for FY 2019-2020 Asheville’s fiscal year runs from July to June the following year. So most fee changes go into effect July 1. Fees and charges are a significant revenue source for the City, comprising 35% of city-wide revenue and 10% of the General Fund revenue. These generally fall into three categories: user fees and charges; regulatory fees; and public enterprise fees and charges. Find a complete rundown of the Fees & Charges at this link. Digital residential permitting portal update In February 2019, the Development Services Department (DSD) launched an online portal to accept residential permit applications following a year-long improvement process that involves all residential review staff. The aim is for DSD to process the first round of review for complete residential permits applications within six days. To support this goal, DSD has developed a clear, user-friendly application checklist and resources, like a glossary of common terms and sample diagrams. In addition to accepting residential permit applications online, DSD now also routes residential applications digitally to staff reviewers. Reviewers use the industry-leading Bluebeam software to review and mark-up application plans and produce comment summaries. Customers are notified by email when marked-up plans and comments or approved permits and plans are available for pick-up on the Accela Citizen Access website. The new process eliminates the need for paper plan sets and allows for 24/7 submittal of new residential applications through DSD’s Development Portal Between February and June, DSD received 204 new residential permit applications and 88 residential permit resubmittals online for projects including new single family homes, remodeling, repairs, accessory structures, and solar PV. DSD continues to track metrics to identify additional improvement opportunities DSD is currently coordinating with the City’s Water Resources Department and Buncombe County’s Metropolitan Sewerage District (MSD) to integrate three separate applications into one and to collect fees at one time for applicants’ ease. Continuing education and training available Did you know that the Development Services Department offers training opportunities for professional development? Classes are held at Wesley Grant Sr. South Center, 285 Livingston St, Asheville, NC 28801 (unless noted otherwise). For class registration or more information, contact Misty Lipe at 828-259-5658 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is a list of upcoming classes: Mechanical Code Class: Sept. 3 and 10, 1 to 4 p.m. (tentative dates). Cost: $65. National Electrical Code (NEC) Class for Contractors: Oct. 14-15, 6 to 10 p.m. Cost: $80. Electrical Journeyman Test: Oct. 15, 8 a.m. to noon. Cost: $50. Building Code Class: Nov. 5 and 12 (tentative dates), 1 to 4 p.m. Cost: $65. Plumbing Code Class: Dec. 3 and 10, 1 to 4 p.m. (tentative dates). Cost: $65.