Good Permitting Procedure

Dear Management Doctor:

We are evaluating our permitting process for both the Planning Department and the Public Works and Building Department. We would like to look at other cities whose permitting processes have had success and have been acknowledged for their streamlining and customer service. Can you recommend some cities we could contact or even visit?

As an aside, I would like you to know that since I took your course this time last year I have truly benefited from a great deal of the information I have received from you both in the course and from your email. I really appreciate it.

A Texas Planner

Dear Texas Planner:

I'd like to ask our readers who the good ones are. Unfortunately, we are usually asked to work with the not-so-good ones. I keep hearing about a few California communities, including Pasadena, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale. In Texas, take a look at Bryon. Come on, emailers - toot your own horns!

The Management Doctor

Reader Responses

Thanks for the plug! We would welcome any questions or comments about about our processes here, just let us know. Thanks!

Joseph A. Dunn, AICP
Planning Administrator
City of Bryan

You may want to look at Grand Prairie. They have received a lot of recognition and some awards for their streamlining and permitting efforts, especially since they are burdened with an elaborate zoning process that uses a lot of planned developments. They get constant kudos from the development community about their turnaround and helpfulness, compared to other cities. Sharron Cherry, Chief Building Official, is a good contact person.

Craig Farmer, FAICP
Director of Planning
Lubbock, Texas

The City of Orlando has a streamlined permitting process that is "prompt and professional", earning itself high marks from developers and citizens alike. The process has received national recognition as a model of efficiency and for being customer friendly. For more information, please look at the city's website: When you get to the site, click on City Services and scroll down to Permitting Services.

Dean Grandin, AICP
Planning & Development Director
City of Orlando

I would be happy to mail you detailed information regarding the complete reorganization and streamlining of our permitting operations. We host site visits on a regular basis from governments across the country. Just need your address.

William F. Billingsley, III (Frank)
Permitting Services Director Office of Permitting Services
City of Orlando

Try Largo, Florida. They streamlined their processes nearly 15 years ago and are using essentially that same process today. Plenty of experience to share.

V. Gail Easley, FAICP
The Gail Easley Company

trainingcompany hot infomanagement doctordumb stuffconsultingpublications