People seeking permits from the city of San Marcos will soon be able to track their permits online from application to approval at any time.
According to city officials, a new permitting and code enforcement software system will be implemented by the end of 2011. The system will allow customers to get real-time updates for inspection results and application status. The city will implement the system after a customer training campaign in the fall.
“We are proud to be one of the first cities in Texas to contract with MyPermitNow,” said Kristy Stark, assistant director of the Development Services Department, Permit Center division. “With the volume of current and anticipated building activity in San Marcos, this new online system will simplify the permitting process and make it much more transparent for our citizens, developers and contractors.”
The system will also allow city plan reviewers to view digital versions of building and site plans, and will alleviate the need for paper plan sets. City code enforcement officers and other city departments may use the system. The web-based, customizable software will allow for mobile field inspections, automatic phone alerts and customized reports.
The system is provided via a contract executed this month between the city council and the South Central Planning and Development Commission. Council members agreed to pay no more than the “annual estimated amount of $26,000” for the system, in the language of the enabling resolution.
The contract involves no up-front implementation costs to the city, and the monthly fees for the city’s use of the systems are based on the number of permits issued, according to city officials.
The South Central Planning and Development Commission, one of Louisiana’s eight regional planning districts, developed the software. The district and has a contract with the Texas Capital Area Council of Governments that allows CAPCOG to act as a local agent and offer the software to members such as the City of San Marcos.
According to city officials, 3,076 permits were issued last fiscal year. By the end of July the city had issued 2,381 permits this fiscal year.
For more information about MyPermitNow or the current permitting process, contact the city’s Permit Center at (512) 805-2630.Email | Print
This is interesting. MyPermitNow is operated by a building codes council in Louisiana. Its MyPermitNow.org portal serves several local governments in that state. Though they don’t do a very good job of communicating their history, I gather that this whole thing started up as a permitting solution for municipalities in their jurisdiction, and they soon realized they could repurpose it to serve guvmints outside their area. In the process, they earn $$$.
You gotta love that.
Kudos to San Marcos accomplishing this without trying to reinvent the wheel by designing and maintaining its own site. This is more of a cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) model, which can be very cost-effective because San Marcos doesn’t have to invest in IT infrastructure to host and serve its own permitting application. (Hence the lack of up-front costs.)
On the fact of it, this appears to be a pretty solid little deal.