Organizational Assessment of the Development Review Permitting Process; Interim Planning Director
Service type.

Completed Projects

Organizational Assessment of the Development Review Permitting Process; Interim Planning Director

Completed Date:
December 2006
Project Description:

Citygate provided an Interim Planning Director for the City and prepared an organizational assessment report of the Planning Division and the development review permitting process. The initial scope of this study was designed to have Citygate provide an organizational assessment of City’s Planning Division and a multi-year plan to rebuild the Division into a “best practices” organization. Early on in the assessment, it became apparent that many of the problems perceived as “Planning Department” problems were, in fact, interdepartmental in nature. As a result, the assessment was broadened to take in the overall development review permitting process. Citygate proceeded with the study with the following objectives: provide an independent, third party analysis of the policies, procedures, management and operations of the Planning Division, and design a creative strategy to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness; discuss alternative operating models and make recommendations for changes in the Planning Division; examine the development review permitting process model and make recommendations for changes. The City Council enthusiastically embraced the findings and recommendations in Citygate’s report. The City formed a dynamic Development Review Team. This resulted in increased interdepartmental cooperation and coordination. Duties were re-assigned so that planners could focus on planning rather than administrative tasks. The City fully implemented their electronic permit tracking system (Accela) in both the Building Division and Planning Division. In a follow-on engagement, Citygate was asked to assist the City in improving its permit processing-related customer service. Citygate took the various departmental and functional leaders and participants through a character-building training set of exercises to establish common values, norms, vocabulary, and behaviors for positive customer outcomes.


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