Thursday, November 30, 2017

City to Implement Steps to Improve Customer Interaction for City Permitting


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the city is implementing a series of steps to improve customer interaction with permitting in the City of Richmond. In a letter sent to stakeholders on November 28, the mayor addressed changes coming to the city’s permit center located in Room 110 at City Hall.

“After hearing from many relating to their experience applying for and receiving permits from Room 110, we are changing how these matters are handled here at City Hall,” said Mayor Stoney. “We are committed to making the process of getting a permit less time-consuming, and more customer-friendly and efficient, and will take full advantage of the technology we have available to make it easier to conduct business with the City of Richmond.”
 
The following steps will be implemented on December 1, 2017:

Better office hours

The Permit Center will now be open 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Monday - ­Friday), which previously operated from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. This will allow customers to come in earlier and get their business done, as well as provide city staff the needed time to have meetings and return calls. Staffing hours will not change.

Improvements to Room 110

Renovations have been approved to improve customer flow, providing better separation between those who are waiting, and those working with Permit Techs or with other city departments. At the request of Mayor Stoney, city staff have customer wait times down to an average of 30 minutes from almost an hour wait earlier in the year. The improvements made to Room 110 will help city staff to continue to provide better service.

E-mailed Permits

Permits can be sent to valid email addresses as soon as plans are approved, allowing applicants to spend less time in City Hall.

Validated Parking

The city will provide 1-hour or 2-hour validated parking for business conducted in Room 110 at the city's parking deck at 7thStreet and Marshall Street. This will help alleviate some of the challenges with parking near City Hall.

Additionally, the city is continuing to work on the EnerGov system to bring online submittal of plans and payment of fees. Additional staff has been hired to help improve plan review times and customer service.