Orange County Government Expands Permitting Workspace to Enhance Customer Service
Mayor Teresa Jacobs and leadership from across Orange County Government joined the Division of Building Safety for a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the renovation and expansion of Permitting Services on Oct. 17, 2018. The new workspace will house additional staff to enhance One-Stop Permitting services on the first floor of Orange County’s Administration Building at 201 S. Rosalind Ave. in downtown Orlando.
The expansion and renovation will boost customer service, reduce wait times and provide a streamlined workflow for permit applications. The new workspace will also provide customers a central location to communicate with partner offices involved in One-Stop Permitting and Fast Track Online Services.
“We are so proud to celebrate the ribbon cutting of this transformed space, which has been strategically renovated to be supportive of our workflow and customers,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “We’re also celebrating greatly expanded digital permitting access, the expansion of our “Fast Track” Online Services, and a new “queuing system,” as well as appointment scheduling and more. We know that time is precious, and are so pleased that these improvements will help to improve our customer service and overall efficiency.”
Online permitting accounts for more than 50 percent of all permits issued by Orange County Government. A total of 52,996 permits were issued online from September 2017 to September 2018. March 2018 was the highest volume month during this time period, with nearly 4,500 permits issued online. The volume of permitting activity has increased by as much as 25 percent in some areas.
In response to increased permitting activity, Orange County Government’s Division of Building Safety sought to update their existing space to better meet the needs of customers and staff.
The renovation revitalizes an unused section of the County Administration Building to better serve customers and provide more space to partner offices involved in Fast Track Online Services and One-Stop Permitting. Along with increased partner space, the new area includes a conference room, a break room for customers and employees, and houses new positions dedicated to supporting online permitting and electronic plan submittals and reviews. Orange County partner offices that have a presence within Permitting Services include:
- Division of Building Safety
- Environmental Protection Division
- Planning Division
- Public Works Department
- Orange County Utilities Customer Service
- State of Florida Health Department
- Zoning Division
History of One-Stop and Fast Track
Since taking office in 2011, one of Mayor Jacobs’ priorities has been to work toward a sustainable future and streamline the County’s development review processes to make it more transparent, efficient and predictable. A first step was to become more responsive to customer needs in development permitting by establishing “One-Stop.” With the creation of One-Stop, permitting customers were no longer required to go to multiple buildings to complete a Building Permit application.
Mayor Jacobs created the Regulatory Streamlining Task Force to evaluate the County’s development review processes and embarked on the County’s first Sustainable Orange County Plan. One of the goals of the Regulatory Streamlining Task Force was to make the County’s development processes more transparent. One way to accomplish this was to expand the Fast Track Online Services portal.
Fast Track Online Services provides a suite of resources for members including the ability to track an application status, research contractor licenses, schedule and cancel inspections, download development documents, view meetings and hearings dates, search for permits, investigative reports, addresses and parcels and track the progress of an inspector enroute to a location.
In 2018, Fast Track expanded to include access to most permit applications for licensed contractors, the launch of “Get in Line” to schedule appointments remotely and apply for a fence permit online, the first online permit application that is available to both contractors and homeowners.
To learn more about online permitting and Fast Track, visit www.ocfl.net/fasttrack.
Photo Caption: Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orange County’s Division of Building Safety Manager Alan Plante joined Orange County staff and leaders from the Greater Orlando Builders Association, S.A. Casey Construction and Interior Contract Services to celebrate the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovation and expansion of Permitting Services on Oct. 17, 2018 at the Orange County Administration Building.