CityGate Planning Improvement Progress

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In June of 2016, staff prepared a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify a qualified consultant to review and assess the Planning and Environmental Review Department’s organizational structure, operational functions, and levels of staffing. The purpose of the assessment was to have a consultant make recommendations for improvements and enhancements to department operations, workflows, and coordination and collaboration with the other City departments. 

Citygate Associates, LLC, was awarded the contract on October 3, 2016. They conducted extensive review and analysis of the PER department, and the report of their findings was delivered to the City Council on June 20, 2017.  

The full report can be found here.

PROGRESS TOWARD GOALS

Strategic Recommendation  Responsible Party/Parties Timeframe Status

#1: Establish A Direct Link Between The City’s Strategic Plan And The Day-To-Day Efforts Of The PER Department To Implement The General Plan.

City Manager, Interim PER Director, New PER Director Begin within 60 days of new fiscal year (Aug. 30, 2017). In Process

#2: Establish professional development plans and identify mentoring opportunities and support for all Department employees.

 

New PER Director, HR Manager Begin within 180 days of new PER Director tenure (Feb. 12, 2018).   In Process
#3: Prioritize establishment of an electronic permit tracking system (EPTS) inclusive of building records. Continue to image records in accordance with the adopted Records Retention Schedule.  City Manager, Interim PER Director, New PER Director 

Build on timeline direction from City Council on the Zoning Ordinance, permit tracking system to follow, and IT strategic plan findings. Report status 60 days into new fiscal year (Aug. 30, 2017).

 In Process

#4: Improve communication with customers and community members by adding purpose, process, and project update pages to the PER Department website. 

New PER Director, PER staff, Community Relations Manager  Begin within 180 days of new PER Director tenure (Feb. 12, 2018).  In Process
#5: Pursue customer service improvements that support economic vitality opportunities for local business expansion.

New PER Director, Economic Development Coordinator, Community Relations Manager Begin within 180 days of new fiscal year (Feb. 12, 2018).  In Process
#6: Pursue customer service improvements that support Old Town vitality.  New PER Director Begin within 180 days of new fiscal year (Feb. 12, 2018). 

 In Process
#7: Rebalance the planning skillsets and position allocations in the Department to improve organizational efficiency, enhance long-range environmental planning, and increase the effectiveness of the City’s Old Town economic development program through increased collaboration with the Neighborhood Services Department. City Manager, New PER Director, HR Manager  The City Manager shall establish a date within 90 days of the new PER Director’s tenure for the Director to provide to the City Manager an initial assessment of the existing PER Department skillsets and position allocations (Oct. 12, 2017). 

 In Process
#7.1: Collaborate on the development of an 18-month PER Organizational Transition Plan to redeploy planning staff to address the City’s shift away from vacant-land development; reorient workforce skillsets toward Old Town development activities. City Manager, New PER Director, HR Manager  The City Manager shall establish a date within 120 days of the new PER Director’s tenure for the Director to organize a collaborative PER Department process to develop an 18-month PER Organizational Transition Plan (Dec. 15, 2017). 

 In Process
#7.2: Designate an interim “Old Town Opportunity Group” Team Leader to facilitate collaboration on development of the 18-month PER Organizational Transition Plan; the Group should submit the Plan to the City Manager within 45 days.  City Manager, New PER Director, Neighborhood Services, Economic Development Coordinator, Community Relations Manager, Public Works  Within 120 days of new Director tenure, Director shall designate an interim “Old Town Opportunity Group” Team Leader and work with that leader to assure delivery of an 18-month PER Organization Transition Plan within 45 days that work begins on the plan. 

 In Process
#8: Continue the process of clarifying the policy-setting roles and duties of the City Attorney and City Councilmembers relative to the operational role of the Department. 

City Manager, New PER Director, City Attorney, City Councilmembers  Begin within 60 days of new PER Director tenure (Oct. 12, 2017).   In Process
#9: Strengthen the development review committee (DRC) and make better use of cycle-time  
Interim PER Director, New PER Director, Public Works Director  Begin within 30 days of new fiscal year (July 30, 2017). 

 In Process
#9.1: Establish a formal DRC agenda.  Interim PER Director, New PER Director, Public Works Director  Begin within 30 days of new fiscal year (July 30, 2017).

 In Process
#9.2: Establish, synchronize, and widely publicize cycle-time standards for all steps in the development review permitting process for all project types. 

Interim PER Director, New PER Director, Public Works Director  Begin within 60 days of new fiscal year (Aug. 30, 2017).   In Process
#9.3: Establish cycle-time standards for processing development plans through the Public Work’s Development Engineering Division; resource the function to achieve the cycle-time standard. 

Interim PER Director, New PER Director, Public Works Director  Begin within 60 days of new fiscal year (Aug. 30, 2017).   In Process

Click here to see the Strategic Action Plan.

Other Recommendations - designed to support the Strategic Recommendations
 
#10.1: Institutionalize continual improvement of the adopted Zoning Code.
 
#10.2: Direct the new PER Director to improve the efficiency of the City’s EIR processing system.
 
#10.3: Strengthen the transparency and accountability of the Department’s Trust Fund Deposit system.
 
#10.4: Eliminate “multiple bites at the apple” during the development permit review process.
 
#10.5: Strive to distribute agenda packets on the Wednesday before Planning Commission and City Council meetings. 
 
#10.6: Consider revising the staff report format to provide a one-page executive summary. 
 
 #10.7: Place access to public meeting agendas and staff reports in a prominent position on the City’s homepage to ensure single-click access for the public.
 

 

 Other Recommendations - Public Comment
 
 Revisit Design Review Process
 
 Incentivize sustainability, clean building and energy efficiency
 
 Begin within 180 days of new PER Director tenure.