Gartner Study Phase II Update
City of Charlotte Land Development and Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement staff continue to work jointly on the Phase I recommendations from the Gartner report. Gartner, an independent consulting firm, was commissioned in late 2014 to do a study surrounding the processes and current state of construction and development regulation in Mecklenburg County and provide feedback for enhancing customer service.
Gartner Phase I Recommendations
The group initially submitted a report with the following broad recommendations:
- Establish unified development services governance and supporting sub-committees.
- Improve customer alignment.
- Improve culture and foster partnership.
- Implement immediate process and technology improvements.
- Develop future services delivery models.
- Establish long-term permitting and plan review application strategy and implement.
- Establish an optimization process leveraging enhanced metrics.
As of this writing, Recommendations 1-6 are under way, with Recommendation 7 expected to start in the near future. Recommendations 1 and 2 are expected to reach completion by the end of the calendar year.
Unified Development Successes
Since the submission of the recommendations, the city and county have continued to work closely with the development community, resulting in several achievements including:
- The establishment of a joint city/county staffed Unified Development Services Committee to review and implements cross jurisdictional initiatives
- The initiation of gateway checks across city and county to inform customers early in the plan review process of all city and county permitting requirements
- Development of a unified vision and shared responsibilities statement for customers and staff
- Movement toward the automation of the rezoning process
- Development of a permitting business wizard to assist novice customers through the permitting process for commercial projects
- Starting the implementation of electronic plan submittal for Charlotte Water
Gartner Phase II Recommendations
After beginning work on the Phase I broad recommendations, the city and county asked for more specific recommendations on how to refine our processes and customer service. Recently, Gartner delivered its Phase II recommendations, which focus on process refinement:
Phase II Progress
- Transition to a single application and submission process and point of entry that intakes all application types.
- Implement a mechanism, such as an online wizard, that assists new or uneducated customers through the application process.
- Implement an automated zoning check (where possible).
- Trigger automated zoning reviews to execute at the time of building permit application submission.
- Transition to a collaborative, concurrent and entirely electronic plan review process.
- Require application pre-submittal meetings for the most complex, risky project types.
- Rebrand the names of premium services, such as expedited plan review and inspections, to reduce customer confusion with the options available to them from the city and/or the county.
- Transition to have both the city and county operate on a First-In, First-Out plan review process that is associated with realistic, predictable, performance metrics to reduce inconsistencies and improve the plan review process.
- Standardize the inspection request process across all inspecting agencies to initiate from one submission point.
Currently, the city and county are analyzing the Phase II recommendations for feasibility and options for implementation. We will provide an update on our continued progress in the future.
For more information on Gartner's Phase II recommendations, take a look at Gartner's Phase II report.