In one North Carolina county, the land development process -- from permitting to building plan submission to inspection -- is now organized under one electronic, online system.
The new system eliminates the need for hard copies of plans, and the cross-town trips between different departments to share documents and gain approvals.
"'It really amazed me how many steps there are in even the simplest permit,' Bledsoe said. 'You want to build a small house out here -- nothing special, just a house -- but there are all kinds of steps. You can't just walk in, get a permit and walk out.'
The county's new system streamlines the permitting process by connecting all land management departments to a centralized network. Supported by $600,000 in local project funds, the system integrates electronic plans review and geographic information system (GIS) platforms. The previous system had GIS maps, but they were static, limited and new information had to be put in manually. This new GIS system is live. Anything that's entered into the GIS is automatically available within permitting services, and vice versa. Users can access live maps and see the placement of any other buildings on the targeted lot, and data can move electronically from city to city."
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