On November 17, 2015, Mayor and Council established the Planning and Development Services (PDSD) Advisory Committee to “review the internal processes of the Planning and Development Services Department.” The Committee, comprised of fifteen (15) members appointed by the Mayor, Council, and City Manager, met a total of six (6) times between February and July 2016. On July 28, 2016, the Committee approved a Report to the City Manager that oulined twenty (20) Recommendations across four (4) Themes. Also identified, were seventy-six (76) Actions that had already been completed, were in progress, or were proposed as steps toward implementing the Recommendations.
Check out the Latest News section at the end of this page for major updates on the implementation of the Report and for opportunities to get involved. Click on each Theme below to see the related Recommendations and Actions.
A. Materials from November 4, 2015, Mayor and Council Meeting
B. Materials from November 17, 2015, Mayor and Council Meeting
C. Current PDSD Organizational Chart
D. PDSD Advisory Committee Members’ Ideas for Improving PDSD
E. Flipchart Notes from PDSD Advisory Committee Meetings (February 16, 2016; March 30, 2016; April 26, 2016; June 8, 2016)
F. Compilation of All Actions Included in PDSD Advisory Committee Report
G. Code Amendments Being Undertaken or Considered by PDSD as of July 2016
H. PDSD Staff Responses to Comments Received Before, During, and After June 28, PDSD Advisory Committee Meeting
Four Themes were identified during discussions with the PDSD Advisory Committee. These four Themes, described below, are: (1) Clarity and Transparency, (2) Streamlined Review Process, (3) Project Facilitation, and (4) Reducing Policy and Regulatory Barriers. Click on each Theme to see the related Recommendations and Actions, as well as Status Updates on implementation.
The permitting process will always have some level of complexity and uncertainty, but efforts need to be made to better educate customers about the process, provide clear and easy to find information, and more clearly delineate roles and responsibilities. Committee members emphasized the need for clear expectations for the review process, including time expectations, information on when reviewers are available for individual discussions, and development of written policies.
Committee members emphasized many times that “time is money.” An efficient and quick permitting process encourages more development, which has a direct positive impact on the local economy. Streamlined review focuses on the overall process of entitlement review and permitting, while Theme #3, Project Facilitation, deals more with how to improve the outcomes for individual projects.
Another major theme that was identified by the PDSD Advisory Committee is the need for PDSD staff to better facilitate projects through the permitting process. To undertake this, staff should be encouraged to have a problem-solving attitude, avoid a “culture of no” mentality, provide more information earlier in the review process, and look for creative solutions when codes provide significant barriers to projects. A related need is to improve coordination between the various reviewing agencies and between reviewers and inspectors.
A fourth theme that arose from the committee discussions addressed the ways in which City codes can present significant barriers to development, especially infill and adaptive reuse of buildings. There was also an interest expressed simplifying the Unified Development Code (UDC), moving toward increased regional consistency in building codes, and re-looking at area and neighborhood plans. Another related area of committee concern is the PDSD boards, committees, and commissions and how the role and operation of the various bodies can impact projects. General issues were raised over committee membership levels, committee member advocacy, and continuity between committees.
8/25/16 - The recruitment for a new PDSD Director is underway. For more information, please see the recruitment brochure.
8/6/16 - On July 6, 2016, the Mayor and Council adopted two Unified Development Code (UDC) text amendments to provide new reinvestment tools: (1) Major Streets and Routes setback relief and (2) removing the 40-acre minimum from the Planned Area Development (PAD). The Ordinance (No. 11386) became effective on August 6, 2016.