The City of Hood River initiated improvements to its the Development Permitting Process early this year, and numerous changes have been made or are planned as a result of feedback received from development permit customers.
A customer survey was conducted in March and delivered to 261 previous customers of the Building, Planning, Engineering or Fire departments involved in permitting services. A 20% response rate helped the City gauge how customers feel about City development permitting services. The majority of feedback indicated customers value existing services and identified areas for improvements. City officials learned they can make the biggest difference by offering a predictable, timely permit review process.
Tools most frequently used by customers were cited as online codes, downloadable forms and in-person permit counter assistance, while the majority of customers preferred communication via email or website information.
- As a result of feedback, the City has extended office hours for Planning and Engineering departments from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by appointment, also observed by the Building department.
- A new permit submittal checklist for Engineering and Building permits has been created, with faster review timelines beginning in this summer.
- Building and Engineering permitting staff will move to Hood River City Hall this summer to co-locate with the Planning Department, increasing efficiency of services.
- Technology tools will be more widely available to City staff, allowing for electronic plan review and more efficient permitting system.
The City of Hood River plans to continue taking input for ongoing improvement of services during this process.