Monday, August 3, 2009

Planning Dept To Go Paperless - Sorta

In reading this, we wondered if regular lay folks like us also got a chance to participate in the pilot. Give us a shout if you know the answer.

From HoCo Gov:

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Ken Ulman has announced that starting today, all site development plans for the County’s Department of Planning and Zoning will be reviewed electronically. The Department has implemented cutting-edge software that will serve as a tool for plan submission, review, approval and tracking, using an on-line system. The software allows parallel collaboration between agencies to review and markup plans and share comments. The Department of Planning and Zoning is one of the first planning departments in the country to automate its site development plan review process.

“We are very excited about this shift away from paper-based plan review because it supports our sustainability goals and our goal to increase the effectiveness of local government,” said Ulman. “With the implementation of this technology, the Department of Planning and Zoning estimates they will be able to save more than 150,000 sheets of paper annually.”

Prior to full implementation, the Department of Planning and Zoning worked with the County’s Department of Technology and Communication Services to administer a pilot project to test the new technology. County agencies, as well as engineering firms that volunteered to test the technology, also helped tweak the system to ensure that it was ready for full implementation.

“We are grateful to all who helped test-drive the technology,” said Marsha McLaughlin, Director, Department of Planning and Zoning. “Every day we work to be more efficient at delivering high-quality plan reviews. I believe this new technology will certainly enhance our efforts.”

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