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The Department of City Planning Highlights New Permitting Standards at Customer Appreciation Day
Posted Date: 5/3/2017 3:30 PM
Mayor Kasim Reed press release header

 Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Anne Torres, Director
404-330-6423, office
404-904-2618, cell

Jewanna Gaither, Deputy Press Secretary
404-330-6942, office
404-357-5829, cell


News Release

The Department of City Planning Highlights New Permitting Standards at Customer Appreciation Day

ATLANTA– The City of Atlanta announced today that the Department of City Planning held Customer Appreciation Day today for the more than 10,000 planners, architects, engineers and business leaders the department serves annually. During the event, the Department introduced the new Development Services division in the Office of Zoning and Development and highlighted the City of Atlanta’s new permitting standards.

The Development Services division features the integration of planning and zoning prerequisites. The customer-driven concept was implemented to help guide patrons through the pre-permitting process. These pre-permitting functions include zoning evaluations, board of zoning adjustments, zoning review board activities, special administrative permit application review and demolition assessments.

“One of the Department of City Planning’s top priorities is to provide best-in-class customer service to our clients, and ensuring a streamlined permitting process is essential to achieving this goal,” said Tim Keane, Commissioner of the Department. “Development Services consolidates all processes which must be completed prior to applying for a permit, as well as helps City Planning coordinate across city departments on behalf of the customer.”

The Department of City Planning has completed several significant improvements to the city’s permitting processes through the Office of Buildings, including the creation of customer-oriented work stream services, an enhanced concierge function and additional plan review resources.

There are now five cross-functional work stream services that customers can utilize based on their permit type, including online (self-service), express, residential, light commercial and commercial. 

Additional developments include:

  • Connecting permit applicants with the correct processes and resources through the enhanced concierge function.
  • Partnering with the contractor SAFEbuilt to provide additional plan review and inspection resources and expertise.
  • Standardizing plan review procedures and implementing timeliness standards for each customer work stream service.
  • Providing improved training for plan reviewers, permit technicians and inspectors.
  • Employing a customer liaison representative for the Department.
In 2015, the Department of City Planning consulted with BKD National Governmental Group to evaluate the Office of Buildings operations and to establish a strategic plan to enhance the functions in the office.

Prior to the improvements, there was a uniform process for all permit types. Now, with specialized attention on customers’ varies needs, their experience is personalized resulting in an increase in customer satisfaction, according to a recent survey administered by BKD National Governmental Group.

Additional permitting procedures are currently being evaluated and revamped to address the unique needs of each customer. For example, the Department is updating the inspections strategy to ensure a simplified intake and issuance process. In addition, the City of Atlanta is looking at utilizing technology more to further improve development services and permitting processes.

“Our teams are highly motivated, skilled and already making great progress with the new procedures. We still have a tremendous amount to do, but the enhancements are taking root and employees can see our path now,” said Commissioner Keane.


The Department of City Planning
The mission of the Department of City Planning is to enable high quality, sustainable and equitable growth and development of Atlanta by facilitating more options for travel, abundant housing for all people, thriving neighborhoods, exceptional design in architecture and public spaces, preservation of historic resources, innovative regulatory practices, safe and durable buildings, attentive customer service, and resident involvement in all our work.

For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed