March 23, 2007
Contact: Jeff Rowe-Hornbaker,
Assistant Director, Permitting
Phone: (360) 337-4816
Customers Will Notice Changes at
Kitsap County Community Development
ORCHARD, WA—Citing a need to reduce permit applications and plan
review backlog by 75%, Kitsap County’s Department of Community Development (DCD)
is implementing new business processes. “Our department has been criticized
for having inefficient business practices,” said Larry Keeton, DCD Director.
“This is one of several steps we’re taking in response to the issues raised
in that criticism.
A major change is the new “Open Line” phone system, modeled after Public
Works’ Open Line. Customers calling 360-337-7181 will be greeted by
specially trained staff who provide immediate answers for the most commonly
asked questions . They also make appointments with reviewers, and can route
calls to appropriate staff for customers needing more technical responses. A
new electronic tracking system is also planned for later this year. This
allows customers to track information requests, and helps staff ensure
Beginning April 2, reviewers will meet with customers by appointment only.
Customers have been frustrated by reviewers not being available when they
come to the counter. Scheduling appointments values everyone’s time, and
allows for time without customer contact to focus on current and backlogged
projects. All reviewers will dedicate the last hour of each workday to
return phone calls, and all calls will be returned within two working days.
DCD also provides a new “Planner of the Day” service. This person can
explain the permit process, and answer many general planning question
“We see this as an opportunity to provide better service to customers, and
provide some relief to our staff. They are equally frustrated when published
timelines are missed,” said Jeff Rowe-Hornbaker, Assistant Director,
Permitting. “Evaluating and fine-tuning our business processes helps develop
reasonable expectations that customer can count on,” said Rowe-Hornbaker.
Kitsap County Department of Community Development