Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598

Date: March 23, 2007
Contact: Jeff Rowe-Hornbaker, Assistant Director, Permitting
Phone: (360) 337-4816
No. 07-22

Customers Will Notice Changes at
Kitsap County Community Development

PORT 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 timely responses.

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.

Additional links:

Kitsap County Department of Community Development Homepage

To contact the Kitsap County Administrative Manager, 
call Carolyn Siems at 360-337-4481 or email:

Last Updated:  May 27, 2014