City Acts on 278 Recommendations to Improve Its Development Review Process

Published : Friday, August 7, 2015 | 5:13 AM

Pasadena city departments are now implementing key recommendations made by a consulting group which recently completed a study of the City of Pasadena’s Development Review Process.

Matrix Consulting Group’s 278 recommendations were focused on how the city can improve and streamline its current process for assessing and acting on applications for land use development projects in Pasadena.

In a report to City Manager Michael J. Beck, City Director of Planning and Community Development Vincent P. Bertoni laid out the Implementation Summary that provides the status for each of the 278 recommendations, some of which were listed as “evaluated and rejected” which means they did not create a significant efficiency impact in the process and therefore will not be implemented.

Another reason for rejecting is either the recommendation will be in conflict with state or local law or would not conform to Pasadena’s goals for community engagement.

Other recommendations were given the status as “in process short term” indicating that work is underway and implementation may be effected within the next 12 months. Still others were classified as “in process long term” when the implementation is targeted within 18 to 24 months.

Many of the recommendations also require that the new Land Management System (LMS) be in place before implementation. The new LMS is estimated to be complete within two or three years. Some of the recommendations require that new positions or job classifications be in place before they are implemented.

“The Planning and Community Development Department is continuing work on the recommendations as well as managing the Interdepartmental Review Team (IRT) that is focusing on improvement recommendations that cross over into more than one department,” Bertoni said in the report.

At the city’s Permit Center, among the recommendations laid out by the Matrix Consulting Group is to relocate staff from the Public Works and Fire Departments to the Permit Center to improve customer service. The Center is already providing expedited services to customers who have simple trade permit applications, like electrical, plumbing and mechanical, using a single window where the whole process could be completed, instead of having to sign in and wait at several windows.

Real wait times in the Permit Center are also now available online and on a mobile app developed by the city where the wait times can be seen at the touch of a button. Using these devices, customers can plan when would be the best time to visit the Center and what the expected wait time could be.

Bertoni also reported on Inspection Improvements some of which are now in effect, including increasing the Quadrennial and Occupancy Inspection Program from one inspection per day to six, and the use of tablet technology by Code Compliance Officers and Building Inspectors so they connect to the existing Land Management System in real-time and update case notes in the field without having to spend too much time in the office.

A detailed description of each of the 278 recommendations can be accessed by clicking here. The list also clarifies which department is responsible for implementing each of the recommendations and the corresponding status.

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