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Posted on: March 6, 2017

City Highlights Enhanced Development Services to the Public

The City’s Director of Community Development, Joel Fontane, delivered a presentation at the February 27, 2017 Committee of the Whole meeting highlighting the Department’s customer focus and enhanced services. During 2016, a reorganization of the Department was enacted to improve customer services, incorporate fire prevention services with other inspection services and implement process improvements.

The City solicited feedback from the Mayor and City Council, staff, residents, businesses, and key stakeholders, including those from the development community at the City’s first Developer Roundtable last fall. The City will garner additional feedback at a Brokers Roundtable and individual meetings in March. By integrating customers into the process, the City has been successful gaining insights and making meaningful improvements.

“The City has provided a model that other communities can follow,” said Mayor Nancy R. Rotering. “We have made our process more accessible, transparent for businesses and residents in an effort to help grow our vibrant community.”

Community Development Director Joel Fontane highlighted the 2016 reorganization that included introduction of front-line supervisory roles and a Deputy Director position to assist in the implementation of the Department’s service delivery strategy, which focuses on process improvements that yield greater customer value.  The Department presentation and the video presentation can be found below. The following are highlights of the Community Development process improvements that were presented:

  • The City’s web site provides users the opportunity to check on the status of any permit application and includes highlights of major developments with a link to the plan submittal and location of each development.
  • Application materials are being modified with checklists and flowcharts to improve the turn-around time on plan reviews and ensure that completed applications are submitted thus reducing the time to obtain a permit. 
  • Enhanced cross-training is being implemented among staff with an increased number of over-the-counter permits being issued.
  • Improvements have been made to the City’s public hearing notification process so a greater number of neighboring properties are aware of the public hearing and have further information about a proposed project.
  • The City’s records are being electronically stored and available on the City’s website for enhanced transparency and ease of access. 
  • Community Development staff conducts monthly check-ins with applicants and property owners to ensure the planning and development is on-going.
  • The City’s fee schedule will be reviewed and updated in 2017.

City Manager Ghida Neukirch noted, “A number of improvements have already been implemented and more are underway in order to improve customer service.  The organizational shift has fostered a culture committed to continuous improvement and high performance. We welcome feedback on the City’s processes and procedures and regularly explore opportunities to better serve the public”.

For additional information, please contact City Manager Ghida Neukirch or Director of Community Development Joel Fontane at 847-926-1000.  Information about the Community Development Department can be found at www.cityhpil.com/CD.
Presentation PowerPoint...
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