COVID-19 brought to light how important it is to provide better customer service and the need to introduce online permitting, plan review, and inspections. The current permitting is handled by outdated software and County staff is evaluating a new system, with the top choice being an Oracle product.
Purchase and implementation of this system will allow permit applicants to apply and submit their designs and plans online, enabling staff to review the applications and plans simultaneously throughout the four permitting offices in the Florida Keys (Ocean Reef, Key Largo, Marathon, and Stock Island). The new system will eliminate the need for paper submittals. Inspections will also be able to be scheduled online, in addition to the phone scheduling system currently in use.
For most permits, 14 different technical disciplines review a single permit application in various buildings throughout the Florida Keys, requiring a minimum of 35 days for review based on the current paper review process. If design changes are needed, once the corrections are submitted, the process starts over.
“This will allow the entire permitting process to move more quickly since multiple disciplines can review the plans at the same time, rather than one at a time done now with this current outdated system,” said Permitting Administrative Director Ed Koconis. “Staff is looking forward to this migration, and we are confident the new system will bring much-needed improvements.”
After implementation, the new system should improve services by highlighting incomplete submissions, which is a common occurrence in delays in issuing permits. The online tools will allow users to select active contractors or handle inactive contractor status issues, use built-in fee estimators that include online payments and digital receipts, and checkmark items needed to submit a complete application.
The implementation will take time and patience. The earliest the system will go live is tentatively April 2022. Staff is working with Oracle on a contract and exploring if that date can be expedited, including training staff and primary customers, like designers, contractors, permit runners, and the public.
In addition, Commissioner Craig Cates requested Mayor Coldiron hold a special workshop regarding permitting on March 31. Additional details on the meeting will be updated at www.monroecounty-fl.gov/meetings.