The Brentwood Planning and Codes Department has introduced new software that will allow residents and building contractors access the permitting and inspection processes electronically.
The City of Brentwood Planning and Codes Department has implemented a new geographic information system-based integrated local government software solution called LAnd MAnagement or LAMA.
According to the city, the software is a software suite provided by The Davenport Group which includes online permitting, licensing, planning, and code enforcement programs as well as a citizen portal, for a total first year implementation/start-up cost of $111,523.
According to a city news release, the former software system, TrakIT, had been used by staff for nearly the past seventeen years and was $240,000 at the time of purchase.
The new software aims to streamline the permitting and inspection processes and will soon include the option for online credit card payments.
“It was important that the new system provide online permitting and electronic plan submittal and review. With the implementation of electronic plan review, the amount of paper flowing through our offices will be greatly reduced,” Brentwood Planning and Codes Director Jeff Dobson said in the news release.
The interactive citizen portal will allow applicants to track the progress of their plan/permit review from initial submittal to final inspection.
“Staff spent a great deal of time researching program alternatives, meeting with consultants, and attending web demonstrations used to design the scope of the project. It was decided that the LAMA suite of modules best fit the City’s established permitting process,” Dobson said.
The city also said that the added software will reduce the need for in-person contact during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, allowing residents and staff to work remotely or interact electronically.
"There are several ways to enable remote work by using our system. By allowing residents to apply for permits from home or on their smart phones, we eliminate unnecessary in-person contact. Staff and inspectors can use online workspaces to view and complete reviews and inspections over home internet. Staff can then complete inspections in the field and upload photos without meeting other staff and while maintaining distance from the public," Dobson said. “The LAMA App allows inspectors to create smart routes for inspections, and view violations and permits in their area through an interactive map.”
The city is also planning a training session with the builders and contractors later this fall where they will learn an overview of the software, how to use it, and its best features.
Currently the city has provided online training materials including web-based videos and “how to” brochures which are intended to provide citizens and builders with information regarding the various aspects of obtaining a building permit on the City’s Planning and Codes website here.