The City of Ventura continues to focus on providing enhanced City services by delivering an improved and more convenient permit counter experience. This week, the City launched a new way to process permits online for residents and businesses.
Ventura Online Permit Services, also known as Ventura OPS, is a digital public permit counter that allows a customer to submit a permit application, upload plan sets, schedule inspections, and check on the status of an application from the City’s website.
“Our community has been patient with us while we have been earnestly implementing this improvement. The need for better technology has been critical, especially during a pandemic where many services need a virtual option,” said City Manager Alex D. McIntyre. “An online solution like Ventura OPS is paperless, streamlines the permitting process, and makes it easier for the public to apply and track permits in real-time.”
The new online permit services portal allows a customer to create an account quickly and submit a permit application easily without coming into City Hall. Once an application is received, customers can track updates to permits and schedule inspections online. The new digital platform requires that all plans and applications be submitted electronically for ease of routing and review.
“Digitizing the City’s permit services process has been a big lift, especially since the application and review process hadn’t been fully integrated online till now,” said Community Development Director Peter Gilli. “In addition to Ventura OPS’ many public-facing benefits, the online system allows City staff to communicate on an application while providing access to performance metrics related to permits issues, average times for permit issuance, open inspections, and more. While this launch is a significant milestone, there’s a lot of work left to be done in future phases that will further improve the customer experience and permit turnaround times.”
Continued enhancements are planned over the next year and will be shared with the community as new features are introduced. The second phase of Ventura OPS will feature an integrated online payment system, improved forms, and redesigned workflows to expedite permit turnaround times further.
In addition to digital public services, City staff continues to progress on the physical “One-Stop Shop” permit center, which will be the central hub for all permits equipped with hybrid meeting spaces to communicate with applicant teams and staff members in remote locations. The new One-Stop Shop is slated for completion by Fall 2022.