Permitting & Licensing
Leeds City Council, GB designs alcohol licensing data matrix for postcode-level licensing decisions
City officials identified data limitations in curbing anti-social behavior and health issues related to alcohol consumption. The licensing and public health units collaborated on an easy-to-use matrix for licensing decisions. Seventeen data sets covering areas like deprivation, alcohol-related hospital admissions, and looked-after children offer fuller pictures than crime statistics. Licensing committee members rely on the matrix when deciding on off-premises alcohol licenses.
Leeds City Council, GB
Portland, OR turns underutilized office buildings into new apartments with conversion incentives
Portland faces a shortage of approximately 20,000 housing units based on current demand. The approved incentive package waives System Development Charges (SDCs) on office-to-apartment conversions. This waiver covers up to $3 million in SDCs and lasts through 2027 or as long as funds are available. The Portland City Council also changed seismic improvement standards on eligible projects to meet life safety performance levels at lower costs.
Rushmoor Borough Council, GB works with other councils on digital licensing system for taxi drivers
The borough's existing process requires considerable personnel time on calls and emails with licensees. Rushmoor received £138,150 from the Local Digital Fund for a shared pilot with Hart District Council, North Tyneside Council, and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. Partner councils will identify areas of alignment in licensing as they create a digital system for licensing applications and renewals. This pilot will evaluate improvements to applicant experiences and license enforcement.
Rushmoor Borough Council, GB
North Tyneside Council, GB
Basildon Borough Council, GB bolsters ranks of licensed taxi drivers with Earn as you Learn pilot
The borough approved the nine-month pilot in response to a shortage of licensed drivers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earn as you Learn trainees receive extended time and council support for required topographical assessments of local streets. Participants who pass criminal background checks and driving assessments can work for private taxi companies before full licensure. The Licensing Committee and the Taxi and Private Hire Forum will evaluate results for a potential extension of the pilot.
Basildon Borough Council, GB
Vancouver, BC streamlines building permit applications with its Permitting Improvement Program
The PIP reduces time spent by applicants and city planning staff on building permit applications. Vancouver implemented ePlan for entirely online applications and payments for residential permits. This system reduced building plan reviews from 12 weeks to under three weeks. A Tenant Improvement Program offers two-week turnarounds on applications for basic commercial building renovations. City officials are also testing an online permit process for home-based businesses.
Detroit, MI establishes innovation zone and permitting process for transportation pilots
Detroit centered the transportation innovation district on the renovated Michigan Central station. Innovators and businesses in the district are eligible for expedited permitting for transit technology trials. The application asks for information about pilot length, location, metrics, and safety. The city's Office of Mobility Innovation works with other departments on path-to-permit strategies for solving issues identified during application reviews.
Surf Coast, VIC approves mobile tiny home trial in search of expanded affordable housing options
Local officials advanced the two-year pilot as Surf Coast deals with a shortage of housing for incoming workers. The council will issue temporary permits to homeowners who lease tiny homes with wheels on their properties. This program does not provide land for tiny home use nor does it authorize multiple tiny homes on a single property. The shire hopes the pilot fills gaps in existing regulations and creates new avenues for low-cost housing.
Surf Coast, VIC
Philadelphia, PA Permit Navigator pilot improves services for residential and commercial applicants
SmartCity PHL focused attention on commercial storefront projects and residential renovations for the pilot. Permit applicants enter their project type, location, and additional details into an online form. A running list of required permits is built based on each user's input. The Permit Navigator also estimates permit fees to avoid surprises during the application process. User feedback will shape future iterations of the tool if it is approved for expanded use.
Clark County, NV streamlines air quality permitting process with Online Mineral Processing Tool
Clark County's Department of Environment and Sustainability built an online worksheet for estimating mining emissions. The previous process resulted in inaccurate and inconsistent estimates for the full spectrum of mining equipment deployed across the county. The Online Mineral Processing Tool offers easy-to-use menus and automated calculations for air quality permits. This upgrade reduces staff time, improves the user experience, and maintains consistent standards across all applicants.
Clark County, NV
Rochford District Council, GB increases ranks of licensed taxi drivers with Earn as you Learn
The pre-pandemic process required the completion of training and testing before drivers earned fares. Earn as you Learn allows drivers to carry passengers and earn fares while completing licensing requirements. This program pairs trainee drivers with experienced mentors and provides ongoing oversight by the council's licensing officers. Trainees must complete Earn as you Learn requirements within nine months of receiving their temporary badges.
Rochford District Council, GB
Thunder Bay, ON Before You Build Guide explains the city's planning and permitting requirements
An 18-page guide provides tips and checklists for five development types including business relocation and accessory building construction. There is a pre-consultation checklist along with explainers about the Building Services and Planning Services divisions. Thunder Bay also developed short videos with considerations for each project type. The Before You Build Guide and a planned online permitting system simplify processes for all parties involved.
Thunder Bay, ON
Sunshine Coast, QLD seeks operators for e-scooter and e-bike pilot in high-traffic towns
Sunshine Coast opened a permit process for an 18-month micro-mobility pilot in Maroochydore and Mooloolaba. Expressions of Interest must identify dockless parking hubs on council-owned lots and virtual parking areas on public footpaths. Council officials will review each application based on six criteria including safety, sustainability, and quality of equipment. The goal of this pilot is to select two operators as exclusive micro-mobility providers in commercial and tourist centers.
Sunshine Coast, QLD