SB What is the one thing you think your permit counter can do a better job of?

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May 9, 2024
I ask this because I am always thinking of ways to streamline or make things easier for applicants. What are some tips, tricks or advice?
Washington State, United States
Having handouts at the counter, having a station where they can DIY (esp. for electronic submittals).
Just being willing to help out those who don't have a clue and are trying to do the right thing.
I think they can have someone explain how the permitting process actually works and what documents we need. They should at least publish information online so that people know the right methods and documents they need. In absence of proper knowledge, people end up being rejected for permits and they need to start all over again.
Having information on the inspection process: what inspections are going to be required for the permit they are pulling, how to correctly request an inspection, and how inspection scheduling works. We have daily occurrences of inspections being requested for "final inspection" with 0 inspection history. Most of the time, it is because they selected "final" on accident when requesting an inspection, but that still creates an issue from a paperwork standpoint. The other side of that issue; completed work with 0 inspections, creates far more serious problems. Depending on the scope of work, walls or even concrete will need to be opened to perform a proper inspection. Educating contractors and homeowners can help avoid these issues.
I think sometimes we have a “No” or “You should already know this” culture. We have stations and that has helped, but nothing goes further, in my humble opinion, than a genuine willingness to assist! Customer Service is very underrated these days.
I believe that being able to explain what each permit does and how the process works to the customer would be ideal since the people tend to complain a lot when not only the process is tedious but also getting lost and having to start all over.