This past year, the City has been re-evaluating its various development review processes and procedures with the help of Lean for Government. The focus of Lean for Government is to eliminate waste or unnecessary steps and establish a continuous improvement mindset to create more value for customers.
As part of one such evaluation, the City is implementing a digital meeting format for the Architectural and Historic Board of Review (AHBR) meetings as has already been implemented for other boards and commissions. AHBR reviews applications for zoning certificates to construct, alter, remove, or demolish structures and buildings.
To begin the transfer to digital meetings, iPads will be used to review plan submissions. Paper will no longer be needed for the plan reviews. This will benefit the environment and save the applicant (customer) from printing large plans for the City. Additionally, applicants will not be required to travel to City offices during fixed office hours. The elimination of hard-copy plans will save the City a large amount of storage space.
In addition, supporting documents and plans being discussed during meetings are now projected on a screen to allow public audience members and viewers tuning in remotely to follow along easily. The City is looking into further technology upgrades to Town Hall to improve meetings.
The digital AHBR meeting trial run was held in December. The change was well-received and staff and board members are looking forward to continuing the transition. Digital meetings are just a small part of upcoming changes as the Community Development Department works towards implementing a paperless development review system for all projects in 2017.
Several Lean initiatives are being conducted throughout the City. Stay tuned for an update on how we’re doing!