June 15, 2012
Computer upgrade to improve DDES service will require permitting system to go off-line for one week
Installation to take place week of July 2, typically time of least customer demand
A computer upgrade that will enable King County to integrate all of its permitting services will require a one-week shutdown of the permitting system in the Department of Development and Environmental Services. From July 2 through July 8, the department will be unable to process permit applications.
“The 4th of July holiday is historically the week of least demand from our customers, so that’s the best time for technicians to perform computer upgrades,” said John Starbard, DDES director. “I urge residents who need permits from us to plan ahead for this necessary shutdown.”
The DDES office in Renton will remain open for business except on Wednesday, July 4. However, staff will not be able to accept, create or issue permit applications due to the computer upgrade, nor will the DDES cashier be able to process financial transactions of any kind.
During the shutdown, staff will continue work on existing permit applications and will be able to enter new information into the system after the software installation. Other services available weekdays during the computer upgrade are:
- Free technical assistance, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., weekday except Wed., July 4.
- Records Center assistance, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., weekdays except Wed., July 4.
- Phone Center assistance at 206-296-6600, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weekdays except Wed., July 4
- Building and Fire inspections may be requested by calling and leaving a voice message at (206) 296-6630.
- Online query, Permits-At-A-Glance, will be available as Read-Only throughout the week.
Once the new Accela Automation software is installed, customers will have access to enhanced online services, including permit application, building inspection, and other services.
The transition to a new computer system is part of a countywide project to integrate all permitting in various County departments into one system, with the goal of streamlining the permitting process and providing customers with easy access to multiple departments regarding the same project.
This fall, DDES will move into new offices in Snoqualmie Ridge, a location more centrally located to a greater number of unincorporated residents. The move reflects DDES’ evolution to a primarily rural-services agency, with a much lower staffing level to match its reduced customer base.
King County DDES is committed to providing excellent customer service, and over the last two years has:
- Moved from uncertain fees based upon billable hours to predictable, fixed fees,
- Expanded the menu of over-the-counter permits and dramatically reduced processing time for those permits,
- Begun working with customers much more up-front—before they actually submit their applications—so that their materials are more complete and reviews can be faster,
- Stabilized the department’s finances, and
- Reformed processes for customer single-family home reviews so they now can be issued in about 12 days rather than the 64 days it took in 2011.