At its regular meeting on Tuesday, August 4th, the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners voted to formally adopt County Manager Dena Diorio’s FY 2016 Work Plan, which includes a number of key initiatives to improve the Code Enforcement division, which oversees the building permitting and inspections process.
The Code Enforcement-related initiatives included in the Work Plan are:
The relocation of LUESA and Code Enforcement from the Hal Marshall Center to the former Charlotte College of Law Building on Wilkinson Blvd., which will improve the experience for customers and employees (to be completed by March 2016);
Work collaboratively with the City of Charlotte to implement recommendations from the Gartner Study and the Special Task Force established by the Building-Development Commission. The following specific tasks are to be completed by June 2016:
Research best practices and existing intergovernmental structures for a possible new model of city/county governance over zoning, development permitting and building inspections;
Define roles and responsibilities, decision authority, escalation paths, and communication channels of a potential governing body;
Develop charters and/or interlocal agreements;
Examine roles of advisory groups to determine optimal model for ongoing industry input;
Obtain input from elected officials at key decision points;
Define a unified City/County customer service vision and approach;
Rollout a Code Enforcement Customer Service Center operation;
Pilot test a virtual co-location model;
Restructure Code Enforcement staff to create a Inspections Mega Team dedicated to large commercial
and multi-family projects; and,
Upgrade software, thereby allowing industry identified process enhancements.
Create a targeted recruitment and apprenticeship program for qualified veterans to fill available vacancies in Code Enforcement (to be completed by January 2016).
The Gartner Report was the product of a series of letters sent last year to the City and County from REBIC, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association. Issued in late 2014, the report contained seven recommended actions:
Create Unified Development Services Governance Structure to enable improvements;
Redesign Unified Customer Service Model and tailor to different customer segments;
Orchestrate cultural shift and enhance partnership with Industry;
Simplify, educate, and establish accountability on delivery of development services;
Plan and manage technology collaboratively to address gaps, redundancy, and inefficiency;
Improve consistency of code interpretation and application; and,
Enhance measurement of success to align with customers and drive desired behaviors and increase predictability.
You can learn more about the Gartner study, as well as see the status of any related initiatives, on the County website.
REBIC is continuing to meet with City and County elected officials and senior staff to achieve measurable improvements in the development plan review and building permitting process, to ensure Mecklenburg County is positioned to compete effectively for economic development.