Phoenix offers building permits online – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News – Mail Tribune

Phoenix offers building permits online – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News – Mail Tribune

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Licensed contractors working in Phoenix can now submit building permit applications online. The new option went active this week, and submissions can be made through the state’s e-Permitting system.

“Since Monday we have jumped right into it. We are pushing everything toward that portal,” said Joe Slaughter, community and economic development director. One of the permit applications was for a home to replace an Almeda fire loss. Others have been for electrical and mechanical permits.

“It was all paper. This is a big step toward digital,” said Slaughter. The city could previously receive information via email but that needed to be put onto paper. Fees could also be paid electronically.

Building permit applications will be reviewed by the city staff as the come in. Planning applications can also be submitted though the state system and will be tracked separately, but an in-person consultation will be required, said Slaughter. The system will give applicants the ability to check on the status of their planning applications.

Basic trades permits that cover such things as electrical, plumbing, mechanical and structural work will go 100% through the e-permit system without any contact with the city staff. The city will receive notifications when those permits are issued. Inspections can also be scheduled through the state site, which is at or through a link on the city’s website under Comminty & Economic Development.

Contractors are positive about having the e-permit system, and many had been asking why the city wasn’t already using the system, said Slaughter. The city will still take paper from a few contractors who are not yet using computers, but the industry has mostly shifted, he said.

The system comes from the state at no cost to the city. The state increased building fees assessments on permits in the past to allow for its creation. To fund purchase of larger monitors and other related equipment that is needed, a 1% fee was added by the city to the cost of a permit.

Another system operated by the city’s building inspection partner, Northwest Code Professionals, has tracked permits issued since 2017. That has assisted the city in getting those permits registered into its system.

“Migrating (information) to that new one wasn’t seamless. There’s a lot of checking and filling in record sheets,” said Slaughter. “We have been working on this since June, so it has been seven months of getting all of the permit information.”

Slaughter, Planning Manager Zac Moody, building planning aide Lori Clark and two Southern Oregon University student interns have been working on the process. Money from a state fire assistance fund for municipalities allowed the SOU students to be hired after they completed their internships.

Eventually, all planning and building documents the city holds will be in a digital format, but that’s a long-term effort, said Slaughter.

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