Economic Opportunity

Goal 6: Make the development process predictable and efficient
Source: Building & Safety Department     EO Goal6     3/5/2014
About this measure:
This indicator tracks the number of required annual federal and state inspections by the Fire Prevention Bureau. A substantial number of inspections are required for operational permits, as required by the 2009 International Fire Code.
Why this is important:
Fire code inspections help protect the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens by reducing fire hazards and ensuring adequate escape routes when fire does occur.
What is being done:
Eight fire inspectors conduct inspections of premises in order to issue the appropriate operational, construction, or occupancy permits. A typical inspection takes 90 minutes.



Source: Building & Safety Department     EO Goal6     10/21/2014
About this measure:
The indicator is developed from Building and Safety’s internal data that measures the turnaround time for initial plan reviews. When a plan is received and when it is approved, the dates and times are entered into the City’s Accela software system, allowing the Department to measure the length of time needed for initial review. The goal is to complete the plan review in 10 working days.
Why this is important:
Plan review turnaround time is a measure of customer service. This goal helps Lincoln’s development community save time and money by starting their projects more quickly. From national data, Lincoln maintains a much higher level of service than the majority of US cities of similar population. This measure helps determine training needs, staffing levels, and the adequacy of computer software needed to meet the industry’s service expectations.
What is being done:
Staff use training, coordination, and computer software to ensure we maintain or increase the service levels we provide.



Source: Planning Department     EO Goal6     4/25/2014
About this measure:
Subdivision review is governed by state law and local ordinance, involving multiple stakeholders, and usually, multiple documents. Planning receives and coordinates the review of 100 or more applications each year. The documents for subdivisions and other planning applications, including dates for application submission, initial review letters, and final approvals, are tracked through a permit tracking database. In 2011, Planning amended the ordinance-imposed deadline for the Director to provide an “initial review” of the proposed subdivision to the applicant, so the time period was reduced beginning in 2011-12, from 30 days to 20 days.
Why this is important:
The subdivision of land into blocks and lots for sale and development is perhaps the City’s most important tool to managing growth and development. The review process helps ensure that lots are truly buildable, are graded to drain but not to flood, have appropriate access to streets that are well-lighted, have sidewalks and utilities, and take natural features into consideration; that local streets connect conveniently from one subdivision to another and out to major streets, and that the streets are named to avoid confusion. This review requires coordination with numerous city departments, other governmental agencies, and private utility companies. Time is money in the development industry, and so our local developers expect these reviews will be completed expeditiously.
What is being done:
In 2008, Planning acquired new software that allows for digital transmission and online review of proposed subdivisions and other applications simultaneously by dozens of reviewers. This substantially reduced the time and cost for applicants and staff of delivering and circulating large format paper documents for review. Planning also has streamlined how tax releases are obtained for subdivisions, and eliminated the requirement for separate agreements with smaller, simple subdivisions. We continue to focus on ways to reduce timeframes, including the possibility of utilizing digital signatures to expedite handling of agreements and executive orders.