Sanibel City Council Will Hear Recommendations To Improve Permit Process

by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes

Building Director Craig Mole will present council with his recommendations to improve permit processing as the community begins rebuilding from Hurricane Ian. SC file photo by Shannen Hayes

Sanibel City Council will consider recommendations by Director of Building Craig Mole, which are aimed at improving the permitting software and setting staff levels to maintain customer service for the anticipated rise in permit requests as the community builds back from Hurricane Ian.

Mole was tasked with evaluating the department’s permit processing procedures, including the problematic EnerGov software, to increase efficiency and improve customer service. Staff’s comprehensive review of the software identified 11 critical operational deficiencies and resulted in a recommendation to implement a new software, CityView.

The cloud-hosted CityView software system was implemented by the City of Naples in 2018 and is used throughout Collier County, where Mole previously served as the city’s director of building services and chief building official.

“Matching the existing Naples system creates immediate efficiencies not provided by other software systems or redeveloping EnerGov,” Mole’s memo to council states. He goes on to explain the CityView software is compatible with the other necessary systems, including the city’s financial software, and easily accepts online payments.

“Implementation of CityView software will improve staffing efficiencies, enhance the level of customer service to our residents and position the City of Sanibel to better manage disaster preparedness and facilitate rebuilding,” Mole wrote in his recommendation.

The cost of CityView is $329,766 for the first year of the five-year licensing agreement and Mole is requesting council waive the formal competitive bid requirements based on exempt items which are a sole source.

Mole is also recommending a 25 percent reduction in emergency permit fees for six months. He further proposes a study to adjust future fees to maintain the department’s fund balance compliance.

Council will hear these recommendations in its regular meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17 at BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Rd.

Other agenda items include:

• A discussion of two pieces of draft legislation amending the architectural design standards for multi-family housing and for commercial and institutional uses.

• A first reading of five proposed ordinances: Development Permit Fee Waiver, Building Fees, Temporary Use Fees, Resort Housing Development Regulations – Chapter 126, and Parking Standards – Chapter 126

• The appointment of three members to the Sanibel Planning Commission. In December, council directed staff to solicit applications for the open seats, which resulted in 14 applicants, who have been interviewed by council. The candidates are:

Christopher Beane, Ken Colter, Robert Darrow, Laura DeBruce (seeking reappointment), Andrew Economakis, Jeffrey Harvey, Mark Helman, Will Jones, Carl Ordemann, Karen Storjohann (seeking reappointment), Patrick Trimble, Lyman Welch, Tommy Williams and Michael Young

• Resolution 23-002 designates the qualified candidates for council in the March 7 municipal election. Seats held by Mayor Holly Smith and Vice Mayor Richard Johnson expire March 6 and both are seeking reelection. Jude Sincoskie and Troy Cobb Thompson have also thrown their hats in the ring.

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