May 6, 2015

Online permit tool assists Calgary home builders

The City of Calgary continually works towards moving more of its products and services online with our eServices initiative, which you can access anywhere, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Residential ePermit
As part of eServices, the Residential ePermit tool has succeeded in making it faster and easier for homebuilders to apply for permits, book inspections and pay for permits online. 

Currently, there are 39 home builders that use the tool, which represents more than 80 per cent of the home building industry. The City’s approach to Residential ePermit is to include these builders in the development of the tool; we’re listening to their feedback as we expand our features and include more types of users. This is part of the reason it has been widely accepted and utilized by industry members. Our success with home builders creates a path for all permits to eventually move online. 

Since January 2014 more than 4,500 new home construction permits (Single Construction Building Permits) and 10,000 paperless inspections have been booked using our online system.

Online payments for Residential ePermit users
In March 2015, The City began accepting online payments from home builders for Single Construction Building permits (SCP), or new homes in developing communities. This is an exciting step for customers and The City, as it’s the latest permit type that can be paid for online. To date, 200 new SCPs have been submitted and paid for online, eliminating the need for these customers to travel to downtown and visit our counter.  Future ePermit upgrades will enable online payment for SCP revisions. 

At the same time, we’ve also enabled the instant release of partial permits for SCPs in developing communities, which allows home builders to begin construction without delay. Previously, these customers would be required to visit our Planning Service Counter to obtain a paper permit.

More to come in 2015
Later this year, we’ll be integrating the inspection process into the tool, enabling customers to upload documents, schedule inspections and review inspection results within the Residential ePermit interface. We’re also working towards the online application of Development Permits for single and semi-detached homes. Additionally, users can expect to see continuous improvements to the Residential ePermit online interface, where it will look better and be even easier to use. 

Long-term plan
The City’s long-term plan is to enable home owners to use this service, for the most common permit types including decks, garages and basement development. In the next few years, we’re aiming to expand the tool to be a single place for all residential customers to apply and book inspections online. 
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