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OpenCounter Building Permitting 2018

The City of Las Cruces’ Community Development Department recently introduced “OpenCounter” permitting at its One Stop Shop center. OpenCounter (https://opencounter.las-cruces.org/) is an online interface to the City’s permitting process. Designed for the citizen experience, OpenCounter asks the right questions in the right order so citizens can see the requirements, fees, and processing times that apply to their projects.

“We're aiming to increase communication and eliminate confusion on both sides of the counter,” said Larry Nichols, Director of the Community Development Department. “City staff will have access to a powerful suite of administrative tools to analyze proposed projects while citizens are given a remarkably high level of service that reduces their discovery process from weeks or days down to a few minutes.”

By making information available across departments, OpenCounter also helps municipalities coordinate internal workflows, and build better relationships with the citizens that they serve. OpenCounter was piloted through a “Code for America Fellowship” in the City of Santa Cruz, CA and has been supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

An expedited permitting process is frequently cited as a critical selection criteria and decision factor in a business deciding on where to do business. Las Cruces has an Open Counter and is ready to conduct business. The permitting process features will help expedite permitting and construction timelines, allowing businesses to not only open their doors sooner, but to get employees hired and earning sooner as well.