As part of an effort to improve customer loyalty and expand access to City Planning services, the Department has improved its online commerce capabilities. City Planning’s Online Application System (OAS) accepts online applications for certain specialized discretionary services. Launched in the weeks following the outbreak of COVID-19, OAS offers online application and payment methods as convenient alternatives to filing an application in person at one of the City’s public counters. OAS makes City Planning’s development functions easier to find, and its user-friendly interface improves communications between applicants and the Department.
The specialized services available through OAS will initially be limited to the planning approvals processed by the Beverage and Entertainment Streamlined (BESt) and Wireless Telecommunications Units. In the coming months, the Department will offer City Planning’s other specialized services through OAS, before offering all discretionary planning approvals online.
Small business owners looking to expand the range of beverages for sale at their establishments can submit electronic applications for either discretionary (CUB) or ministerial approvals (RBPA or RBPB). To file a Conditional Use Beverage (CUB) application online, business owners or their representatives should first contact the BESt Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org to determine whether the CUB is the most efficient entitlement path for their project. The Restaurant Beverage Program, which provides shortened processing times and reduced costs for beverage-related planning services, may also be an option.
In order to help bridge the City’s digital divide, the Department will also extend online application services to the telecommunications industry to support the continued expansion of 5G ultra-wideband coverage and reliable wireless internet coverage. Please direct inquiries about this application option to the City Planning Wireless Telecommunications Unit at email@example.com.
These measures, along with numerous improvements made during the pandemic, demonstrate City Planning’s commitment to simplifying processes, modernizing operations, and expanding digital capabilities. From an external standpoint, the OAS has strengthened City Planning’s brand as a responsive government agency that is committed to serving its customers. Internally, the OAS is an efficient tool for processing and managing applications.
When City Planning first launched the OAS, it offered development services that supported planning clearances for administrative cases. Bringing these services online simplified workflow, and the convenience of filing online proved popular with customers. Because of the OAS’s popularity, the Department brought more planning services online, reducing the number of planning-related face-to-face meetings while increasing overall productivity. Today, more customers opt to use the OAS than to file an application in person, a mark of the success of the Department’s online portal.
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