Automation of Building and Zoning Operations

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Cook County, Ill., IL

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About the Program

Category: Community and Economic Development (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

The County's Building and Zoning Department created a permit management application that transformed our permit process using modern technology. The program has brought major efficiencies, upskilled staff, increased transparency for citizens, enhanced equity, standardized critical procedures, improved code compliance, and elevated the standard of service delivered to permit applicants. Over a period of four years, an innovative application was developed to replace the outdated, paper-heavy, and inefficient permitting process with one thatis accessible online from any location, automated processes, connected permit reviewers, allowed real-time visibility, produced useful data, ultimately enabling the County to process more permits. The application has gone far beyond replacing an existing system with its digital equivalent – it has allowed us to add capabilities we previously did not have, including numerous modules that were added to the original application. The Department of Building and Zoning's focus is public service; the permit application includes several public-facing modules (e-Permits, Zoning Certificate, Permit Status and Web Payments) which form a critical tool in our responsiveness to constituents' needs. The Cook County Permit Management system is benefitting every user, whether staff member, contractor, or citizen.