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Self-Serve Kiosk Helps Speed Up Land Use Process

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May 17, 2010

The Building Division of the Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU) has introduced another new service to make it easier for customers visiting our land use offices: a computerized self-serve kiosk that will automatically direct many customers to the correct counter.

Until now, all land use customers have started out at DPLU's manned central information booth, where staff members determine which counters customers need to visit, and in what order. The central booth serves an important function because many customers have complicated business that can entail visiting several counters in varying orders.

However, regular customers who understand the land-use process, and inexperienced customers who have simple business, can get stuck waiting in line while staff members help people with complicated business. The self-serve kiosk will help avoid that problem and speed up the process for all customers. With the click of a few buttons, the machine will direct experienced customers and those with simple business to the right counter, automatically "queue" them up for service and print them out a service ticket. As a  result, those customers won't have to wait to find out where they need to go, and customers with more complicated business will enjoy shorter lines at the central booth.

The self-serve kiosk is the latest improvement that DPLU has introduced to make the land-use process easier for customers. Last year, the Building Division improved its permit process by cutting the number of lines customers needed to wait in, speeding up the process by allowing applications to be reviewed sooner, and offering pre-application meetings to identify project issues early. The department also introduced online tools to help customers conduct business without having to come to the County office, including links to: research property and building permit histories, check developer deposit accounts, estimate building permit and plan-check fees, and file some building permit applications. Those tools and more can be found under "Online Services" at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dplu.