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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Improved, expanded Permit Service Center in Planning Department’s new offices

Berkeley, California (Monday, November 14, 2016) - The Permit Service Center, the customer service desk that helps those seeking building and planning permits in the City of Berkeley, will be open Monday through Wednesday of Thanksgiving week.

Previously, a closure of the Permit Center from Nov. 21 through 23 had been planned to accommodate its move to 1947 Center Street, where the Planning Department will join other City departments. The new building will better serve the community through improved technology, more accessible space and better coordination with other departments. This move will now take place at a later date in the near future.

The eventual move to 1947 Center Street will include a redesigned Permit Service Center (PSC), where new design and technology will improve efficiency, decrease wait times, and improve communication between clients and staff.

With new carpet, furniture, and fixtures, the new Permit Service Center will provide a more welcoming and comfortable environment for clients.  In addition to consolidating City space and saving money, the move will better integrate Planning with other City departments.

The changes are part of an effort to improve customer service throughout the Planning Department.

The City's online permit center, which is available 24/7, allows people to research building permits, look into zoning history, and check the status of active permit applications. Clients can also use the portal to receive and respond to electronic plan check comments.

The new Permit Service Center was designed with modern building permit and plan technology in mind. Larger monitors on rotating arms will allow customers to view plans and revisions alongside staff. Improved signage and queuing will reduce confusion and more quickly direct customers to appropriate staff. The more expansive Permit Service Center counter will increase the number of staffed stations from 8 to 12, reducing wait times. Sharing office space with the City's Public Works, Fire and Finance departments will enhance collaboration among City staff, making the resolution of cross-departmental reviews significantly easier.  Clients who need to work with multiple City departments should find it easier to reach the staff they need without the need to walk between different City offices.

This release was modified on 11/17 to reflect an update to the Planning Department's move to 1947 Center Street. No date has been set for that move.


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