In the past two years, the City has invested in the creation of an entirely paperless and online permitting system.
The new system includes a Self-Service Permit Portal where community members can submit development applicants from the convenience of their own homes and offices, 24 hours a day seven days a week. It is no longer necessary to make a trip to City Hall during business hours in order to apply for a permit.
In addition to the ability to submit an application at any time, the City’s permit system also allows payment by credit card and the capability for applicants to check the status of their applications online.
Because of this investment, the permitting process in Snohomish is efficient as well as easy to use, convenient, and transparent. The turnaround time for processing of most permits in the City of Snohomish is as good as (and frequently better than) other jurisdictions.
Last week, a revised master fee schedule was adopted by a unanimous vote of the City Council when they approved Resolution 1431. The revised schedule includes a 5% technology fee that is added to all development-related application fees. In adopting the technology fee, the Council ensures those who benefit most from the improved permitting system will pay the ongoing costs of maintaining that system.
The types of applications subject to the technology fee include building permits, right-of-way permits, land use permits, and utility connections.
The fee is designed to recover all ongoing technology-related costs related to the processing of development permits. Those costs include software licenses, credit card transaction fees, and specialized hardware. It is estimated the new 5% technology fee will generate about $55,000 per year.
In general, state law allows cities to recover the costs of processing permit applications. The City Council’s goal is to ensure the public doesn’t end up subsidizing individual benefits derived from the provision of those services.
If you have any questions about the technology fee, contact Planning Director Glen Pickus via email or by calling him at 360-282-3173.