ACCGov Planning Department & Building Inspections Department Launch Citizen Self-Service Portal

Staff Report From Athens CEO

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGov) has launched a new online service that allows residents and businesses to submit all building and trade permit applications and development-related plans online, as well as check the status of submitted items.

With the guidance of Tyler Technologies’ support staff and powered by Tyler’s EnerGov™ civic services solution, the new Citizen Self-Service (CSS) portal went live on April 17, 2020, and is available 24/7. Available to all residential and commercial customers, the service is free to use with no additional charges other than required permit fees.

This online self-service portal allows residents, contractors, and design professionals to apply for all plan reviews and permits administered by ACCGov’s Planning Department and Building Inspections Department without having to visit either department in person. The Building Inspections Department annually processes an average of 3,700 permits, resulting in over 11,000 inspections. The Planning Department annually administers an average of 250 development plan submittals, 200 items heard by appointed review boards, and over 2,000 administrative permits and reviews. 

Both departments have operated with limited public contact since mid-March when ACCGov moved to limited and remote operations services. Staff have continued to process applications and plan submittals while using CDC-recommended practices for paper handling. The implementation of the new CSS portal is an immediate solution to ensuring customer and staff safety during the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining a high level of service without sacrificing efficiency.

“We are excited to launch the Citizen Self-Service portal, especially at a time when social distancing and public safety are primary concerns,” said Bruce Lonnee, Assistant Planning Director. “Our software capability has evolved to the point where we can provide our residents and the development community with a convenient way to apply remotely for all of the approvals needed for every project size from do-it-yourself backyard decks or fences to the largest industrial and commercial projects.” 

To use the online service, customers can visit www.accgov.com/planning or www.accgov.com/buildinginspections and click on the Citizen Self-Service button links on the home pages and application portions of the websites. 

At the new CSS website, customers will need to create a free account in order to submit and check the status of applications. No sensitive information is required.

Once the customer creates an account, they will have access to the following features: 

Apply for plan reviews and zoning-related permits

Apply for building and trade permits 

Monitor the review status of submitted items

View related application and review fees 

Communicate with ACCGov staff regarding submittals and review status

Customers with questions or comments about the service can email CSSPortal@accgov.com or call 706-613-3515.