HB 2415: What it Means for Oregon Permitting Teams and the Residents They Serve
Oregon HB2415 Legislation Overview
The state of Oregon is known for many things – beautiful coastlines, lush forests, craft breweries, and rolling vineyards. Now, there is something new to add to the list – a new online permitting bill for local governments.
Oregon state lawmakers have released HB 2415 on behalf of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. This bill will require all communities in Oregon to move to an electronic permitting system by January 2025. That means local governments across the state will need to provide residents with a way to apply for permits online.
This comes at a time when Oregon needs online options most. The population has grown for the last 30 years straight thanks to amazing natural scenery, vibrant cities, and the culture of hybrid and remote work. This new legislation is an exciting opportunity for Oregon municipalities to upgrade their permitting system to keep up with growth in their communities.
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Signs You Need a New Permitting System
If you’ve already adopted a digital workflow for your permitting, this new bill serves as the perfect opportunity to evaluate your current process to ensure it meets your workflow needs. Here are some common signs that your community may be ready for an important upgrade:
1. Extra and manual work
Staff members have enough on their plate, and it only adds more when they need to complete work and additional tasks outside of the permitting system. If your team is bringing important documents to inspections because field inspectors cannot access them in the online system, manually gathering data to present to Board or City Council meetings, or jumping on the phone or sending an email to update an applicant on their permit status – then you need a better system.
2. Staffing pains are not alleviated
One of the benefits of moving to an online platform is through automation and online convenience, your staff is able to do more with less. If your team has to enter application data on behalf of residents, hire more staff to keep up with new regulations, and pay extra costs for system maintenance and upgrades – it’s time for an upgrade.
3. Communication is a struggle
Today, everything can be done online—from ordering pizzas to tracking a package through the mail. Why not include electronic submissions, receipts, or inspections for permit submissions? If your system does not increase communication levels between departments and causes bottlenecks due to a lack of collaboration, your staff is missing out on an opportunity to increase efficiency.
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What to Look For in Permitting Software
The opportunity to purchase a new permitting raises a daunting question: what should you look for in a new software platform? Here are some of the most important criteria to consider while searching:
On-premise software is like, so 2005. Switching to a Cloud-only option is better because it offers stronger security, accessibility from anywhere, and securely stored data. In addition, it is easier to access upgrades and new features (no CD-ROM required!)
2. Easy-to-make changes
There are lots factors to consider when setting up an application, and things can change once it is launched to the public. The easier it is for your staff to make changes to your applications, the better. Needing to call the vendor or requiring IT’s help is cumbersome, outdated, and frustrating.
3. Intuitive for both applicants and staff
Using software doesn’t need to be rocket science. Your permitting software should be easy to use for both applicants and staff to increase collaboration and decrease walk-ins and calls to City Hall.
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Make the Upgrade to Cloud Permitting Software
This new legislation is an exciting opportunity to increase collaboration across departments and improve resident’s experience while engaging online. This January 2025 deadline is not an opportunity you want to miss. Now is the time to act, especially if your community is moving off paper as implementations can take around 6-12 months.
To get started, request a demo of OpenGov Permitting & Licensing here. OpenGov Permitting & Licensing is cloud permitting software that enables you to say goodbye to piles of paper, staff bottlenecks, and cumbersome software – AND meet HB 2415 requirements.