The Town of Warrenton is located in Fauquier County, VA, and is known for its historic downtown, comprised of 19th-century buildings, equestrian culture, and scenic countryside. The Town has recently invested in mixed-use development to create more diverse and dynamic environments. With facilities that combine living and retail accommodations, the Town is maximizing available space while meeting the goals of residents and developers alike.
These large projects involve several departments, including community development, public works, and public utilities, which review and approve complex site plans and building permits. By partnering with OpenGov, the Town fostered better cross-departmental collaboration to streamline the review process, freeing time for strategic work and more quickly breaking ground.
“Whenever I ask my staff if they have any issues with OpenGov, the answer is no. They are really enjoying it, and it’s making our work day a lot easier.”
Rob Walton, Director of Community Development, Town of Warrenton, VA
2+ More Hours Per Day Now Allocated to Strategic Work Thanks to Automated Permitting
25% Increase in Online Submissions, Compared to Legacy System
67% Decrease in Walk-In Applicants
The Town had a problematic relationship with its previous permitting vendor. Throughout the partnership, the Town experienced poor customer service, which stalled the progress of migrating applications online. Also, the Town was unexpectedly required to pay an extra fee to move each application online, an expense not factored into its budget.
After nearly two years of struggling to set up a customer-facing application portal, the Town decided its investment no longer made sense and broke its contract to partner with OpenGov.
“OpenGov has knocked it out of the park with customer support, as well as the solutions it is providing for us… Within a month or two online, forward-facing program was set up,” said Rob Walton, Director of Community Development at the Town of Warrenton.
Building Approvals Made Easy
The Town has taken tremendous strides in collaborating on building approvals. For example, OpenGov’s workflow automation steps keep every department on track and aware of its specific responsibilities within an approval process.
“Before any comments are sent out, OpenGov helps us make sure that everybody in each department has had a chance to look at the plans, collaborate, and give the client a comprehensive review in a more timely fashion,” said Walton.
Apply from Anywhere
Since the Town’s public-facing portal went live, contractors and applicants enjoy applying from the comfort of their homes or conveniently on-site. The Town works with several of the same contractors on a regular basis, who are now familiar with and speak highly of the Town’s new online process: “Contractors have said it has been a huge help for them. If they are from outside the Town or the County they don’t have to drive in to drop off their application or mail it in. They can do it online,” said Walton.
Internally, Town staff are also benefiting as they spend less time tending to walk-ins and phone calls regarding applications. On their old system, the Town delt with 15 walk-ins per day on average, now, they see less than five.
Automation Results in Time Savings for Town Staff
Previously a time-consuming and laborious process to manually enter data and get a hold of stakeholders from outside departments, the decrease in paper permits resulted in significant efficiencies for Town staff. Now that OpenGov automates this clerical work, Walton has been able to re-allocate an average of two hours daily to work on other projects like enforcement claims and zoning policies.
“OpenGov gives me more time to concentrate on strategic work and to speak directly with community members on issues and complaints,” said Walton.
In partnership with OpenGov, the Town has hit the ground running on many development projects while increasing front-end efficiencies to free up time in the workday.
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