Will County Implements Online Permitting
New program will improve citizen access to permitting processes
The Will County Land Use Department has announced implementation of their new cloud-based permitting system. The new system is designed to increase efficiency and make the Land Use permitting process more user-friendly.
“I am proud of the Land Use and ICT Departments in bringing this process into the 21st century,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. “This implementation is bringing county services to the people. The Land Use Department’s basic services will be more accessible, without the need to physically visit a County facility. It is streamlining our internal processes, as well as the public’s processes.”
Through this online system, contractors and applicants can submit documents, apply for permits, schedule inspections, pay fees, print their permit and view detailed information regarding their own permits online. According to Brian Radner, Development Review Director, the portal will initially handle applications relating to commercial and residential windows and doors, siding, roofs, as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and wireless telecommunications facilities and upgrades. More permit types will be added in the near future, as well as the ability for contractors to register online.
“These types of applications make up about 50 percent of permits issued each month,” said Radner. “Our department issues approximately 2,000 building permits each year. This portal will save time for the applicants by eliminating the need to physically come to our office to apply for a permit.”
This system has not been upgraded since 1996. According to Mike Smetana, Building Division Director, over the last 20 years there has been a substantial increase in the number of permits issued.
“This online portal has reduced the review time,” Smetana said. “Permits can be approved within 24 hours as opposed to a couple of days or weeks.”
Another important feature of the portal is remote access which can be used through smartphones by the Land Use staff and contractors or members of the public.
“The applicant can also submit an inspection request through the portal,” said David Dubois, director of administration and planning. “Anyone can access the portal to check on the status of a permit or follow the zoning case process anywhere at any time.”
“Plans are in process to add electronic plans review to this portal in the near future,” Smetana said.
To access the public portal, users can go to http://www.willcountylanduse.com/portal. Contractors and applicants can create an account to track multiple applications or just log on to inquire about a particular permit. The public can view basic information regarding past permits, as well as what active permits are ongoing in any given area, without having to log on. This also revamped numerous internal processes at the Land Use Department
“Talk about government transparency, it is right there,” said Dubois.
“This effort ties in with other recent efforts of County government to make County services and information easier to access for our citizens,” Walsh said. “Efforts by many offices, from the County Recorder and County Clerk, to the Circuit Clerk and others continue to carry forward our mission of taking government to the people.”