“We had big goals, but a limited budget,” says Steve Foote, Planning Director for Gulf Shores.
“We wanted a solution that would enable us to maintain better and more accessible records. We wanted to be able to track decisions, deadlines, and expiration dates for different land-related activities. Tying our land records data to map data was also important.”
The permanent population of Gulf Shores is between five and six thousand people. Depending on the time of year, there may be an additional 15,000 to 20,000 tourists in the city on any given weekend. Gulf Shores manages 1,500 parcels. Foote says that implementing Land Development Office will bring the City’s planning and building operations into the 21st century.
“We were working with another software company when they referred us NovaLIS, and our two-year search for a solution ended. We had a pretty extensive list of features and functions that we had identified in our RFP. Although some customization is necessary, Land Development Office will allow us to acquire those features at a reasonable price.
“It’s going to allow us to easily run reports and review activity on an account such as a condition of approval from several years ago. It should be a lot easier than trying to find paper files, and it will enable us to better coordinate activities such as permitting or reviewing plans between departments.”
Using Land Development Office, Gulf Shores will be able to better mange the issuance of permits. The software enables them to tag parcels for problems, preventing the act of issuing a permit on a property with a known problem.
“Initially we will implement the software with planning, building, and engineering functions. There will also be some association with the fire department, since they perform inspections," says Foote.
“Looking forward, we plan to provide more services and support transactions for taxpayers and the development community online.”