New Land Management Software Increases Efficiencies and Provides Better Service to the Public

How do the Planning and Building Services, Engineering, and Fire Prevention teams stay ahead during five years of record-breaking construction in Sioux Falls? The answer is innovative technology.

It wasn’t that long ago that building inspectors were traveling through town with huge binders of documents and forms, lugging them into basements to inspect finalized renovation projects and installed water heaters. Today, after years of software integration, it’s all electronic.

New land management software has made all the difference and greatly improved efficiencies. The system allows for more efficient tracking of land activities and the reporting of those activities. It is used to conduct business functions such as permitting, inspecting, professional and business licensing, land development, and code enforcement. The system contains more than 1.5 million records including plans, permits, and code cases.

“Our inspectors now carry with them small mobile tablet devices and can do all of their documentation online. Then the property owners and contractors can see those results with the click of a button,” says Mike Cooper, Director of Planning and Building Services.

During this time of record-breaking construction, only three team members have been added in Planning and Building Services, yet residents are receiving even higher quality customer service. The efficiencies gained through the software also mean there is now a single source of data, which allows more accurate record keeping and better decision-making abilities.

“Multiple departments and divisions all work together to ensure minimum life safety standards are met for building projects through customer service-focused plan review, permitting, and inspections, and the work they do truly is second to none,” says Cooper.

The software also has benefits for the public. In the spring of 2017, a new application called Customer Self Service (CSS) went live at www.siouxfalls.org/css. At this site, contractors and property owners can apply for certain permits, schedule and track inspections, make payments, and apply for conditional use and rezoning plans. Additionally, CSS allows rental property owners to obtain rental registration permits online and to search all active code cases. More features will be coming soon when additional enhancements are made to the software in the future.

Building Services staff performed 56,382 inspections in 2017. The software is used by 11 different City of Sioux Falls departments and divisions.