PITTSBURGH, PA (January 23, 2018) In 2017 the City of Pittsburgh Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections (PLI) cut review times in half and began accepting credit cards for payment, among other accomplishments. All Permit Plan Review to Be In House as of February 1, 2018 – leading to faster and higher quality plan reviews.
In 2018 the department will evolve even further, adopting online licensing and other measures, according to Director Maura Kennedy.
Last year PLI conducted approximately 37,000 property maintenance and zoning inspections, and 22,000 permit-related inspections. The construction value of the permit inspections was more than $1 billion.
The department was fully staffed at 78 employees, and while historically one of the city's least diverse department as of last year it employed 45% women and minorities, 44% of whom are managers.
In plan review and permitting PLI has brought all plan reviews in-house; reduced initial plan reviews from an average of 23 days to 12 days; begun accepting concurrent reviews with Zoning; and began offering over-time construction inspectors to service customers faster
The department rewrote demolition contracts with more enforceable standards and qualified bidders; refocused on community outreach, sending a monthly newsletter to more than 1,00 developers, architects, contractors and residents; and created an appeals board for licenses and inspections.
In technological upgrades last year PLI began accepting credit cards for payment, began sending closed case receipts to property owners when violations have been abated, and began the Burghware project, which will allow for online licenses.
In 2018 the department plans to introduce online licensing, implement rental registration, scan more records and make them available to the public, and streamline building code ordinances to adopt best practices, overhaul the business licensing code which was last substantively updated in the 1980s and will also evaluate all departmental fees.