NEWBURYPORT — Mayor Donna Holaday is pleased to announce that the City of Newburyport’s Building Department is launching the first phase of a new online permitting system next week.
Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Building Department will accept gas, plumbing, electrical and sheet metal permit applications electronically through the online permitting platform, OpenGov, available through the City website on the Building Department’s page.
“Due to the ongoing nature COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve made it a priority to create more online services for the community in order to protect the health and wellbeing of City employees and residents alike by reducing in-person visitors to City Hall,” Mayor Holaday said. “This system makes the application process more convenient and easier for people, provides a more transparent process for everyone involved and allows more oversight and coordination between the departments reviewing and approving permits. It’s a wonderful improvement on all accounts.”
Applicants will be able to pay by credit card and permits will be issued digitally, reducing the need for an in-person visit to City Hall. An email address will be required with all permit applications, and applicants requiring assistance can schedule an appointment, following the City’s COVID-19 protocols, to visit the Building Department for the purpose of completing applications at a kiosk computer. To review expectations for visiting City Hall amid COVID-19, visit the city website here.
Applications will be reviewed and approved by the City before a permit is issued, consistent with City ordinances.
In October, a second phase of online permitting will be rolled out, and the remaining Building Department related permit applications will be made available online. In the coming months, online permitting will also be made available for planning, zoning, conservation and historic-related permit applications handled by the Office of Planning and Development.
The OpenGov “ViewPoint” platform is cloud-based, allowing new permitting data to be linked with state data, assessor’s data and Georgraphic Information System (GIS) mapping data, all of which is available via an internet browser. Historical permit data is being uploaded to the OpenGov system to allow digital access to older records.
“The goal is a ‘one-stop-shopping’ web-based platform for building and land-use related permits throughout the City,” Director of Planning and Development Andy Port said.
The system will also post permit-tracking data, including the status of active permits, which can be made accessible to the public, increasing transparency to all stakeholders.
For more information, contact Port by email at [email protected] or by calling 978-465-4400 x 6.