CITYGATE HAS COMPLETED ON THE ORDER OF 500 CONSULTING CONTRACTS FOR OVER 250 GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
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Community Development Management Consulting
Practitioner Community Development Consultants
EVERY member of our team has served as Department Director or City Manager. In addition, we have conducted over 30 consulting studies focused on community development, planning, building, code compliance, and development review permitting processes. We have served agencies of various sizes and complexities including Sacramento and San Diego Counties, Vista, Carlsbad, Corona, and many other agencies in California; Clark County, Washington; Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah; Reno, Nevada; and Lee County, Florida.
The Outcome is Everything
- We possess hands-on experience in analyzing and developing effective and realistic customer-service-driven cycle time standards and performance measurements in a variety of municipal government settings.
- We close the gaps that create interdepartmental coordination problems is our specialty. We eliminate dysfunctional silos!
- We deliver credible dialogue with your community’s developers, business associations, environmentalists, and neighborhood groups during our review process. We ensure that all sides have been heard prior to our making recommendations to executive leaders and elected policy setters.
- We are committed to producing outcomes and results, not reports with recommendations that may never be implemented. Our recommendations are customized for each project we undertake through our highly iterative, transparent, and collaborative approach. We have unmatched experience with actually implementing the recommendations we make, and we understand the many challenges that community development departments will face as they begin to make changes to current processes and procedures.
Our Community Development experts assist with the following services:
As public servants, everything we think, say, and do starts with the customer in mind. One of our team members is the country’s leading authority on customer service in the public sector. Our team has instituted customer service improvement initiatives in dozens of cities and counties. Our team ensures that services to all customer groups are recognized, monitored, reported out, and continually improved. We emphasize keen management of the credibility, timeliness, predictability, and sensitivity of development, special studies, and environmental review processes. We provide rapid problem-solving and early assistance techniques than can be institutionalized to ensure applications and projects are not unnecessarily delayed.
Citygate develops a profile of your organizational and functional structure to gain an understanding of how functional responsibilities are distributed and determine how these structures and responsibilities support responsiveness to the stakeholders and customers. We assess what work units perform specific services, the level of functional interdependence, areas of potential overlap or duplication, formal and informal communications, and the effectiveness of interdepartmental coordination.
We define the most contemporary and useful recommendations possible by (1) presenting “best practice” techniques used in comparably-sized and comparably-growing agencies regionally and throughout the U.S., and (2) understanding the state-of-the-art standards promoted through published journals (including the APA), national data, and case studies. Members of Citygate’s team have had numerous books published by the APA. In addition, they have authored many articles that have been printed in the APA’s national journal, and have presented regularly at APA annual conferences.
We help everyone involved in the development review permitting process see and understand the big picture. We help agencies vastly improve their development review-permitting program by tearing down the formal and informal walls that exist between functions. We put the customers’ needs first, and focus on eliminating “second bites at the apple” (multiple rounds of plan check and application corrections).
Our specialty is closing the gaps that create interdepartmental coordination problems. We eliminate dysfunctional silos! We have helped institute many highly focused and well-disciplined interdepartmental Development Review Teams that routinely exceed customer expectation.
Everything we do is aimed at increasing productivity, without sacrificing quality. We can streamline processes, dramatically improve permit approval time and accuracy, eliminate wasteful meetings, and increase employee engagement. We know how to use information technology, e-government, and social media to make permitting processes and procedures more efficient and effective, to promote civic engagement, and to improve customer service.
We help community development departments create financial independence to achieve a business-like environment. We help agencies find ways for: (1) new development to fully pay for itself; (2) the development review permitting process to operate “like a business”; (3) good urban planning and good civil engineering to no longer compete for resources with police and fire services; (4) staff to have a stake in operational efficiency and effectiveness; and (5) financial accountability and compliance with state law to increase.
Strategic plans define your overall mission, guiding principles, strategic initiatives, and required disciplines. Focusing on environmental preservation, quality of life, economic development, and fostering livable communities is central to development. Citygate always develops recommendations that support your strategic goals and reinforce the required disciplines. Our recommendations are designed for implementation: we show the relative priority of each recommendation, the anticipated benefit, the party responsible for implementation, and how implementation should be monitored.
The involvement of stakeholders, both internal and external, is essential for a study to have a successful outcome and to produce tailored recommendations that will address the real issues in the community and Department. The first principle of customer-centered public service is the essential prerequisite of listening to customers, really hearing them, and then aggressively responding to what you hear, see, and learn. To facilitate this, we conduct confidential Internet-based citizen/customer surveys, employee surveys, and focus groups of varying customer types (residential, commercial, industrial, and “mom and pop” development).
Watch highlights from our recent Building Services review presentation to Salt Lake City
Distinctive by Culture
Beyond the individual competencies of our consulting staff, Citygate is a character-driven organization. We believe that character attributes such as diligence, honor, discretion, responsibility, thoroughness and sincerity, while individual matters, also greatly affect all those who come into contact with the individuals who focus on it.
As public servants, everything we think, say, and do starts with the customer in mind. Community development departments have an array of customers and stakeholders, all of whom have different needs. It is important that the services to all customer groups are recognized, constantly monitored, and continuously improved.
Citygate In the News…
|Grants Pass, OR||Operations plan for the Community Development Programs, focused on the Planning Services, Building Services, and Parks and Community Development Management divisions, as well as an organizational structure review of the Public Works Department.|
|Salt Lake City, UT||Review of Salt Lake City’s building services process as part of an effort to support economic development. See highlights from our recent final report presentation above!|
|Goleta, CA||Independent operational and organizational assessment for the Planning and Environmental Review Department.|
|Healdsburg, CA||Assessment of the Community Development Center’s organizational structure, staff capacity, policies, processes, practices, and documentation.|
|Ojai, CA||Independent management audit of the Community Development Department, including organizational structure, staffing, and workload with the intention to improve Department processes and customer service.|
|San Luis Obispo, CA||Provide Customer Service Consulting for the Community Development Department’s Building and Safety Division.|
|Salinas, CA||Organizational analysis and strategic plan for implementation of improvements for the City’s Permit Center and Planning Division of the Community and Economic Development Department.|
|San Luis Obispo, CA||Organizational assessment for the Community Development Department.|
|San Diego County, CA||Functional and organizational analysis of the Department of Planning and Land Use and associated land development services in the County.Development review process assistance as a follow-up to Citygate’s Functional and Organizational Analysis of the Department of Planning and Land Use in 2008 to improve the development permit review process and improve the customer experience.|
|San Clemente, CA||Management review of the policies, procedures, management, staffing, and operations of San Clemente’s planning, building, and code compliance processes.|
|Sacramento County, CA||Performance audit of the Planning Department and the Department of Environmental Review and Assessment (DERA).|
|Solano County, CA||Operational review of the development permit process for Solano County’s Department of Resource Management.|
|Salt Lake City, UT||Conduct interviews regarding the effectiveness of the City’s planning program and processes, and based on issues identified in Phase I, perform a detailed analysis of the planning program in Phase II. (view update on study here)Separately, management and performance audit of the Redevelopment Agency to assess the current management systems and processes to determine if there are changes that will improve the cost effectiveness of RDA programs.Additionally, management audit of the City Engineering Division.|
|Ogden, UT||Performance audit of the Community Development Department.Separately, general management and operations study of the Ogden City Code Enforcement program.|
|West Linn, OR||Analysis of the City of West Linn building revenues and expenditures to make recommendations on achieving a balanced budget.|
|Atwater, CA||Part-time interim Community Development Director services and an organizational assessment of the Community Development Department for the City of Atwater.|
|Vista, CA||Performance audit of the City of Vista’s Development Review Process, including the program areas of Planning, Building, Engineering, Inspection Services, and other municipal functions the relate to the Development Review Process.|
|Modesto, CA||Redevelopment and economic development technical assistance services for the City of Modesto.While serving as interim Planning Manager for the City of Modesto, Citygate’s consultant provided an organizational assessment report of the City of Modesto’s Planning Division and the development review permitting process.|
|Santa Rosa, CA||Comparative research on the economic development departments in eight California cities.|
|Pittsburg, CA||Efficiency review of the Development Permitting programs in the Planning and Engineering operations for the City.|
|Jackson County, OR||Performance audit of the Development Permitting Process, including the Planning, Building, Environmental Quality, and Code Enforcement programs of the County’s Roads, Parks and Planning Department|
|Carlsbad, CA||Development Review Process audit, including the program areas of Planning, Building, Housing and Redevelopment, Development Services Engineering, and Fire Prevention.|
|Lee County, FL||Guidance to the Lee County Community Development Director in the area of state-of-the-art technology support for community development functions.|
|Calaveras County, CA||Performance audit of the Planning Department and the Building Department.|
|Reno, NV||Performance audit of the Community Development Department.|
|Dana Point, CA||Review the Planning, Building, and Public Works Counter Operations for the City of Dana Point.Additionally, strategic and tactical guidance in the area of state-of-the-art technology support.|
|Placer County, CA||Professional technical services related to the Placer County Executive Office consideration of West Placer projects’ implementation.Professional technical services related to development impact planning as it relates to Police Protection and Prevention services for the Sheriff-Coroner-Marshal Department of Placer County.Recommendation of a recreation program, recreation facilities, and estimated capital and annual operating cost for each of three new developments planned for the County: Placer Vineyards, the Regional University Community, and Placer Ranch.|
|Fresno, CA||Assistance to the Fresno Redevelopment Agency by providing project management services for the Historic Chinatown project.|
|Los Altos, CA||Performance audit of the Community Development Department.|
|Modesto, CA||Performance review of the Community Development Department.|
|Corona, CA||Performance reviews of the Planning, Building, and Housing and Development Departments.|
|Beaverton, OR||Assessment of the development review and building inspection processes. Reengineering of selected processes, including staff training and implementation.|
|Clark County, WA||Assessment of the County’s development review process and strategic plan for the Department. After a two-year implementation period, a second customer/citizen survey was conducted to assess the positive impacts of implementing the changes recommended in the initial study.|