Customers conducting business with the City of Austin‘s Planning and Development Review Department will notice several improvements when they call or visit PDRD.
Beginning Monday, July 29, PDRD will launch (512) 978-4000 as the centralized number for the department., making it easier for customers to get in touch with who they need.
Over the years, the PDRD has publicized several phone numbers making it confusing for customers who needed to reach service areas within the department. Calls to this new number will be answered by two operators who will utilize an upgraded phone tree system to direct customers to experts who can provide assistance.
This customer-friendly initiative is only one of several new features aimed at improving service delivery. Other enhancements include:
Permit Center “Wait Time” Feature – Customers needing to pull building permits will no longer have to guess where they are in the queue for assistance. The “wait time” feature displays the number of customers waiting for service and allows customers to view their position in line from their computer, tablet or smartphone. This feature will also be displayed on monitors that have been placed in the waiting areas to accommodate customers without internet access. To view the “live” feature, go to: http://www.austintexas.gov/cwts/permit_center.cfm
Permit Center Text Paging System – Customers waiting to pull permits can opt to receive a text notification via their smart device when their status in the wait queue has moved up to third place in line. This allows customers to wait in other areas of the building without losing their place in line. Customers will also notice that the Permit Center has expanded its waiting area with additional seating for added comfort.
These initiatives are the result of meetings with stakeholders earlier this year to solicit their input on how the department could improve its level of service. A key concern was the inability to talk to a “live” person when calling the department thus creating unnecessary delays.
“We believe these initial improvements will result in a positive experience for our customers,” Department Director Greg Guernsey said. “We are committed to pursuing additional enhancements to improve our service delivery.”
The department, in conjunction with the Communication and Technology Management Department, is in the process of developing other technology enhancements that will eventually include online services.
The Planning and Development Review Department is at One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Road.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701