In October, management consulting firm BerryDunn conducted an evaluation on Leander’s development process, which included requesting feedback from the development community, review of the city’s development services process and recommendations for improvement, according to city documents.
The company provided a report that included 15 recommendations on improving the city’s development process. Out of the 15 recommendations, nine have been completed, four are pending, and two are incomplete.
“We’ve gone through all the items,” said Robin Griffin, executive director of development services, at the meeting. “And we’ve either been able to address them, or we've come up with a plan to address them.”
A few completed projects include a revised submittal process with the launch of the Development Hub; acquiring licenses for Bluebeam Studio—a technology that allows for powerful document management and real-time collaboration; simplifying the development review process for staff and applicants; holding frequent developer’s forums; and using third-party reviewers to reduce staff workload.
Pending projects include the launch of Teams for better coordination and more effective internal communication, which is slated for completion this spring; offering free workshops for small-business owners to learn about city requirements; implementing a standard response time for phone calls and emails; and producing a standard set of requirements for the city.
The two incomplete projects are an upgrade on the city’s website—which is estimated to be completed by the fall—and updating the ‘change of tenant,’ or COT, process, which is the “most challenging,” Griffin said. Updates on the COT process will be ongoing.
“I appreciate all the hard work y’all are doing on this,” Council Member Kathryn Pantalion-Parker said at the meeting. “I think that the study was good, the feedback was good and now the implementations. It’s nice to see it all come together.”