County produces permit video

The Kitsap County Department of Community Development (DCD) has developed a short video intended to guide residents through the permitting maze and explain the process in a clear way.

“We wanted to give people something that explains the process in full at the beginning,” DCD Director Larry Keeton said, “so they aren’t in the middle of getting a permit and don’t know what to do next.”

Getting a permit is admittedly difficult and fraught with unexpected regulations — at least for someone confronting it for the first time.

The documents explaining the different steps are often confusing, so DCD determined a video is something people will easily understand.

The video, titled “I’m a Permit,” is nearly 13 minutes long and viewable from a link on the DCD Web site,

A DVD version, which applicants can view on their computer or television, is supplied as part of every permitting application and available by request.

The production cost the county about $3,300, plus the cost of disc duplication.

Bremerton Kitsap Access Television (BKAT) filmed and edited the presentation after detailed script consultations with Keeton and members of the DCD staff, specifically Program Specialist Mary Seals.

According to Keeton, the video will eventually save money for the department, since staffers will not have to explain the same procedure repeatedly.

Using DCD employees as actors, the video traces a permit from application to completion.

It shows what can go wrong and takes the customer inside the meetings where the specifics are decided.

The dramatization helps people understand what they need to do in preparation, such as hire engineers to verify the boundaries of a right-of-way or determine whether wetlands are located on the property.

Each topic is referenced to a specific county code number for the applicant to search if they have that specific concern.

“We wanted to provide people with a comprehensive look at what to expect,” Keeton said, “even though not every applicant will need to follow everything in the video.”

Keeton said there is enough information to make a hour-long video and that 12 minutes isn’t enough time to include all the details.

The department is looking at how to move processes online and allow customers to do much of their business with DCD electronically, according to Keeton.

The Web site provides information about paying fees, including an online credit card payment option, as well as instructions for paying with cash or check.

“Even with the recent Friday closure, reduced staff and the reduction of staff hours, we continue to make improvements in customer service,” Keeton said. “This video makes getting a permit easier to understand and helps the customer through the process.”

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