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Through the last three quarters of 2018, Develop Indy and the Department of Business & Neighborhood Services teamed up with Katts Sapper Miller Consultants (KSMC) to conduct a thorough look at the permitting process and how businesses interact with it. For almost a decade, Develop Indy and the City of Indianapolis have collaborated through the Regulatory and Permitting Ombudsman position to help businesses. This position serves as a single point of contact, helps provide guidance to businesses, and helps mediate complicated permitting and zoning disputes. The idea of this project was that the Ombudsman position has historically had a focus on individual cases and issues as they arise, but the Ombudsman should really be taking a look at the entire process and trying to improve that as well. 

Develop Indy and DBNS staff worked together with KSMC to outline the process of how businesses interact with the city, identify pain points, and make recommendations on how to fix them. We identified a set of baseline metrics that will help DBNS understand how they are meeting needs and expectations. We also looked at a number of programs in similar cities like Columbus, Charlotte and Denver that might be able to be applied to improve experience in Indianapolis.

We continue to work with DBNS staff to build out the implementation strategy for these recommendations and expect to see results throughout 2019. In the meantime, we have begun discussions with the Department of Metropolitan Development to perform a similar project with them, which combined with the DBNS report, will have allowed us to look comprehensively at the entire City permitting process. We are excited to continue to partner with the City to find out more!


Questions about this project, or permitting in general? Contact Jim Rawlinson, Permitting and Regulatory Ombudsman, at jrawlinson@indychamber.com.

Learn more about permitting assistance here.