Oxnard Implementing Development Review Improvements to Simply Permit Process

OXNARD, Calif. – OXNARD, CA – The City of Oxnard is implementing development review improvements to make it easier and faster for homeowners and businesses to get permits. In many cities, the permit review process is the subject of complaints from customers with particular focus on the complexity and uncertainty of the process and the time it takes to obtain project approvals. The City of Oxnard acknowledges these common complaints and is now striving to improve the development review process to provide more certainty and predictability in the expected outcomes and to avoid unnecessary delays.

“These fixes in our permitting process are crucial to the City’s future success,” said City Manager Alexander Nguyen. “We need to make it easier for folks, provide certainty, and avoid delays for projects small or large.”

The Community Development Department has implemented a robust methodology to evaluate current development procedures. Through the development review process, the City is looking to simplify and streamline the development review procedures, including policy, procedures and resource improvements.

After a detailed review of the existing process, which included process mapping and interviews with recent customers, the City identified key barriers to development and permits. To remedy this, staff is proposing a range of improvements, including expeditious procedures and resource recommendations. Below is a sample of the recommendations:

  • enhance customer interface
  • provide detailed road maps to explain the process and next steps
  • offer specific timelines and a commitment to meet those timelines
  • provide staff training to ensure staff are facilitators not just regulators
  • allow more authority for inspectors to make consistent decisions in the field
  • provide more staff time to help applicants obtain approvals and permits
  • establish an expedited processing fee for service
  • shift decision-making authority to the lowest level possible: Planning Commission and the Community Development Director

These improvements will benefit all sizes of projects, from new and remodeled single family homes to commercial/industrial developments and tenant improvements. These will include enhanced efficiencies, right-sizing the review procedures to the proposed project and encouraging private sector economic investment in the City of Oxnard.

“As the City’s new Community Development Director, I’m invigorated and excited to lead these reforms,” said Jeffrey Lambert.

The Housing and Economic Development Committee expressed support for the recommended improvements at its April 9, 2019, meeting. The City Council will review the proposed improvements at its meeting on May 21, 2019. Click the following link to access the City Council agenda report: REPORTS AGENDA ITEM NO. M.3.


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