San Diego’s new residential feature is an expanded function of the OpenCounter online business portal – an innovative web portal that streamlines the process of locating, expanding and getting permits for a business in the city. San Diego is the largest U.S. city to implement the OpenCounter platform.
With this expansion, OpenCounter will now provide homeowners, contractors and builders with knowledge about the potential permits required and fee estimates. It guides users through the permitting process for single-family home projects, such as building or repairing a secondary structure like a pool or deck; installing solar panels or graywater systems; and upgrading building exteriors like replacing a roof or windows.
“As a smart city in an innovation economy, we are continually looking for ways to give San Diegans state-of-the-art tools to make more informed decisions while saving time and money,” said Erik Caldwell, the City’s Interim Deputy Chief Operating Officer. “Building on the successful technology of our OpenCounter business portal, the new residential portal does just that.”
The residential portal is the third expansion of OpenCounter, complementing existing online services for zoning and business permits. Users can access all three innovative tools at business.sandiego.gov.
By moving these processes online, the City is providing customized assistance 24 hours a day and giving City officials a new level of insight into economic trends. Since 2017, OpenCounter has logged more than 75,000 site visits and launched more than 23,000 business projects, becoming a valuable one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs and residents.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for San Diegans to get the permits they need for the home improvement projects they want,” Faulconer said. “Whether you want to install solar panels or build a new deck, this new online portal puts all the information you need at your fingertips. This is just the latest move we’ve made to improve customer service and become a city government that is as innovative as the people it represents.”