Durham Launches New Development Services Center

Author: Pete Sullivan, AICP, Development Coordination Supervisor, Durham Development Services Center The Durham City-County Development Services Center (DSC) opened on April 3, 2017, with a mission of streamlining Durham’s development review process and enhancing customer service. A joint initiative of the Planning, Inspections, and Public Works Department, the DSC is both a new physical space and reorganization of program activities and staff. The DSC is intended to be a “one-stop-shop,” providing 1) application intake for Planning, Inspections, and Public Works, 2) in-person customer service, and 3) quick turn-around for minor planning and building projects. Collectively, Durham’s development review process includes over seventy different permit and/or review types, spanning more than twenty City and County Departments. The rate and complexity of development in Durham has increased over time, giving rise to the concept of a more integrated service delivery model. While all City and County Departments do outstanding work in their program areas, the need to obtain approvals from multiple City and/or County Departments can lead to permitting delays and a frustrating customer experience. To address these compartmentalization issues, the DSC emphasizes customer service and procedural streamlining, better positioning the City and County to improve the predictability, timeliness, and quality of the development review process. Creation of the DSC was led by Patrick O. Young, AICP, who was recently named Director of the Durham City-County Planning Department. Mr. Young joined the department in 2008 as Assistant Director, and has helped advance the creation of affordable housing in Durham. He succeeds Steven L. Medlin, who retired after 30 years of service to the department. The DSC is located in the former lobby...

PHOTOS: Town Hall Day for the 2017 Winners of the Great Places in North Carolina

On March 29th, APA-NC celebrated Town Hall Day in Raleigh by joining with legislators to recognize the 2017 winners of the Great Places in North Carolina initiative. Representatives Stephen Ross and David Rogers welcomed all to the Legislative Building to celebrate the dynamic partnerships that bring together local and state governments. Program Chair Kelly Bennett provided an overview of the Great Places in North Carolina program, describing this year’s categories, including the new Great Transformation category. APA-NC Chapter President Ken Bowers introduced all of the winning communities—Morehead City, Mebane, Lewisville, Winston-Salem, and Mooresville. Representatives from each community shared with those attendance a few words about what makes their respective place great. Behind every great place is North Carolinians working together to improve their community. APA-NC was pleased to join with legislators to celebrate these collaborative planning efforts. Legislators in attendance included Senator Paul Lowe, Jr, Senator Joyce Krawiec, and Senator David Curtis.        ...