To ease the process of obtaining a building permit, the city of Santa Clarita has launched a new, user-friendly website for residents and it’s the first city in the nation to offer the service, according to city officials. Under the city’s Permit Center webpage, users now have the option to click on a link titled, “Permit Guide,” which went live Friday, according to city building official John Caprarelli. The software, created by Camino Technologies for governments, is designed to guide those planning a construction project through the entire permit process — from the preparation stages to scheduling the last inspection. “When we built this, we wanted to make the building permit process as easy as buying something on Amazon or ordering a Lyft,” said Nate Levine, Camino Technologies’ co-founder and chief strategy officer. “We wanted to bring user-friendly technology to a historically complex process, which is going to be seen in the design.” Santa Clarita is the first city in the United States to launch with Camino, Levine said. The city only offers the service for residential projects but plans are in the works to include commercial projects, Caprarelli said. The website is a win-win for users and city staff. Caprarelli said, “The No. 1 reason we now have this is to save us all time. If there’s one thing that slows down the process is when customers find out something too late in the process.” He said, for example, if someone wants to take on a small project, like build a garden wall, the software will let a user know if a permit is needed or not. “The software asks whether a wall will be more than 4 feet high and if it isn’t, then it’ll let you know that you don’t need one. We get calls for this, so this saves customers and staff time.” How it works As described by Camino Technologies, there are three steps: Enter the project address and the type of work planned, answer questions about the details of the project, and finish the process through sections like “Investigation and Preliminary Plan,” “Inspections” and “Construction Phase.” Users can choose from more than 100 residential projects, including interior or exterior alterations, electrical, addition to a structure and even changing the use of a building. Caprarelli said that while the bulk of the work is completed online, there are some steps, such as certain fees and approvals needed, that could extend the process, depending on the project. Where to learn more To access the Permit Guide, visit the Permit Center at City Hall, where one can obtain development permits and receive help with building and safety, engineering and planning. The online version is accessible via santa-clarita.com/permitcenter. A Permit Center Open House is also scheduled 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Permit Center, 23920 Valencia Blvd., Suite 140. The City Council is expected to highlight the services offered at the Permit Center, followed by staff showcasing the Permit Guide software. Representatives from the city’s Building and Safety, Engineering and Planning divisions are scheduled to answer any questions. For more information about the event contact Caprarelli at [email protected] or at 661-255-4396.