The City of Albuquerque has teamed up with Tyler Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TYL) to improve the city’s permitting process.
The City’s planning department hopes to accelerate Albuquerque’s growth with an online system where developers and citizens can apply for development approvals, building permits, access electronic plan reviews and receive digitally issued permits, according to City of Albuquerque Planning Department Director Alan Varela.
The GIS (geographical information system) will provide users with information on reviews, approvals, inspections and enforcement activities, he added.
City of Albuquerque Planning Department Deputy Director Robyn Rose said the partnership will eliminate the unnecessary back-and-forth many developers face when submitting permit requests to different departments. By keeping information in a centralized location, Rose expects the software to create a “speedier” permitting process.
“We need to expedite secondary permits on larger projects like pool, sign and retaining wall permits,” Lance Sigmon, co-owner and principal of Allen Sigmon Realty Group, said. “We need to stop bifurcating the process asking for additional permits and should aim to simplify the process by eliminating smaller permits that require more time and approval. Too many bites at the apple are causing delays when the City is are already short staffed.”
City of Albuquerque technical program manager Michelle Gricius said the partnership will allow the City’s planning department to deliver real-time permit data to decision-makers and the community.
The City hopes to release the software by fall 2024, Rose said.
“The City carefully evaluated different providers … and the Tyler Tech system stood out as a more robust and logically designed GIS-based package specifically designed for land use matters, development and construction activities and business licensing functions,” Verala said. “It also is a system that should integrate very well with other databases already in use in the City.”
In order to obtain the partnership, Tyler Tech competitively bid through a cooperative agreement process. That cooperative is Sourcewell, a self-funded government organization, according to City of Albuquerque public information officer Tim Walsh.
Walsh said the agreement price was approximately $2.4 million, including implementation and licensing.
NAIOP New Mexico Executive Director Rhiannon Samuel said it is difficult to do business anywhere without predictability, transparency and efficiency. Although permit approval times vary depending on the type of project, Samuel said she has seen requests be approved in as short as three months and as long as 18 months.
“Predictability is something we seek out in any market that we try and develop in,” Samuel said. “If we can offer that in the City of Albuquerque, we’d love to see it.”