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Updates: Customers conducting business with the City of Austin‘s Planning and Development Review Department (PDRD) will notice several improvements when they call or visit PDRD.

  • PDRD has launched (512) 978-4000 as the centralized number for the department, making it easier for customers to get in touch with who they need.

  • Permit Center improvements include an expanded waiting area, "Wait Time” feature, and text alert paging system. More info.

  • Check out Planning and Development Review Department's online tools and resources.

Top suggestions and ideas from the most recent Small Business Summit include:

One Stop Shop for new business owners; one place to go for all permitting and development

Better metrics for tracking customer service

Standardize internal processes

Educational based communication centered around code breakdown with a customer service focus and approach

Online payments

We invite you to build upon these ideas and offer new suggestions below keeping in mind that while broad, big-picture solutions are helpful to discuss, we equally value specific, short-term solutions that may address a single issue within this area.

What are your ideas to enhance customer service or improve the development and permitting process?

    Altha Morgan about 3 years ago

    I live out East of town. There are new refugees coming in everyday. We try to give these people English classes. How about cultural awareness? How do I know how the people from Iran or Jordan and what customs I want to respect? How do the new residents know how to recycle? How do they know how we are with litter? How can I know not to speak when someone goes by me? Adult cultural education.

    0 Comments 1 Vote Created

    When Code Enforcement (CE) responds to a complaint, The Draconian Response mandated on first contact, and the complaint-driven system generally, makes CE a notorious weapon amongst neighbors. Fear of the weaponization of CE turns every action into a who-called-it witch hunt amongst neighbors.

    For example, if CE becomes involved in a landscaping issue where trees and shrubbery block the view of traffic on a corner lot, CE’s initial response will be to cut all plant material down to the ground and up to 14 feet high across a 45 degree angle, as far back as 50 feet from the corner. This Draconian Response to a 311 complaint can be used by Hatfields and McCoys alike. Because slighted neighbors become prime suspects, animosity amongst neighbors is all but guaranteed, whether the complainant was a neighbor, a transient, or a rabble-rouser using Google Street View and calling from New Jersey.

    The Reasonable Response would cut plant materials down to around 24-30 inches and up to around 8 feet, allowing a diagonal view of oncoming traffic from the stop sign. Maintaining exactly this, by repeated visits, incurs a high cost to the city. But, were CE to require The Reasonable Response on the first visit, and merely suggest that failure to maintain The Reasonable Response (as cited by repeated complaints, confirmed by CE) will incur The Draconian Response, CE could no longer be weaponized. And we could all live happily ever after.

    0 Comments 2 Votes Created

    ATX Safer Streets are advocates for a reduction in impaired driving and pedestrian fatalities through expanded late night transportation and parking options. We are actively working to increase late night/ overnight bus service to more parts of the city more frequently, improve cab service through more permits, temporary permits and utilized cab stands, allow regulated TNC's (Uber, Lyft, et al) to operate in Austin and reduce or remove 3am towing for people that have made the right decision to find an alternative way home. We already have some of the harshest DWI laws in the country, and they do little to deter the hundreds of impaired drivers on our streets each night. Our informal survey (see website) points out the obvious. Most people do not feel they have any other options. Buses stop running to most of the city by 11pm (12pm Sat.) and taxis are rare and frustratingly picky on fares, regardless of the legality of their actions. Not only does this lack of options create dangerous driving situations, it also does not allow for service workers to take a bus. Instead they are forced to contribute to pollution, congestion and parking shortages or turn down employment because they cannot get to a job site. We are a 24 hour metropolitan area and we have to treat our infrastructure as such. We must realize Austin is just as busy at 3am as it is at 3pm. The city needs to address our crippling shortage of late night transportation before more people die. You can find more information about our proposals on our website at