Cuts Permit Review Time by Over 75 Percent to Keep Up with City's Growth
As more businesses continue to open and expand in Tampa and more people move into the city, the Water Department is continuing to devote resources to keep up with the city's business development needs.
Due to Tampa's unprecedented growth in both development and population, the number of permit applications the Water Department received from commercial businesses jumped more than 25 percent between October 2015 and October 2022.
As a result, permit review times took much longer, and doubled within a few years span.
The Water Department made critical changes to deal with the growing workload, doubling the number of full-time employees in its Development Services team over the last four years. Expanding the Development Services team has enabled the department to cut the permit review time by more than 75 percent since the fiscal year 2020.
Development Services employees work with property developers and homeowners who need to set up new or change existing water service connections. The team previously worked on several key developments including Midtown Tampa and the Water Street Project. The team received more than 1,700 residential and 650 commercial permit applications during the 2022 fiscal year.
Despite the team's heavy workload, Water Department staff expects to further reduce the review time by the end of the current fiscal year.
Now, the Development Services team is preparing to move into their new headquarters at the City Center at Hanna Building, making it even easier for residents and new business owners to request a permit review, and access several other City resources all in one place.
"As Tampa continues to grow and thrive, we understand the importance of keeping up with the needs of our local businesses," Mayor Jane Castor said. "The Water Department's Development Services team has worked tirelessly to accommodate the increasing workload. Moving into our new headquarters at the City Center at Hanna Building will enable us to provide even more streamlined services to residents and new business owners, further cementing Tampa's reputation as a city that welcomes growth and innovation."