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The Phoenix City Council and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement to streamline the development process by opening a Maricopa County Service Counter within City Hall.  The counter will be located at Phoenix City Hall, 200 W. Washington St., second floor.

In addition to existing permitting services in the city’s Planning & Development Department, the services will now include Maricopa County Environmental Services (MCESD) and Air Quality (MCAQD) departments permitting functions.

“Phoenix and Maricopa County are stronger when we work together,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “This is a great example of creative thinking focused on eliminating red tape and difficulties for business owners.”

“By co-locating county permitting functions at the city of Phoenix we create a seamless process – and a one-stop-shop – for those looking to develop in our city,” said Vice Mayor Bill Gates, chairman of the Finance, Efficiency and Economy Subcommittee.  “There is not a finish line when it comes to innovations and efficiencies such as this.  We will continue to look for additional ways to streamline processes and provide better customer service to encourage development in our city.”

Board chairman Andy Kunasek, praised the effort. “Phoenix City Council members Tom Simplot and Bill Gates were instrumental in putting this together,” he said. “And our staffs worked hard to make this happen. I hope this can be one of many partnerships between the county and Phoenix and other cities,” Kunasek added.

Craig DeMarco, founding partner of Upward Projects including Postino, Windsor and Federal Pizza, agreed.  “When Phoenix and Maricopa County work together to streamline the process, it gives us more time and energy to focus on operating great restaurants,” DeMarco said. “We fully support this objective.”

Craig DeMarco

“This long overdue partnership is possible because of the common sense, vision and commitment of County Supervisor Andy Kunasek and County Manager Tom Manos,” said Councilman Tom Simplot. “It will save a few steps for new businesses and improve communication and consistency along the way.”

“Business owners will now be able to get their permitting in one place – a ‘one-stop’ shop,” said Councilman Sal DiCiccio.  “It only makes sense to find ways to accommodate small business owners so they can save time and money and focus on creating jobs.”

As part of the development process, customers of the city’s Planning & Development Department are required to get permits from MCESD and MCAQD for projects such as restaurants, special events, septic tanks and dust control.  This improvement will now allow owners to more efficiently pick up their permits.

“It’s always good when we can make doing business with government easier and more sensible for businesses and residents,” commented County Manager Tom Manos. “This will probably reduce the number of trips to government offices for those seeking permits.”

The counter is scheduled to open for business February 2014 during city business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Images courtesy of City of Phoenix