New software will streamline building permit and inspection process


You’re all set to start on that home renovation project—have some time blocked out, got a contractor lined up, just need to get the permit. So you gather up all the papers you think you might need and trek down to the inspection office sometime between 8:30 and 5 on a weekday. But you may have forgotten something. So it’s back home, then back to the inspection office to start over. The Mt. Lebanon Inspection Office is working on making that process more user-friendly.

The office is in the early phases of implementing a new software program, Municity,  that makes it easier to apply and pay for a permit online, and keeps homeowners in the loop about the state of the project with a more user-friendly process.

“Right now, a resident can apply for zoning permits through myLebo, and building permits only in person,” said Chief Inspector Rodney Sarver. “Municity will take you through the process online—if you don’t have the required information, it won’t let you complete the application.”

An online checklist will immediately determine if you’re missing some necessary paperwork, something that it’s better to find out when you’re still in the process of completing the application, rather than later in the review process.

“Of course, you can still apply in person,” said Inspector Josh Meyer. “but Municity makes the whole process much more streamlined.”

The software can enhance communication between a resident and an inspector.

“When we’re onsite, doing inspections, whether it’s pass or fail, I can take photos, I can record it right there on site,” Meyer said. “I can email the contractor or the owner of the property and show them the results right then. That way there’s no question.”

Municity’s versatility will also make code enforcement easier, as inspectors will be able to attach photo documentation to violation reports, and makes it easier to register code complaints online.

The municipality is currently in the process of compiling all the information Municity needs to customize the software. Once the information is loaded, the inspectors will do a review of the data, test the program and make revisions as necessary. Estimated rollout of the new software is late summer or early fall.

“We’re changing our process to be more digital, streamlining both ends of things, for the residents and on our side,” Meyer said. “Hopefully, this will reduce lead times and make for a smoother application process.”