At Tuesday’s regular Board of El Paso County Commissioners meeting yet another step was unveiled in an ongoing County-wide effort to give residents easier access to data and improve transparency.
Craig Dossey, the County’s Executive Director of the Planning and Community Development Department, shared the Electronic Development Application Review Program (EDARP) with the commissioners on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. EDARP is an internet-based platform that uses Cloud storage through Microsoft Azure and allows users access to all El Paso County development applications dating back to 1947. The program also allows electronic submittal of development-related applications, which will reduce costs to applicants and the County.
“This streamlines the process and makes it more effective and certainly more cost effective for the consumer and the County,” said District 5 Commissioner Peggy Littleton. “It empowers citizens.”
By simply going to the website at epcdevplanreview.com, the public, consultants and developers can see and download electronic copies of applications for rezoning, subdivisions, and more. EDARP eliminates the need for people searching for such information to come into the PCD office and comb through mounds of paper files to find documents.
“We’ve always been transparent. You could always come in and look at the files,” Dossey said, noting that in the past his office would sometimes spend a lot of money mailing out boxes of large scale development applications to referral agencies. “All of that instantly went away. Now it’s immediate.”
EDARP launched in March 2017 after Dossey’s office had formed a partnership on the project in early 2016 with the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. The program required initial coordination with more than 180 outside agencies, including local, state and federal partners, military bases, special districts and more to ensure that all agencies with review authority in the development process had input on the proposal.
Dossey envisions a two-way link between EDARP and the County Assessor’s “El Paso County Community” website that launched in March 2017. Community is a portal that includes a map-based dashboard with sales information for property, census data and more.