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City’s Development Services department under microscope

Posted at 6:17 PM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 19:22:02-04

The Development Services department is an integral part of operations in our city.

They are in charge of building and development codes, facilitating development in Corpus Christi, building permitting and zoning, and subdivision improvements.

The Development Services department has been under a microscope for the last year.

In May 2018, employees held a meeting with multiple stakeholder groups to assess the progress and areas of improvement there. In November 2018, employees there created an action plan outlining ways to make improvements.

“We are emphasizing the importance of turnaround times in responding to customers and completeness reviews,” Nina Nixon-Mendez said.

At a State of the City luncheon in March, Mayor Joe McComb named Development Services as one of three areas needing the most improvement.

Development Services has made several changes since, including an online Dynamic Portal where people can submit payments and plans for building permits.

As a result, some jobs have shifted.

“We actually converted some existing positions into different positions that will help with our process,” Mendez said.

And in the digital age, there could be more personnel changes to come.

“When we get the online permitting and the Dynamic Portal fully functioning, there could be some reduction but not significant reductions,” Mendez said.

She said staffing shortages in the department have caused issues. Development Services has hired third-party companies to finish some projects.

“One of our issues is we have vacancies that we can’t fill, so that position that would be engaged in that, we’ve been unable to fill, so that’s why we went to the third party,” Mendez said.

There is no word yet on how many cuts could be expected.

The online Dynamic Portal for submitting permits and plans is expected to be fully operational as early as this summer.