We are very excited to announce that the ePermitting Team has created a brand new Code Compliance (CC) module that will be rolled out to all jurisdictions who are currently using the Planning Investigation record type to track code compliance issues. The new CC module is identical to all the things Code related that are currently in the Planning module, including the Investigation record type. The biggest benefit to the new module is that users will no longer see confusing items that are related to Planning that do not apply to code work.
The CC module includes the two record types listed below. There are also several enhancements we added to the new CC module - follow this link for a full list.
As a part of this project, at go-live, our team will transition all existing Planning Investigation records over into the Code Investigation record type in the CC module so that all Code records can be found in a single module.
Klamath County was our first jurisdiction to go live with the new CC module on 12/11/2023. We are working on a schedule to transition the rest of the jurisdictions who are actively using the Planning Investigation record type. Our team will contact jurisdictions about two weeks prior to their go-live to prep and work through the transition. There will be about a 30 minute downtime window on the early morning of go-live day for our team to process the transition in the system. The new CC module will also be offered to newly implementing jurisdictions as an available module. If you have any questions or would like more information, please submit a ticket at ePermitsHelp.BCD@DCBS.Oregon.gov.
On 12/19/2023, the ePermitting Team released a new enhancement for the Onsite module. These changes were requested and approved by Oregon DEQ who has authority for Onsite. This change impacts online applications only; back office functionality did not change. Public users who are submitting online applications for an Onsite Authorization, Site Evaluation, or Permit will now be required to enter data in the fields listed below so that more complete information will be collected online to process the application.
Note: All existing required fields will not change (Authorization & Permit = Type of Application; Site Evaluation = Type of Application, Category of Construction, Site Ready for Inspection).
Additionally, a field named, Existing Use of Structure was added to the Onsite Site Evaluation record type.
Required Fields for Onsite Authorization:
Required Fields for Onsite Site Evaluation:
Required Fields for Onsite Permit:
We have begun assigning the individual user Bluebeam licenses that are replacing the concurrent login licenses that we currently use (Bluebeam no longer supports the concurrent licenses).
Nathan Flowers has begun sending out emails to jurisdictions to get users setup and will continue to do so as quickly as possible to assure everyone has access to Bluebeam.
We plan to provide some Electronic Document Review (EDR) training sessions in 2024, to accompany the new licenses - stay tuned for training details.
Third Party Service Record Type - is used to record and process work done when an agency is acting as the third party to someone else on a regular, recurring basis such as providing inspection and/or plan review. They can schedule and result inspections on this record – and also record plan review results/notes. They can also attach any electronic documents, as needed. This record type can also be used to charge third party fees for the work you’ve completed - which can then be invoiced and sent to the party/agency that received service, and ultimately initiate and post payment.
A help desk ticket request must be made to add and configure this record type for an agency. It requires some configuration for custom dropdowns (to be collected from the agency), potentially for fees (agency dependent), add of any other users participating in this process, and some other small functionality.
Third Party Billing - is when an agency uses a third party (receives service from) where the billing for the service(s) provided is a percentage-based split of fees collected and with no conditions (is always split and not dependent on any other criteria). Example, we cannot accommodate third party billing if they only split fees when the permit is greater in value than $10000 or when it is charged hourly, etc. Distribution codes are assigned to every fee to determine if it’s split and how it’s split – these must be configured as per the agency’s agreement. This distribution is only a mechanism that feeds a dedicated report to be run monthly to assist in reconciling and ultimately paying the agency’s third party. This functionality also requires configuration at the fee code level and otherwise. Once implemented, this must also then be maintained with all fee updates thereafter - every active fee would then include a distribution code – up and until the agency is no longer using this split method.
A help desk ticket request is also required configure this fee functionality – submit to epermitshelp.BCD@dcbs.oregon.gov.
Currently when a workflow task is assigned using the Supervisor action, it does not appear in the users task list on the Workflow tab of the MY TASK PAGE. In the next Accela upgrade, this will be fixed.
If your agency has already published their 2024 holiday schedule where you know the dates that no inspections will be performed, please send that to the ePermitting Team as soon as possible by emailing ePermitsHelp.BCD@dcbs.oregon.gov. Our team can verify all dates are blocked out for the year so that no inspections can be scheduled on those dates that your office is closed.
Just as a reminder, there are two helpful reports that you can generate to view a list of dates that are already blocked out on your inspection calendars. The reports can be found under Building Reports > Audit > select either:
Commercial Alarm and Suppression – Structural Plan Review Fee to Now be Added/Assessed Automatically
Currently, when this record type is created via ACA, no plan review fee is added. In those cases, when plan review is required, a back office staff member has to “Add fee”. When the record is created by back office staff, there is a Yes/No radio button that staff members must set to Yes in order to assess the Structural Plan Review fee. We have heard from several agencies that the structural plan review fee is required in several instances and that people often forget to add it (especially when the application has come in through ACA).
With this update, scripting has been revised so that the Structural Plan Review fee will now assess automatically when the record is created (regardless of whether it's created in the back office or through Citizen Access) and in the case where it is not required, back office users can delete it before invoicing the fees.
In conjunction with the scripting change, the Y/N radio button for Structural Plan Review mentioned above will be removed/hidden.
Valuation Calculator enabled on Citizen Access:
Public users will be able to see all of the Valuation Calculator values that have been added to the record in the back office except the Multiplier and Extra Amount. Public users will be able to navigate to the Valuation Calculator from the "Record Info/Schedule Inspections" dropdown menu.
Linn County joined Oregon ePermitting in Fall 2023: welcome Linn County!
We’ve added two new statuses to the Hearing task for the Planning Tracking record type:
These changes are now live in production and will be available for previously created Planning Tracking records as well as new records.
To find an updated Planning Tracking Workflow Diagram (a diagram showing how each of the statuses moves through/affects the overall Planning Tracking workflow) please click here.
When submitting help desk tickets by email to ePermitting, please start only using email@example.com and discontinue using firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve had a lot of questions recently about the Dashboard versus the My Tasks page in Accela. Here is some helpful information to help you decide which view/page is best for you.
The Dashboard is the default landing/home page when you first login to Accela each day, it is the upper-most left icon in the blue. When the task cards/list is first displayed at login, it is not accurate – you must first apply a filter to it for the displayed items to be correct. The suggested filter to start with is ‘My Active Tasks’ or ‘My Active Tasks – All Modules’ – either of these specific filters will show you all of your assigned Workflow tasks for your preferred module or for all modules, depending on which you select. All system filters are available in the My Filters dropdown to be applied. Filter results/displayed task cards cannot be further sorted or exported in any way. There are some quick controls available on each task card type (three dots in upper right-hand corner of the card) that can be helpful for resulting inspections or assigning unassigned Workflow tasks.
My Tasks is a page available from Launchpad > All Pages, you can favorite it here to add it to Your Pages. This page contains all the exact same information as the Dashboard, but is organized into the four functional assignment areas in Accela – Workflow, Inspection, Document Review, and Activities. In this way, all of the displayed tasks are not commingled – and the available Filters for each of the four tabs are also specific to that assignment area. The Workflow tab includes only Workflow-related filters, the Inspection tab includes only Inspection-related filters, and so on. Once data is displayed on any given tab, the data/filter results can be further sorted (by Address, Record Type, Assigned To, Assigned Date, Due Date, Task Type, etc) by clicking the column header. The displayed data/filter results can also be exported to Excel and/or printed if needed. We tend to recommend the My Tasks page over the Dashboard, particularly for newer users as it is more organized into the different assignment areas as are the Filters for each area, requiring much less in-depth knowledge of the system and of the filters which can be very helpful. Also the added functionality of being able to sort and export can be much more efficient when processing the filter results for yourself or for your workgroup. You can set My Tasks as your custom landing/home page, if desired – so the Dashboard would no longer be displayed by default at login – to do this see the Setting a Customer Landing/Home Page in Accela article, article in this months January BLOG.
Important Note! Although some user groups might have permissions to do so, never delete any items from the Dashboard or from the My Tasks page – doing so will actually delete these items (tasks/inspections/documents/activities) from the database and from your records. ePermitting has had only mixed success in restoring data that has been deleted in this way, so please be very aware that you aren’t just deleting ‘completed’ items from your task list, you are actually deleting them altogether!
In response to Agency requests, we are moving Code Compliance out of the Planning module and into its own module! This new module will have the exact same record type/design/functionality but will be in its own dedicated module.
Providing Code Compliance as a dedicated module, now allows Code officers and staff to much more easily manage their cases apart from Planning applications and other Planning-specific configuration. User access to Code cases and data can now also be more specifically managed and/or restricted. We are also improving upon existing Code reports and have created a new Code-specific inspection work site report, that include the Code-specific inspection results.
For any agency that is already using the Planning Investigation record type for cases will have all its data moved into the new dedicated module. The record type will be renamed from “Planning Investigation” to “Code Compliance.”
We will notify agencies in advance of this transition, and work directly with agency staff on the details.
Unfortunately, we cannot cap inspections in the Oregon Model because the only way to cap inspections in Accela is to ‘weight’ each individual inspection type which is not likely something we could standardize across agencies. Additionally, there are many, varying factors that affect inspection loads each day: inspector certifications, drive time to inspections, staffing, and much, much more.
Our best-practice recommendation for managing inspection load, is to do the following:
Each afternoon, go into MY TASKS page > Inspections tab > run the ‘Tomorrow's Inspections’ filter:
and determine then - a day ahead - if any inspections need to be rescheduled.
If they do - PLEASE NOTE, rescheduling does NOT send any email or notification to the Requestor - you will have to reach out to customers to let them know their inspections are being rescheduled to whatever day you determine.
You also have an available filter called ‘Inspections Scheduled in the Next Two Weeks’ if you wish to look ahead a little further - but note, new inspections are being scheduled every day - so if you look ahead too soon or too far, then it is very likely that additional new inspections will be scheduled regardless.
If you are needing to actively Cancel (versus Rescheduling), then it is most ideal to click in to the individual inspection and actually result it as 'Cancelled' and then send the result email that generates in the back office.
The only downside to this automated email you have the option to send in the back office, is that you cannot include any other text or information, it is a canned email - but does still state that the inspection has been cancelled and includes your agency's contact information.
Alternatively, you have the option to checkbox the scheduled inspection - in MY TASKS > Inspections > Manage Inspections > Cancel Inspections from the list level (rather than the individual inspection level) - but this method does NOT send any notification or communication to the Requestor, so like rescheduling - you would have to specifically reach out to the requestor to let them know their inspection can't be completed as scheduled and is being cancelled (versus rescheduled for a different date).
Both of the above methods for cancelling inspections, result in a new pending instance of the cancelled inspection type for further/future scheduling.
When a customer requests – or your agency has too many inspections for the day – you have the option to RESCHEDULE a scheduled inspection. Once an inspection is rescheduled, NO email or notification is sent to the Requestor, so please consider this in your process – placing a call or sending an adhoc email from inside the record to notify the record contacts that the scheduled inspection has been rescheduled and include the reschedule details (reason, new date, etc).
With the Accela Upgrade, there were some changes to the public facing website(ACA). We have updated the ePermitting Online Training (https://www.oregon.gov/bcd/epermitting/howto/Pages/index.aspx) with updated screenshots.
The training site has a walkthrough of most everything a customer can do on ACA.
We have also updated the Online Homeowner Applications document. This is the document you the jurisdiction can give to a home owner. So they can walkthrough an application online using the Owner License. The document has a fresh layout and updated screenshots.
We were recently informed that Bluebeam will no longer allow the concurrent licensing model that we are currently providing for electronic document review. ePermitting will continue to provide Bluebeam, but we will be providing a set number of individual licenses to each jurisdiction.
We will be paying for the annual renewal costs of those licenses.
We are finalizing our agreement with Bluebeam, so the number of licenses per jurisdiction has not yet been determined.
After we execute the agreement, we will be reaching out first to jurisdictions that are currently using Bluebeam, so that they can continue to use it without interruption. Then, we will then be giving licenses to all ePermitting jurisdictions, since everyone will be required to accept electronic plans by January 1, 2025. We will provide updates through emails/GovDelivery as we get more information.
Additional Energy Measure Enhancements for ACA and Back Office Residential Dwelling and Residential Structural Record Types
Please be sure to read to the bottom of this article for important information regarding the implementation of these changes.
We have created an enhancement to allow ACA applicants to declare their additional Energy Measures when applying for dwelling or residential structural record types. Additionally, we are moving where this information is displayed in the back office of Accela.
When the Additional Energy Measures fields were originally added to the model, they were included in the building review task. At that time, because of how the Accela back office interface was structured, that made the most sense. Over the years as we have upgraded, changes in Accela have made it more difficult for users to go back and find that information. We’re now adding a new tab to the main menu navigation for residential dwelling and residential structural record types, making it much easier for users to find and/or update.
Previously entered in the Building Review workflow task. Once the review was complete, the user would need to navigate to the building review task in Workflow History to once again view and/or update the information.
With this enhancement, the information is now available to be recorded and viewed in it’s own tab within the left hand navigation panel (screenshot below is for the Residential Structural Record type and now allows the user to choose from the correct tables based on the size of an addition):
In ACA, for the DWL record types, there is a single field:
For the Residential Structural record type in ACA, additional energy measures are in their own section in order to provide more context for users to know which table they should be selecting from. We’ve also included a link to the source document (Residential energy additional measure selection (oregon.gov):
Implementation: This enhancement we will be rolled out one agency at a time. As part of the implementation we will be migrating the current energy measure data (for all existing records) from the building review in workflow to the new tab. When we are ready to start implementing this enhancement for your agency, we will reach out to your designated agency contact with the details of the implementation/migration and to answer any questions they may have. Please keep an eye out for these communications as it will be important for you to respond in a timely manner and for you to communicate the changes to your internal users.
To help agencies specifically keep track of the Air Leakage/Sealing Compliance Method on dwelling construction- a new inspection type called 1465 Blower Door has been added to the Model.
When agencies begin their residential plan review, it is recommended that they PEND this inspection to the record when the plans indicate that the dwelling should be tested to demonstrate the blower door result (rather than a declaration that they are meeting the requirements of Table N1104.8).
Please note the related citation for your information:
N1104.8.2 Sealing required.
Exterior joints around window and door frames, between wall cavities and window or door frames, between walls and foundation, between walls and roof, between wall panels, at penetrations or utility services through walls, floors and roofs and all other openings in the exterior envelope shall be sealed in a manner approved by the building official.
Sealing for the purpose of creating a continuous air barrier shall be in accordance with the applicable requirements of Table N1104.8 or the dwelling shall be tested to demonstrate a blower door result not greater than 4.0 ACH50.
Production Upgrade Schedule
Production is scheduled to be upgraded the weekend of May 5. Oregon ePermitting will be providing regular updates and more information in the coming weeks as we progress through our testing and the upgrade project. You can look forward to some more GovDelivery emails, as well as updates on our Accela Upgrade Information website which can be found at: https://www.oregon.gov/bcd/epermitting/juris_hub/Pages/upgrade-info.aspx
This new training document will walk the user through the collection of payment at Intake (versus at Issuance) and how to further process the application from there. Step-by-step instruction and screenshots are included to assist with this process.
Follow this link for more information: http://orepermittinghelp.kayako.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/processing-plan-review-payments-intake
Deciding how to review and permit for structures with 3 or more units can be complicated - in this new training document you will be provided with code-driven direction on making the distinction between these structure types and then how to review and permit for them.
Follow link to full article: http://orepermittinghelp.kayako.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/defining-and-permitting-townhouses-and-multifamily-structures
Please be aware that this content is relevant at the time it is published, but as time goes on may become out-of-date. We will do our best to keep the content alive and relevant.
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