Accela Version Upgrade 2023
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
The following changes have been made to the expiration batch scripts:
Building, Planning, and PublicWorks modules:
Previously, the expiration letters for all modules showed all the inspection scheduling methods that are available for the public to use. However, some agencies, particularly for the Onsite module, have elected to not allow inspections to be scheduled by the public so this message was confusing. To address this scenario, we have allowed the display of the inspection scheduling methods to be optional for either Onsite, Planning, or the PublicWorks modules. If your jurisdiction does not allow inspection scheduling by the public, please submit a help desk ticket by emailing ePermitsHelp.BCD@dcbs.oregon.gov and we can remove this message on the expiration letters for you. Please note that the inspection scheduling methods will always be available for the Building module and cannot be removed.
Example of optional inspection scheduling methods on expiration letters:
We are now receiving routine updates for Land Surveyors, a new license type available to all participating ePermitting agencies, as of March 1, 2023. This license is issued by Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering & Land Surveying (OSBEELS) and is generally used within the Planning module. These licensed professionals can now be added to records through the back office. However, Land Surveyors are unable to apply for any new applications through Citizen Access.
We’ve made some changes to the required fields for the 1 & 2 Family Dwelling [DWL] record type. The following fields are now REQUIRED at intake for applicants online and also for staff creating new records in the back office:
These changes were made at the request of agencies who reported that customers were often not entering the necessary information in these fields which impact fees, and that as a result, it was sometimes causing delays in getting permits issued. These changes fall in line with the required fee methodologies for new single-family dwellings.
While we recommend using the 1 & 2 Family Dwelling record type as a true and complete combination permit when possible, please note that ‘0’ is a valid value and could be used, for example, if the plumbing contractor had pulled the plumbing permits separately.
For those of you that do not have a full program, and therefore only offer the DWL_LTD record type, these changes will not affect what the customer is presented for programs that you do not offer. For example, if you do not have the Electrical program, the customer will not see or be required to complete the ‘Work Includes 600 Amp Service or Greater’ field.
The PublicWorks Tracking record type under the "Erosion and Sediment Control" tab has been modified, as of Tues, Feb 28, 2023 to better accommodate DEQ's new MS4 requirements.
The following existing checkboxes have been removed:
The following two new fields have been added:
Bluebeam has announced plans to end support for Revu versions from 2019 and older.
We see that some of our Oregon users are using older versions of Revu. Please let your planners or anyone with BlueBeam installed that they will need to upgrade to Revu 20.
With ePermitting's concurrent licenses, you can update to the latest version using the latest Product Key. If you need the latest Product Key, please submit a helpdesk ticket by emailing ePermitsHelp.BCD@dcbs.oregon.gov.
Here are instructions on how to update BlueBeam from an older version:
Oregon ePermitting is happy to welcome the City of Estacada, City of Gearhart, City of Seaside, and the City of Warrenton as our newest jurisdictions to joining Oregon ePermitting.
April 1 of each year, ePermitting loads the most recent ICC Building Valuation Data into Accela. The February 2023 ICC Building Valuation Data has been loaded into all agencies and will become available for use on April 1, 2023.
A new optional workflow email notification is now available for enhanced communication with your customers! For most Building workflows, under the Application Intake task, there is a new workflow status called Intake Requirements Needed. If this status is selected, an email will automatically be sent to the Applicant and any additional email recipients that you enter (an example of the email is shown below). The intent of this new status is to communicate more specifically to the applicant that additional intake requirements are needed before the application can be accepted and/or plan review can begin, as apart from using the Additional Info Needed status. The bonus part of this email is that it automatically includes the current balance on the record. Communicating additional requirements to the applicant, including paying outstanding plan review and/or other intake fees, is now made much easier with this simple status update. You can use this status at any time; no additional configuration is needed from our team.
Permitting for Solar/PV Installs
In reviewing a report that we recently issued, Detailed Issued Permits, we noticed that many people are struggling with how to issue Solar/PV installations.
To help out, we have created a new training document that we hope will provide the necessary guidance and clarification on how to permit for these installations:
Auto-assign of Inspections
Auto-assignment of inspections by discipline can help organize your jurisdiction’s daily inspection load. We recommend that each discipline is assigned to only one single inspector as the ‘lead’ or primary for that discipline (inspectors can, however, be assigned more than one discipline).This is because if you have 2 or more inspectors assigned to a discipline, Accela will simply “share” out the inspections without paying attention to whether or not inspections are on the same permit or at the same address; so, you could end up with one permit having two inspectors scheduled for inspections on the same day- not very efficient!
Example, if Jim and Tom are both certified for Residential Electrical – we would recommend that you only add the Electrical (Residential) discipline as “primary” to either Jim OR Tom’s user profile. If both Jim and Tom’s users were set up with the Electrical (Residential) discipline, the system would simply alternate between them to assign incoming residential electrical inspections, with no reference to address or project. If Jim is set up as primary, then every morning he can assess the inspections and logically reassign some of them to Tom.
User Disciplines as provided in the Model:
Auto-assignment helps save a lot of time and assures that the assigned inspector is certified to perform that type of inspection. It is important to keep track of your inspectors that have auto-assign disciplines set up. If an inspector leaves your agency, any of their assigned disciplines would need to be reassigned to minimize the disruption to your daily inspections.
Auto-assignment is also available by district. A district is a way to break down your jurisdiction into manageable parts for the purpose of inspection. District data would need to be provided in your APO load as parcel data in order to use this option. In this case, we could set up an inspector for a given district – as designated in your APO load (this can be added if you don’t already have this)- and they would be assigned all inspections with parcels that occur in their designated district. This option can be very helpful for counties where it could take hour(s) just to drive to one inspection.
An inspection is assigned to the discipline associated to the large inspection group it belongs to. Because of this, sometimes the autoassigned inspection will need to be reassigned to another inspector. For instance, 1065 Sidewalk inspection has an designated discipline of Structural (Commercial) , however in some jurisdictions these are performed by a Public Works inspector. This inspection will be auto-assigned to the Structural (Commercial) inspector and would need to be reassigned to Public Works if that is who does the inspection. There are a small number of inspection types that have a similar conflict like this – if you are unsure, please submit a help ticket to inquire.
If you would like to add/remove/change disciplines or districts on any of your inspector users, please submit a helpdesk ticket to epermitshelp.BCD@dcbs.oregon.gov and fill out the Add/Remove user form found here: http://orepermittinghelp.kayako.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/addingremoving-user-accountorepermittinghelp.kayako.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/addingremoving-user-accounts.
Enhanced Expiration Letter
The Expiration Letter has been enhanced so that it can be generated for a single record. It is also now available from the Summary page. To generate an expiration letter, navigate to the Summary page > hover over Reports > click Expiration Letter:
There are new required parameters. Depending on your selections, the report will generate different language.
Record Number = Enter the record number. Please note that single quotes are no longer needed.
Letter Type = Application or Permit
Contact Type = Applicant or Owner
Module = select the appropriate module
You can use the record list filter named, "Records Assigned to Me - All" to track your assigned records.
Additionally, there is a new report available through Report 1 under Workflow called, "Assigned Building Records" that can be used for tracking all assigned Building records.
Accela 101 Training (3 part series): www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCrlQ45XMyFwGN5psfyyH9At1d8N3wDKj
Code Enforcement Focus Training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr3HOXhshYc
Planning Module Focus Training: https://youtu.be/UaabyfzMKEQ
A link to the Oregon ePermitting YouTube that includes a few other training videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPrRRU13H4Ajohabvo_sRwg
The receipt has been updated to allow agencies to create specific information for the header when the receipt is issued for a POS transaction.
Over the past couple of years, you may have noticed that the header for a POS transaction is not related to the module where the POS transaction occurred, but rather to the preferred module for the user who performed the transaction. For agencies using only one module (e.g. Onsite only agencies, Building only agencies and Planning only agencies), this is not a problem. Agencies using multiple modules may have users whose preferred module is Building, but sometimes perform POS transactions in other modules.
To accommodate those agencies using multiple modules, a new option has been added for Agency Contact Info. The Agency Contact Info POS allows the agency to have specific values for:
Right now, these values are set to the Building module values for all agencies, except those agencies using only Onsite or Planning modules. If the agency is using only the Onsite module, the values are set to the same as the Agency Contact Info Onsite. For those using only the Planning module, the values are set to those of Agency Contact Info Planning.
If your agency wants to customize the value for POS transactions, please submit a help desk ticket and fillout the appropriate submittals found here: http://orepermittinghelp.kayako.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/agency-contact-submittal-all-modules-pos.
Record Link Enhancement
A new OSM enhancement was completed at the end of September where the Record Link is now available on all record types that are available through Citizen Access. The Record Link is the direct link to each specific record on Citizen Access. It can now be easily copied and pasted into any communication to your customer. The Record Link can be added to the public user’s browser favorites for easy access or can be sent to other interested parties. It is an easy way for public users to access records without the need to search or log into Citizen Access. The Record Link can be found on the primary custom fields tab for each record type, toward the bottom of the screen. The Record Link is also available on Citizen Access and is clickable so users can easily add the record to their browser favorites. It is expected functionality for the Citizen Access “wrapper” to not be visible when accessing the record through the Record Link. We hope that this enhancement adds more functionality for communication with your customers!
Citizen Access (under Record Details > More Details > Application Information):
Update Browser Favorites
In 2018 we moved to an Azure data center and our Citizen Access (ACA) site changed URLs. For the convenience of our public users, Accela set up a URL redirect. This means that when a user visits the old URL for Citizen Access (https://aca.oregon.accela.com/oregon) there is a redirect that automatically and seamlessly routes the user to the current URL for Citizen Access (https://aca-oregon.accela.com/oregon). Beginning in early 2023, Accela will retire this URL redirect and users will get an error if they try to access the old URL. To avoid any issues, please be sure to update your browser “favorites” for Citizen Access to www.BuildingPermits.Oregon.gov and help pass along the message to your public users!
We had a record-breaking number of agency fee updates this past July, approximately 63% of our 80+ agencies had a major fee update. Given the sheer volume, we ran into several agencies that thought that only sending their fee update for BCD Notice would also come to ePermitting for update – this is not the case. This misunderstanding caused significant delays and rework for many agencies.
As a result of these challenges, we wanted to share the ePermitting fee update process and BCD Notice requirement with all participating agencies.
Fee Update process with ePermitting – we ask that you send us your final fee update draft as soon as it’s available, it does not have to be adopted and we highly recommend that you send any fee updates to us PRIOR to submitting for BCD Notice.
We will perform a fee analysis – reviewing for methodology requirements as per Division 50, fees required by program authority, Policy interpretations, and any ePermitting system requirements (including standardization of Residential/Commercial Plumbing fixture list and Residential Mechanical appliance list). Upon analysis, we will send back any suggested corrections and/or updates that might be necessary - again PRIOR to adoption or going to BCD Notice – this is key! Agencies that miss this step or are unaware, often end up delayed in implementing their updated fees, doing rework, and in some cases having to repeat the BCD Notice process – we don’t want this for any of our agencies. The ePermitting system, records and applications, are designed to incorporate the required fees and methods.
Once the fee update draft is finalized – then it is ready for local adoption and BCD Notice. The local adoption and Notice processes can happen concurrently.
BCD Notice for Building fees – any new fees, increases to existing fees, or changes in methodology that result in an increase must be sent through the required BCD Notice process. Teri Watson (email@example.com) is the Policy contact that manages this process. The BCD Notice period is 45 days – so updates should be sent/done in enough advance of the effective date of your fee update. Please note, that it has recently been determined that Tech fee and any other ‘surcharge’ type fees assessed on building fees, must also go through the BCD Notice process.
If you have any questions about this process, submit a helpdesk ticket to epermitshelp.BCD@dcbs.oregon.gov.
We have create a new website, the ePermitting Jurisdiction HUB - as a comprehensive resource for participating jurisdictions, so you can bookmark ONE website for all the information and communication you need in using the system. We will be adding informational links along the way as projects are scheduled, that might impact jurisdictions.
Our Accela 101 Basics Training will be starting a new 3-part series Aug. 16. It's been slightly delayed due to staff schedules but will be back on track starting Aug. 16.
Each weekly training session will be offered to assist agencies who have lost their in-house experts/trainers or are needing a refresher of the basics. We have a lot of agencies that have lost their experts or are dealing with recent or high turnover, so training to ‘hit the ground running’ is now being offered. Submit a ticket to the Kayako helpdesk to request information on the current training schedule and availability. We plan to provide training every week on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
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.
© COPYRIGHT 2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.