Several years in the works, Natick’s online permitting and licensing system went online Monday in an effort to make things more efficient and transparent for residents, organizations, and the town.
While it would have been great to have this in place earlier during the pandemic, the town is happy to have it now. The system was funded through a combination of state grant money and a town capital program appropriation.
The “one-stop shop permitting system” will decrease the number of people who need to come into town buildings, according to Director of Community & Economic Development Amanda Loomis, who previewed the system during a recent Select Board meeting. The town still encourages people to come in, but they should be able to ask more educated questions after handling the basics online.
Town Administrator Jamie Errickson added during the Select Board meeting that the permitting system should save people the trouble of going from town building to town building for issues that involve multiple departments.
Another benefit for the town, Loomis said, is that Natick should be able to save on storage space as it relies less on paper forms and documents.
The town’s website features a prominent link to the permitting/licensing system, which initially supports the following:
- Building Department
- Conservation Commission
- Development Review Team
- Fire Department
- Planning Board
- Select Board
- Zoning Board
On the way are the Health Department and Department of Public Works.
If you already have an account with a licensing/permitting system from another community that uses the same Viewpoint software, you can use that in Natick. That’s what happened when I logged in, since I already have an account with another town. Other communities that have switched over to online permitting have raved about the benefits (See “Wellesley fire makes shift to online permitting”).
You’ll be able to apply for permits and licenses ranging from building permits to weekday entertainment licenses by exploring the offerings across departments, commissions, and boards.
Note that you will get dinged with a 3% processing fee for online payments, though you can still make payments in person. Using an e-check will cost $2.25.
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