Published Thursday November 3, 2011
Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance
Cooper City and Deerfield Beach have become the latest Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance “Platinum Cities” after city commissioners from both communities approved a permitting excellence process recommended by the Alliance. Nine Broward County cities have now been named “Platinum Cities.” Other cities, in the order that permitting excellence ordinances or resolutions were passed include Tamarac, Davie, Oakland Park, Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Coconut Creek and Plantation.
The purpose of the permitting excellence process is to provide businesses with a streamlined, first-rate experience when going through the development, permitting and inspection process for office and industrial properties. The process is intended to be available to high-impact, targeted industry businesses that are relocating or expanding in Broward County.
“The Alliance is pleased to promote these communities as ‘Platinum’ cities because they have committed to taking what can be a cumbersome process and making it more transparent and client-friendly,” said Bob Swindell, Alliance president and CEO. “This is extremely important, especially in a time when we are doing all we can to create new jobs in Broward County.” Cities that adopt the new process are promoted and marketed on the Alliance website (www.gflalliance.org), in Alliance promotional materials, on social media sites and in other ways.
To qualify for streamlined permitting, businesses must be part of an identified targeted industry cluster and hiring new employees with salaries at least 15 percent higher than the average wage in Broward County. They must also show that the property is properly zoned, platted and ready for the type of business being proposed.
Steps communities are taking to provide an excellent permitting experience include pre-development meetings and designating a city staff member as a “concierge” to assist the company through the permitting process. An online permitting system also allows applicants to review the status of their permits on a real-time basis throughout the process.
“We already have one of the best business tax climates in the nation,” stated Swindell. Excellence in permitting is just another reason we will be known as a great place to relocate or expand a business because communities stand ready to help companies succeed and grow in other ways as well.”
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