Southfield’s Building Department recently launched a new online system to help streamline the permit application process. The idea for the new system came from the Southfield City Council back in October 2019. The official launch date for the system was July 20.

Southfield’s Building Department recently launched a new online system to help streamline the permit application process. The idea for the new system came from the Southfield City Council back in October 2019. The official launch date for the system was July 20.

Photo by Jacob Herbert


City of Southfield launches new online building permit application system

By: Jacob Herbert | Southfield Sun | Published October 6, 2020

Advertisement

SOUTHFIELD — The city of Southfield recently became more in step with the 21st century with the implementation of a building software and assessing online permit application system. The goal of the new system is to streamline the permit application process and bring more contractual work to the city.

“The new BS&A online permit application portal not only offers the community a convenient new tool, this system also greatly helps to expedite the entire permit process,” Southfield Building Official Mark Pilot said in a press release. “I think that residents and contractors will find this to be a very user-friendly and effective new way to do business with the city.”

The new online system provides a speedy application process for contractors, giving them approval for builds in a matter of days rather than weeks. Homeowners and contractors can visit bsaonline.com and apply for a permit under the services tab at the top of the screen. Going fully online allows the city to be more transparent with its customers, sending email notifications through the application process.

Applications through the mail and in-person visits to the Southfield Building Department highlighted the old system. For in-person visits, contractors would have to drive into the city and apply. If a building permit was being applied for, there would be a one- to two-week waiting period before the Building Department would call the contractor, who would then need to drive back into the city to pick up the permit.

“What this is going to help with is contractors having to drive here from all over the state,” Southfield Building Counter Technician Brianna Settipani said. “They can just do it right from home.”

Foundation Systems of Michigan Permit Supervisor Megan Navarro has used the new system roughly 20 to 30 times in six weeks. A completely online system not only saves Navarro time, but allows her to apply for even more permits and bring more jobs into the city.

Instead of finding an employee to drive into Southfield, wait in line, drop off a check and drive back into the city to pick up the permit, Navarro can save her stress for other things as FSM can get a permit back and approved in two weeks at most.

“It’s been great and instant,” Navarro said. “We upload the documents that we normally have to print out three copies of. Everything is electronic, so it saves us time and saves us paper. We can apply for three types of different permits for one job, and it will take us maybe five minutes to apply and get the confirmation.”

Another benefit of this new system is better customer service. Navarro said she now has the ability to tell customers what step in the process their permit is in and calm any concerns about time.

The hope for Settipani is that these changes will bring more work into the city now that the system is easily accessible.

“It’s a benefit to the city,” she said. “As far as city employees, we have the same workload, but it isn’t as intense because we’re not on the phone getting calls constantly. Now they’re getting emails throughout the entire process of applying. It’s a benefit to the city because everything is instantaneous now.”

Settipani urges any homeowners and contractors with questions about the online system to call the Southfield Building Department at (248) 796-4100.

Advertisement