Transforming Site Plan Review

In early 2023, the City of Austin commissioned an independent assessment of the site plan review process. (A site plan is a detailed drawing of proposed improvements and construction on a lot. During the site plan review process, reviewers ensure all site development standards are met.) This assessment resulted in 45 recommended initiatives that will improve overall customer experience and efficiency, and positively impact the development process. Cross-departmental teams have been set up under the leadership of the Transformation Management Team and are actively working on all initiatives. 

This webpage serves as the hub for any information about this transformation, including descriptions of each initiative, contact information, timelines, and progress. We will also provide updates by email, so make sure to subscribe to our email list.

The initial review process was completed by an independent consultant who conducted surveys, workshops, and interviews with staff and customers, mapped processes, inventoried technologies, and identified potential points of improvement in interpreting the Land Development Code.



150 Staff Members Interviewed


Staff Members Interviewed

178 Customers Interviewed


Customers Interviewed

1470 Steps Analyzed


Steps Analyzed

41 Initiatives Identified


Initiatives Identified


This chart shows the high-level status of all 45 initiatives within the project. In Progress reflects initiatives currently underway, Closed reflects initiative that are not complete but are no longer being worked on, Completed reflects initatives that are implemented. For more information on each initiative, see the next section on this page.

  • In Progress22
  • Closed3
  • Completed20

Critical Items Icon

Critical Enablers

Initiatives that enable all other Quality of Experience and Speed of the Process initiatives. 

Quality of Experience Icon

Quality of Experience

Initiatives that will enhance the experience of staff and applicants.

Process Speed Improvements Icon

Speed of the Process

Initiatives that help facilitate faster process times. 

Improvement Initiatives

The assessment identified a series of initiatives to improve overall customer experience and reduce the length of the site plan review process. Cross-departmental teams are currently working on these initiatives. We are seeing that this transformation is already taking effect and improving experiences with the site plan process. These improvements will continue, with the completion of more initiatives in the coming months and a focus on long-term continuous improvement. Click on each initiative name to learn more. 

Critical Updates IconCritical Enablers
1Establish gold standard training groundIn Progress
2Staff incentives aligned with process goalsIn Progress
5Evaluate organization designIn Progress
6Align Site Plan reviewers on their primary mission and customerCompleted
7Cadenced inter- and intra-departmental meetings to discuss continuous improvementCompleted
8Enhanced centralized process around KPIs within and across departmentsCompleted
22Determine and map overlapping codes/regulations and metricsIn Progress
23Rationalize/refine/consolidate code criteria manual(s) and publicize interpretation(s)Completed
32Enhance & ensure consistent use of internal system of recordIn Progress
45Update interdepartmental coalition agreementsCompleted


Service Quality IconQuality of Experience
3Optimize hiring methodologyCompleted
9Rationalize fee scheduleIn Progress
10Create a Customer-Centric CultureCompleted
11Consolidated review team for completeness checkCompleted
12Empower the case manager and ensure consistency in case manager assignmentsCompleted
13Formalize and publish permit signing orderCompleted
16Recalibrate completeness checkCompleted
17Improve Master Comment Report formatIn Progress
18Prioritize application by tiersCompleted
19Formalize "re-review" process if/when department reviewers changeCompleted
20Improve internal and external conflict resolution processCompleted
24Formalize approach around LDC additions/changesIn Progress
25Enhance application wizard (questionnaire) that exists as part of the City of Austin websiteIn Progress
26Application training resourcesIn Progress
27Implement applicant attestation of site plan completeness and accuracy upon intakeClosed
28Cadenced inter- and intra-departmental meetings to discuss ongoing applicationsCompleted
33Enhance customer-facing portalIn Progress
39Automate fee calculation and postingIn Progress
42Develop a project webpage that tracks implementationCompleted
43Develop internal and external communication plansCompleted
44Create a development process Project TrackerIn Progress


Process Speed IconSpeed of the Process
4Contractors/ temps for site plan reviewsIn Progress
14Standardize site plan formal review activitiesIn Progress
15Formalize pre-submission meetingsCompleted
21Formalize post first review cycle meetingsCompleted
29Scheduling (office hours/rotating customer meetings days)In Progress
30Provide rolling draft comments to applicantIn Progress
31Applicant ability to self-certify (w/potential fee)Closed
34Enhance application wizard (questionnaire) that is linked and a part of the site plan application processClosed
35Automate required documents at submissionIn Progress
36Digitize signature processCompleted
37Automate/ integrate application entry to system of recordIn Progress
38CRM system to auto capture communicationsIn Progress
40AI digitized completeness checkIn Progress
41AI digitized formal reviewIn Progress

Question title

Your input is important to us. If you have a question or comment, please don't hesitate to let us know using this form. Please note that you may not receive a personalized response, but all input will be shared with staff.