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Albany, NY Selects Camino to Improve Planning and Permitting Process

The City of Albany, the capital city of New York State, has selected Camino, a Clariti Software company, to modernize its planning and permitting process, improve customer service, and enhance collaboration among city departments. The city’s Department of Planning and Development will be the primary user of the Camino Permitting System, which it will use to manage land use-related matters, and as a guide to help inform the public about application statuses, rules, regulations, project updates, and general land use inquiries.

“We were looking for an easy-to-use system for our residents and staff that would organize information in one approachable place — and the Camino platform ticked every box,” said Avi Epstein, Principal Planner for the City of Albany. “It was really important that the technology we selected be adaptable so we don’t have to go back to a developer each time we need to make a change. We can do all of that with Camino.”

The department’s current process consists of mostly manual submissions and entries for planning and zoning projects. Planning staff have to manually enter customers’ application information into a spreadsheet for tracking purposes, which takes a significant amount of time.

“We receive paper and PDF applications—and many are incomplete—for projects ranging from single-unit dwellings to large-scale commercial construction, which require a lot of manual updating and can lead to user error,” said Avi Epstein, Principal Planner for the City of Albany. “With the new Camino system, we aim to streamline our process, make it easier for customers to track the progress and status of their applications, and reduce the amount of manual work on staff’s plates.”

Avi says the new Camino Permit System will:

● Help answer customers’ general inquiries online so staff receive fewer questions
● Reduce the amount of time staff spend on administrative tasks
● Improve data capture, and enable staff to track metrics, perform data analysis, and extract reports
● Help simplify and speed up the permitting process for applicants
● Centralize communication and improve information sharing
● Help reduce the number of incomplete project submissions

Since 2017, when the city adopted its modernized zoning ordinance that folded all past development related regulations into one readable and user-friendly document, the Planning Department estimates it has reviewed $1 billion worth of development projects, and expects this strong growth to continue.

“Our goal is to provide easy-to-use technology solutions that help simplify and speed up the permitting process for both residents and government staff,” said Clariti Co-CEO, Cyrus Symoom. “We’re proud to partner with Albany to help them deliver a more efficient process and ensure the city continues to be a great place to do business.”