The city of Tigard has gone digital. At least in its permitting office.

The city announced Wednesday that its permit process was now available online for “simple, over-the-counter permits like electrical, mechanical and plumbing improvements for residential and commercial projects that do not require a plan review.”

Permit applications can now be submitted on the city’s website,

Previously, customers needed to submit permits via mail, fax or drive to City Hall.

That process took days, said Lloyd Purdy, the city’s economic development manager. The new system will allow contractors to submit applications and schedule an inspection 24 hours a day.

“We’ve reduced the time it takes to start a project from days, down to the click of a button,” said Purdy. “Tigard is using technology to streamline commercial and residential building permits.”

The digital move is also expected to save the city money. Processing paper applications costs the city more than $20,000 each year.

“Customers can print their permit and receipt immediately, then begin work,” said Dianna Howse, the city’s building division services manager. “Inspectors have the information on their mobile devices when they perform inspections.”

Regional growth forecasts say the city will need more than 4 million square feet of commercial space over the next 20 years in order to meet demand from the private sector, including new buildings and updates to existing buildings.

Tigard’s permit center has issued more than 2,600 permits so far this year, Purdy said, totaling $112 million in combined project value.

Purdy expects the city’s traditional process of faxed permit applications and confirmation to be phased out in the next few months.

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