Frequently Asked Questions

The answers to your burning OpenCounter questions.

Nothing. Zilch. Not a single penny. We'll handle all of your zoning and municipal code updates for the duration of your OpenCounter subscription, completely free of charge.

Project time frames depend on the scale of implementation. We can deliver a single customized portal in fewer than two months, whereas a suite of portals will take between three and six months to deliver. (But remember, our white-glove service means we do all of the heavy lifting!)

In short, anyone in any department who has a hand in your town's zoning and permitting process! We want to know what City Hall's pain points are from multiple perspectives so we can identify how best to configure our products to meet your needs and make those challenges a thing of the past. That means working closely with staff in Economic Development, Planning, Development Services, Building, and Community Development, to the Chief Technology's Officer's Office and Innovation, as well as city administrators and senior leadership.

Costs will vary depending on the population size of your jurisdiction and the number of portals you procure. Regardless of the scope of services, however, rest assured that OpenCounter has affordable pricing models for jurisdictions of all sizes.

Many customers begin their OpenCounter engagement with one or two portals and then expand to additional solutions over time. Some jurisdictions implement more portals at once to receive a discount. No matter your city's current zoning and permitting needs, OpenCounter is ready to work with you to deliver a solution that makes your permitting operations stronger and improves the constituent experience.

There are various funding sources available — from general funds or a line item in the annual budget to economic development and IT funds, grants, and federal stimulus funding. (Read how your city can procure OpenCounter using Coronavirus Relief Funds through the American Recovery Plan and the CARES Act.) Some customers implement modest increases in their permitting fees to offset the cost of their OpenCounter subscription.

Absolutely! In fact, almost all of our implementations are funded through sole-source procurement. We can help guide you through the entire process.

Yes, we can. We have three levels of integrations available — light, medium, and deep — to ensure our products work seamlessly with any or all of your existing systems.

They sure can! We'll explore whether your city wants the solution we configure to be detailed and granular or kept at a high level during our initial discussions.

Absolutely. We've designed OpenCounter's ZoningCheck™ to make it easy for anyone — constituents and city staff alike — to navigate zoning clearances and site selection. Planners can take control of their efficiency and time management by confirming zoning clearances in seconds — not the minutes or hours it would take via manual lookup.

There's no need for you to take on the burden of configuration. We provide a truly white-glove experience by configuring and implementing every product we deliver for your city.  How can OpenCounter offer such unparalleled service? Because of our in-house team of public sector experts — those with deep experience on the agency side (and the credentials to prove it) who know first-hand how complex zoning, permitting, and licensing are and the frustrations and inefficiencies they cause your team every day.

Very little! All we need is for you to upload your ArcGIS shapefiles, permit catalog, municipal code, and other relevant data — then we do the rest! Once we've finished the configuration, we'll need your team's help during the testing and quality assurance process to ensure OpenCounter meets all of your needs.

Yes! Cities of all sizes have captured tremendous ROI and time savings for their internal staff. Cincinnati saved nearly 27,000 staff hours in just one year, thanks to our intuitive, easy-to-use portals.

We take care of that for you! You can expect the same expert configuration from our Government Services team every time your city needs to update its zoning and municipal codes or fee tables. Just tell us which changes to make, and we'll prepare those updates for your review and make them go live on the day you request.

We are! OpenCounter will perform 99 percent of the work involved in configuration and implementation. All we need is for your team to provide us with your data (ArcGIS shapefiles, permit catalog, overlay districts, and more) and lend a hand in the final stages of testing and quality assurance.

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