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Orlando permitting automation: 97% self service, 10% higher user satisfaction

Client name: Orlando

61,447: Permit inquiries
97%: % self service
<8 minutes: Completion time
12,811: Staff hours saved

The Challenge

Permitting is one of the City of Orlando’s highest volume services, but, according to the Mayor, it receives the most inquiries and the most complaints from the residents of one of Central Florida’s largest and growing communities.
In Orlando, permitting has many factors based on a complex matrix of land use rules, with two complete sets of land use districts, based on density and nearness to the City’s urban core. For the novice, these regulations were hard to navigate, leading to project delays, and lots of frustration.


The Solution

Improving the user experience and providing end-to-end transparency was a high priority for the Mayor and his staff, and the City’s Digital Platforms team was tasked with finding a solution. The team was given three key requirements. The first was to make it easy for residents and business owners to discover all zoning and permitting requirements without staff intervention. The second was to provide this information in modern digital experience without disrupting existing departmental operations. Finally, the service had to be available in Spanish. OpenCounter was the only vendor that could meet these requirements.



OpenCounter has helped the City of Orlando streamline service delivery to its residents and business community. The permit discovery portal guides applicants through complex permitting workflows so they can understand the full scope of their projects before they get started and the Permit Issuance tools deployed last year have completely digitized workflows and processes that used to be manual and paper-based.
In the past year, the City of Orlando has serviced 61,447 permit inquiries across the residential and business projects
with a 97% self-service rate which has resulted in a time savings of over 12,811 hours of staff time per year for the City.

Because of the toolset that OpenCounter provides, we are constantly chipping away at turn-around time across all of our permitting services. For example, with our tree permits, there is not a single piece of paper involved in that entire process, including the person going out to the field to inspect the tree and approving it. We know that, at scale, every kind of turnaround between the city and an applicant for a permit can be dramatically shortened.

– Matt Broffman, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Orlando

12 Month Results

OpenCounter also has a 10% higher trust score than any other digital service provided by the City – a great indicator of overall high user satisfaction. The City of Orlando is going through a digital transformation process across 300 plus city services. OpenCounter’s ability to quickly automate permit discovery without being disruptive to the underlying departmental processes has enabled it to be a key part of this digitization program.