Rose Herrera: Make City Permit Process 24 Hours

Rose Herrera has made economic development the main tenet of her mayoral campaign. Now she wants the city to speed up the time it takes to process building and planning permits.

Unlike her opponents in the mayor’s race, whose platforms have focused primarily on restoring public safety, Herrera wants to bolster San Jose’s job base.

“We need a better tax base for San Jose,” she told the Mercury News, adding that San Jose has more adult residents than jobs. “We end up fighting over the scraps. Let’s grow the pie.”

In a plan submitted to the Rules and Open Government Committee this week, she asks the city to adopt a system that shortens permitting from a months-long ordeal to a 24-hour process.

She points to Phoenix as an example. Arizona's capitol recently adopted a planning software that allows the public to submit plans and make payments online.

“While I applaud our planning department’s move toward better efficiency in processing plan submissions to the city of San Jose, the proposed online automated intake form is only the first step in the right direction toward creating an end-to-end solution in removing the potential bottlenecks in the production of a building permit,” Herrera writes in her memo.

The electronic system would allow builders to submit applications online, upload drawings and documentation, manage revisions and receive email notifications when there’s an update. It would reduce physical trips, hard copies and administrative costs and quicken project turnaround.

Taking a page from Phoenix would, however, require one-time funding, Herrera notes.

More from the San Jose Rules and Open Government Committee agenda for May 14, 2014:

WHAT: Rules and Open Government Committee meets
WHEN: 2pm Wednesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Just a year and a half ago Rose had no idea that her constituents of District 8 were being hit by an unprecedented rash of residential burglaries. Way to be on top of it Rosie!

  2. Captious? SJI has labeled Mr. Wall “captious”? Hey, whatever it takes to marginalize nonconformity.
    Mr. Wall’s ideas on housing make infinitely more sense than do Ms. Hererra’s. They just don’t happen to reflect the mainstream. So the easiest thing for the mainstream media to do is ridicule and ignore. And the range of acceptable thought becomes narrower and narrower.

    • John,

      While I often do not agree with your views I do agree that to marginalize the views of tax paying citizens is inappropriate. Many of David Wall’s observations are spot on in my view and it seems that SJI, for whatever reason, seem to want to stifle his observations. I could only hope that more citizens would become as involved in their government as he is.

      • That’s exactly how I feel whenever that guy gets up and starts talking about how the CIA killed Kennedy. We have to keep an open mind and listen to all points of view right?

        • Keeping an open mind would involve questioning our own basic assumptions upon which we form our ideas about public policy. No risk of that here. The herd instinct is so strong in San Jose that alternative ideas and the people who espouse them are knowingly rejected and dismissed as kooks.

  3. Hi Mr. Developer, welcome to the Planning Department…how can we help you? Well there’s an empty parcel of land on the corner of White Rd. and Tully Rd. It used to be a golf course. I’d like to build a 5,000 unit Sub-Division there, I’ve sent the plans to you on line…I hope it doesn’t crash the City server…it’s a rather large file. Could you please review them today and have an approved permit for me to break ground by tomorrow? Thanks so much! This new system by the new Mayor…Rosie is just wonderful. It is truly amazing that after 6 years in office…this woman really has no idea how the system works. If you people elect this woman to be Mayor of the 10th largest City in America…you deserve what you get! Good luck.

  4. If they elect Liccardo or any of the other incompetents currently residing in the tower then they get what they deserve!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *