December 2018

A Note From Our Mayor

Author: Lisa Sulka | Photographer: Krisztian Lonyai

A Note from Lisa Sulka
Growth Management
I want to give you a brief look into the Growth Management Dept., which consists of three divisions: Planning and Community Development, Building Safety, and Customer Service.

Planning and Community Development includes review of all development-related activities and permits, preparation and implementation of plans for the town, historic preservation, the Neighborhood Assistance Program, and affordable housing program.

Building Safety includes the review of all building permit applications and the associated inspections.
Customer Service includes the acceptance of all applications and permits and providing information to the public and Bluffton community. The Customer Service Division focuses on customers’ needs (as all divisions do). It includes four staff members: a manager, two customer service assistants, and a planning assistant. They input all permit applications and plans in the permitting software (Energov), forward plans to the appropriate reviewers, ensure that all required documents are included in applications, take payments for all permits, assist with meeting coordination and inspection scheduling, answer questions concerning everything and anything, and operate as the town’s front desk and concierge.

Although one division is titled “Customer Service,” all departments and divisions operate on an “I’m here to help” attitude and culture.

When reviewing a development project and related building permits, staff becomes a member of the development team—to assist in getting the project built and operational as quickly as possible, while meeting all of the required rules and regulations.

Staff’s customer service role is to help you identify the next steps and how to proceed, assist with questions, provide related information on outside agencies and related information, identify challenges and solutions, and to inspect the site and make sure that everyone proceeds with no additional hurdles. Staff reviews plans as quickly as possible and will let you know anticipated timelines at the initial stage. Clear expectations are key to the process.

There is a customer service commitment to Town of Bluffton customers and the community through the processing and reviewing of applications, building and site inspections for safety and quality assurance. And you can expect that service to always be kind, happy, and respectful.

Staff is here to help, and we welcome comments and feedback through all steps of the process. It is important to know what issues need to be addressed and changed as well as what things we are doing right and should remain unchanged.

If you ever have questions or feedback on the town’s processes and customer service, please contact Heather Colin, the director of growth management, at (843) 706-4592.

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