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City Launches New Digital Permitting System

Contractors working on a building

Making updates to your home or business just got easier.

On Monday, March 22, the City of Hilliard is launching a new building software named “OpenGov” that centralizes all City permits in one portal. It also makes submitting a building permit application in person a thing of the past in Hilliard.

The process is now entirely digitized through OpenGov, which is more efficient and customer friendly.

“In the past, people had to use the City’s website to download forms and either bring them to the municipal building or mail them,” said Michael Hulsey, the City’s Chief Building Official. “This new software will eliminate the back-and-forth. Everything will be easily accessible online.”

Dan Ralley, Assistant City Manager and Community Development Department Director, said the change is significant, especially during the pandemic when homeowners are doing renovations and spending more time at home.

“We’ve seen an increase in volume of permits recently. OpenGov will streamline things for us, homeowners, and developers,” Ralley said.

What exactly requires a building permit? Some common projects include upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; building a shed or detached garage; adding a pool or hot tub; basement waterproofing; building a deck; new or changed water lines; sprinkler systems; and new electrical services.

“If you think an activity may need a permit, you can now search on OpenGov for an answer. Just fill out an application and submit the required documents to start the permitting process. After we receive the information, users can pay fees and review documents, plans, and inspection information online,” Hulsey said. “Customers can even see where their permit is in the approval process.”

Inspection fees have also been updated during the OpenGov transition, Ralley said. “Now they are simplified and more transparent for contractors to understand in advance.”

Fees are used to cover the cost of a professional inspection. “Our inspectors ensure things are done correctly in people’s homes. Lives can be saved through this service,” Rally said.

Hilliard is joining several other municipalities in central Ohio that use the program, Hulsey said, making it even easier for those who are already registered. Customer service remains vital to the City, so users are still welcome to contact the City by phone.

Next time you want to do a home renovation, or if you are just curious about a previous renovation inspection that occurred in your home, just head to

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