City of Riverside Launches Riverside ZoningCheck (Press Release)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 7, 2018
Economic Development Coordinator
City of Riverside Launches Riverside ZoningCheck: Online Zoning and Visualization Tool to Help Entrepreneurs Locate Permitted Uses Within the Zoning Ordinance
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The City of Riverside is proud to announce the launch of Riverside ZoningCheck – an online, visualization tool designed to help business applicants identify whether their business is consistent with the applicable zoning —before they sign a lease. This business- friendly tool can be found at: https://riverside.zoningcheck.com.
“Navigating the complexities of the City Zoning Code can be daunting, particularly for small businesses and start up entrepreneurs,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “In keeping with the Streamline Riverside philosophy of removing barriers to investment, the City is taking an innovative approach to breaking down those potential barriers by giving businesses an easy-to-use tool to start that research on their own.”
The new tool provides applicants with a customized map of where their planned project is allowed to operate inside Riverside city limits, making complex municipal regulations and processes easier to understand. With Riverside ZoningCheck, City staff has access to a new level of insight into economic development trends and a powerful suite of administrative tools to analyze proposed land uses.
“This is a readily accessible source of information that’s handy for the brokers, developers and property owners on a 24/7/365 basis,” Mayor Pro Tem Chris MacArthur said. “As with Streamline Riverside and our One Stop Shop, we are always looking for innovative ways to simplify the experience of doing business in Riverside.”
The Riverside ZoningCheck project was paid for using a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) prize from a contest called “Startup in a Day.” Riverside was one of four cities in California to win and focused its submission on turning a static, 30-page planning document into a readily-available online interactive tool.
The City elected to work with OpenCounter and chose its software as a service zoning tool and integration services.
“This was truly a collaborative effort,” said Rafael Guzman, Community & Economic Development Director. “We relied on our GIS, IT, and Planning teams to help us deliver something that has never been done before in the City. The feedback we’ve received so far has been overwhelmingly positive and verifies our commitment to support a business’s effort to start and scale their operation in Riverside.”
OpenCounter provides tools designed for the citizen and business experience. OpenCounter ask the right questions, in the right order, so citizens can see the requirements, fees, and processing time that apply to their projects. By making information available across departments, OpenCounter also helps municipalities coordinate internal workflows, and build better relationships with the citizens that they serve. OpenCounter was piloted through a Code for America fellowship in the City of Santa Cruz, CA and has been supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.