Case Study: City of Sugar Land
Sugar Land Streamlines Special Event and Grant Applications
Automated permitting platform drives efficiencies, eliminates paper, and makes the process easier for applicants and reviewers
Sugar Land, TX – The City of Sugar Land, a city of over 111,000 residents located just 20 minutes Southwest of Downtown Houston is proud to announce the implementation of the Eproval permitting platform to automate the process for special event permits and manage its Great Homes grant program.
Since going live, Eproval has enhanced efficiency, reduced paperwork, and made it easier to apply for special city event permits and housing grants. By adopting this technology, Sugar Land has successfully transformed its manual, system into a modern, user-friendly and centralized platform.
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The Special Event Permitting Challenge
The City of Sugar Land was looking to modernize its manual, paper-based special event permitting program and migrate to an online platform that would make applications accessible from an online citizen self-service portal. At the same time, the city saw an opportunity to automate the Great Homes program on the same platform, thereby driving efficiencies for both processes.
The special event application was a 14-page fillable PDF with a series of standard yes/no questions that applicants needed to download, complete and return to the city. On the receiving end, the city faced resource constraints with one person handling all the incoming applications. With an increasing number of events happening each year, the city knew that the long-term process would not be sustainable. To address this challenge, Sugar Land decided to implement Eproval’s automated platform rather than hiring additional personnel.
One unique element in Sugar Land’s special event application is the need to monitor weather patterns due to the area’s changeable conditions. Changing weather can be a factor in the decision to cancel an event. All applications must also be reviewed by the police department to ensure that safety is being taken as a primary consideration. The grant program had very different requirements.
The Grant Program
Sugar Land’s Great Homes program aims to assist low to moderate-income households in purchasing a home in the city. Eligible homebuyers can receive a forgivable loan of up to $20,000 for down payment and closing costs assistance. The program is funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and administered by the City of Sugar Land’s Housing and Community Development Department. To be eligible, applicants must meet income limits, be first-time homebuyers, and meet a minimum credit score. The purchased home must also meet certain price limits and be within the city limits of Sugar Land.
The task of reviewing applications, scoring them, and determining grant amounts was part of the process challenge. The city also needed a reporting system to track how neighborhood improvements were scored. The process requires applicants to self-report how they spent the grant money and upload pictures as proof of expenses.
To address these challenges, the city worked closely with Eproval’s Customer Success team who was able to quickly configure the flexible platform. The implementation went smoothly and was launched in a timely fashion. The automated platform provides numerous benefits, including increased efficiency, reduced paperwork, and improved citizen engagement.
“Sugar Land’s experience highlights the transformative power of technology in streamlining special event applications and grant programs.” Said Jonathan Thompson, Managing Director of Eproval. “By digitizing and automating their processes, Sugar Land has achieved greater efficiency, reduced paperwork, and enhanced citizen participation. This case study may serve as an inspiration for other municipalities seeking to modernize their operations and provide enhanced customer service to their communities.”
To learn how Eproval can help streamline your special event permitting, grant application, or complex licensing process, Schedule a demo by clicking the blue button below.
Jonathan Thompson, Managing Director
jonathan @ eproval.com
Your special event permitting platform should:
- Eliminate unnecessary use of paper and get the job done lickety-split
- Allow citizens to apply for special event permits online
- Make the application process easier for applicants
- Make the review process easier for city staff and public agencies
- Be flexible enough to support special requirements such as weather or inspections
- Allow for easy review by external agencies such as police and fire
- Support other processes such as grant applications, film permits or complex licensing
- Provide significant efficiencies over labour-intensive manual processes
- Automate important, but time-consuming, processes to relieve the burden on staff
- Employ professional and knowledgeable staff who are a joy to work with