Zoning process improvements include streamlined, bilingual forms

Published on October 03, 2022

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As part of the Fort Worth Development Services Department’s continual process improvements, the Zoning Division has taken significant strides to reduce the number of days it takes to process an application.

This was done, in part, by translating and converting public information handouts and applications to support dual languages, English and Spanish, for a wider demographic reach.

This undertaking started as part of a Lean Six Sigma project, and it began with the zoning application. The language was streamlined in English first, then translated into Spanish and converted into a fillable form.

Next came updates to Neighborhood Group Notices and Legal Notices, following the same formula as the application changes.

City staff plans to contnue these process improvements by making zoning webpages more user-friendly for non-English-speaking residents, and creating a more robust database of bilingual City staff members to assist customers who prefer to conduct business in Spanish.

“In a city where 35% of its population is Hispanic, but participation at Planning Boards and Commission hearings is much lower than that of other groups in our community, we concluded that there could be a communication or cultural disconnect, somewhere, somehow,” said Daniel Leal, the department’s assistant director of zoning and design review. “I am immensely proud of my team and of my department’s willingness to come together and ask ourselves heathy questions, and then embrace the Lean Six Sigma process to continuously improve our customers’ experience.”

These are just a few recent changes that highlight the Development Services Department’s commitment to supporting building development while providing an exceptional experience for all customers.



Photo: The zoning process application is now easier to understand, fillable online and available in two languages.



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