City launches development site

Sacramento, Calif., has launched a Web site that gives leaders of current and potential businesses a place to view and download maps, documents and other information relevant to investments they intend to make within the city.

Existing businesses, for example, can find out about land-use planning or building restrictions for certain locations and download the necessary permit applications. Businesses planning to set up shop in the city can compare the attractiveness of various sites.

"We've handled all of this manually up to now, and that takes a tremendous amount of time," said Mike Luken, an economic development specialist for the Sacramento city government. "SacSites automates all of that for us, plus it allows us to provide information 24/7."

The Web site (www.sacsites.com) borrows liberally from ones that other cities have established, Luken admitted, but it will go further with the kinds of services that will be offered in the future, particularly through links or partnerships with other organizations in the Sacramento area.

For example, city officials hope to have all of the area's commercial real estate brokers linked into SacSites, so they can list their properties. Sacramento officials also are working to put all of the city's permitting services online, Luken said.

SacSites' first step will be to enable visitors to download and print the current paper-based versions of permit applications. The next step will be to enable people to apply for and receive permits online.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at [email protected]

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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