keyboard and mouse

Community seeks on-demand services

AUBURN, Calif. – Customers with commercial and residential projects can now look up zoning requirements, apply for permits and more from the comfort of their home, business or mobile workplace anywhere, anytime, online.

The Placer County Community Development Resource Agency this week launched its new eServices program, which offers customers continuous access to services that typically require a visit to CDRA offices in Auburn or Tahoe City.

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“eServices was developed to meet the community’s growing appetite for on-demand services,” said Community Development Resource Agency Director Steve Pedretti. “Now you can have a great idea for a business at any hour of the day, and with just a smartphone, learn everything you need to know about a parcel, what fees may be required and even submit your permit application without ever having to visit a county office.”

The eServices webpage offers six online services through the county’s Community Development Resource Agency: Ask Placer.

This emerging technology uses artificial intelligence and the Google Cloud Platform to help customers quickly find information by voice command on their mobile device (Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa) or through a web user interface on the county’s website. Ask Placer is still in the testing phase, but when fully developed, it will be able to effectively hold a dialog with CDRA customers, answer specific questions or direct them to one of the new CDRA automated processes described below.

Permit and Zoning Guide

This application provides zoning, residential and business portals that allow users to easily research potential development projects in the county. With only a few clicks, customers can find parcels with compatible zoning, display permit requirements and receive fee estimates. This intuitive interface also offers a link to the application process, should the customer wish to obtain a permit online through e-Permits.


In addition to allowing certain project applications to be submitted electronically, the service has been expanded to allow online payment options. By the end of the year, the e-Permit program will accept online permit and application submissions for building permits, planning entitlements, land use, surveying and other engineering applications.

Online Appointments

This appointment scheduling system allows customers to schedule appointments online for the county permit counter. The scheduling system is available at CDRA buildings in Auburn and Tahoe City, and provides greater flexibility to those using public counter services. The appointment service also helps reduce wait times by allowing customers to join the line before they arrive. The system provides text notifications on wait times to keep customers up to date on their line position.

GIS and Online Maps

Using a map of Placer County, customers can conveniently locate zoning, land use and other parcel specific information through this eService.

Historical Permits

Permit research is easy through this information portal. Simply search CDRA’s scanned permit archive for building, planning and engineering permits to discover the history of any property of interest.

These online services are designed to provide customers with ease and convenience. It’s hoped the new Ask Placer feature will grow to become a staple service in every department of the county in the years ahead.

“Ask Placer presents a major opportunity because, for the first time ever, the number of active users of messaging apps, such as chatbots, has surpassed social network users,” said principal planner Shawna Purvines. “Placer County is one of the first, if not the first, local jurisdiction to use both Google Assist and Amazon Alexa to provide information and respond to customer questions. Placer is trailblazing the use of artificial intelligence to provide better county services.”

The eServices webpage is available at

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