Palo Alto will reduce hours at its Development Center on Wednesdays while staff brainstorms ways to reform the city's notoriously cumbersome application process.
Starting today (Dec. 1), the Development Center at 285 Hamilton Ave. will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays. The center previously opened at 9 a.m. on Wednesday and at 8 a.m. on other weekdays.
The hours will be shortened to give staff a chance to work on the ambitious effort to overhaul the city's development process -- a project dubbed by City Manager James Keene the "Development Center Customer Services Blueprint Initiative." The goal is to improve customer service, increase efficiency and promote economic development in the city.
Palo Alto has recently hired consultants and appointed a customer advisory group composed of local developers, architects, community activists and other frequent users of the Development Center to work with the city on taming what is derisively known as the "Palo Alto Process." Keene expects the initiative to be implemented next year.
Keene said in a statement that the new hours were vetted and approved by the advisory group.
"It is part of our overall strategy to make changes to the way we do business in Palo Alto and make the development process more predictable and responsible," Keene said.