Making the permitting process easier

Published Monday, April 8, 2019
by Marcus Elwell

Navigating city hall when it comes to permitting and code can be intimidating to even the most seasoned developer or entrepreneurs in Oklahoma City. Enter Jane Ward, a 25-year-plus veteran of City Hall, as Oklahoma City’s development center liaison. In a position that was created late in 2018, Ward is here to help advocate for developers, businesses and individuals as they go through the permitting process with the city. From construction of the new Omni Hotel to an individual wanting to install a storm shelter, Ward is there to help them through the process. She is just one more example of why Oklahoma City was named “Best-Run Large City in America” for the second year in a row.

VeloCity: What is your role as development center liaison?

Jane Ward: I look at it as a person who helps citizens, developers, stakeholders and contractors through the processes of the city. Having someone here who specifically is set out for that purpose, You don't know how many calls I get every day, "I'm so glad that you're there because I didn't know where to start." If people don't know where to start, I can help get them started and then they can come back to me again if they need some more guidance through the process. I try to be very accessible, so that if they want to call me on my cellphone or email me I can get back to them as quickly as possible. Sometimes people in other roles can't devote that much attention to a citizen, contractor, or a developer. But that's what I'm here for.

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