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MARYSVILLE,WA-Plagued by competition, decreasing tax revenues and a harsh economy, the city of Marysville is fighting back with a new permit processing system that will make developing a new business center, retail store or home easier for those who wish to build in the city.

Marysville officials say that the city’s planning and building managers are working with City Hall to change the permitting and inspection departments to be more customer-service oriented.

After hearing complaints from residents about having to go through many different departments to obtain permits, the city has assigned one general manager for all permitting and inspections. The city hopes that this will make the permit process easier and encourage future development.

In addition, city employees will be cross-trained to answer questions and deal with problems on permits, regardless of which department is handling the process. The city will also increase the planning staff and bring construction inspections and engineering plan review to this department.

Marysville approved more than 400 permits for single-family homes last year, but only eight for commercial buildings. This has created a lull in commercial development, while businesses continue to pop up in neighboring cities. Marysville officials hope to attract new commercial development with its quicker, easier and less expensive system for processing building permits.

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