By John Schaffner

Just when Atlanta is starting to become a mecca for the filming and production of movies and TV sitcoms, the city is amending the civic and cultural affairs portion of its code of ordinances to add new regulations and fees on that industry. That was part of the information relayed to the board of Neighborhood Planning Unit B at its Nov. 3 meeting by city planner Jessica Lavandier.

In addition to establishing certain business fees to be paid by the entertainment industry, the ordinance would allow entertainment filming in city parks 11 p.m-6 a.m. under certain circumstances. The ordinance was originally proposed earlier this year and, after committee discussions, was substituted and held on Oct. 28. It is scheduled for public hearing Dec. 2.

Lavandier also reported on public information sessions that will be held Nov. 16-20 in the atrium of City Hall to introduce Accela Automation, a web-based workflow management system that is designed to streamline business processes across several departments.

The new software will integrate online city permit services and allow residents to track applications as well as complaints, such as for code violations. The City Hall sessions are designed to let citizens pre-register and train on the system, as well as solicit feedback from citizens and the development community prior to the Nov. 30 release of the software.

Lavandier said that a citizen who has filed code-violation complaint with the city will be able “to go online and check the status of that violation. Or, if you are having work done in your house and are working with a contractor, they can submit the plans online, have the plans reviewed and approved online, or, if you need an inspection, you can ask for an inspection and someone will schedule to come out.”

The planner explained that “the inspectors also will have hand-held computers, like some of the delivery guys, so that they can issue whatever report they have” right on the spot.