This week, the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I, for short) launched a new website. An increased user-friendliness and a general appearance that the website wasn’t designed in 1996 are two of the most immediately noticeable changes from the past. Check out the new homepage:

Pretty sharp

Most interesting to us, however, are the Property History and Map functions that have been added to the site. Want to know a little about the past of your property, your neighbor’s property, or a property you’re thinking of purchasing? Violations? Zoning applications? Building permits? Simply type in a property address into the field on the homepage, and all of that information gets spit out at you. Try it out, we’ll wait…

Ok, ready?

More fun is the new Map Application (Mapplication?), which maps lots of information you may want to know. Curious about whether the vacant lot next door has an appropriate vacancy permit? Want to check to make sure your future landlord has a rental license? Desperate to know whether the crew working at 6:30am on the house next door has their required permits? Wondering about a nearby zoning application but don’t feel like getting off the couch? These questions and more can be answered with L&I’s new “Mapplication.”

Seems like the crew working on 325 S 18th St. do, in fact, have building permits. Good news, right?

The map above shows building permits, electrical permits, plumbing permits, zoning permits, and some violations as well. What a great way for the City to improve transparency and take some of the burden off of 311, right? Hopefully, in the coming months, the site will only continue to improve and provide even more of the information that the masses crave.

Kudos, L&I. Keep up the good work. And if you have any spare hands, please send them to the Revenue Department to help collect delinquent property taxes, will ya?