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Symbium Integrates Plan-Checking Software into Accela App

The move will offer local governments tools to make it faster and easier to review project plans. It will also give the startup Symbium access to one of the largest user bases in gov tech — Accela’s.

A blue hard hat that says "Accela" on it resting on top of an outdoor wall.
Three years after its founding, the gov tech startup Symbium has achieved a major partnership as it integrates its permit assessment software into Accela’s planning application.

The integration means that local governments using Accela’s Civic Application for Planning for things like site plan and zoning reviews will be able to offer users Symbium Plancheck’s assessment capabilities. Symbium’s software is built to make it easier for city planning staff — as well as developers and others who would approach the city for a permit — to find areas zoned to their needs, pull up applicable regulations for the project and find the paperwork needed to move the applicant along.

In other words, the integration is plugging software designed to make things easier for users into an application the city uses to process those users’ projects. That kind of user experience improvement can be important, given that local housing, zoning and development regulations can be complicated and fluid, hampering the ability of public officials to quickly approve projects.

The move also brings Symbium, a young startup whose focus has largely been in California, into the user base of one of the largest gov tech companies in the U.S.

“With this partnership, Symbium aims to extend its position in streamlining regulatory review and feasibility of residential projects for planning departments across the U.S.,” said Symbium CEO Leila Banijamali in a press release. “Bringing laws and regulations directly to the point of human experience is the core of our Complaw business and we couldn’t be prouder of partnering with Accela, the nationwide leader in permit tracking and workflow solutions for planning departments. This partnership has significant implications for how our companies will futureproof local planning departments together and create intuitive end-to-end permit application experiences for the public and planners at scale.”

The move also follows Accela’s evolution in recent years toward more flexible, narrowly focused applications, as well as APIs and partnerships. Earlier this year, for example, the company integrated the federal government-born SolarAPP+ into its platform to offer instant solar panel permitting to its customers.