Does anyone have a process or procedure for notifying people about new applications received by a planning department, or all pending cases? We often get requests from people who would live outside the notification area for a particular property to be notified when an application is submitted for it.
For example, there are people who want to know when any apartment development applications are submitted, or any requests for an exception to the architectural standards, or a subdivision near their home. We only notify as required by state law, property owners within 200 feet of cases considered at public hearings. Subdivisions or plats usually don't have any notice required, and people way across town may be concerned about a proposed apartment or gas station, but wouldn't be mailed a notice.
Once the application is made, it's all public record, and so they are welcome to look at the file and see what is proposed. But, we don't have any way to tell them the application has been received. So, we get calls every two weeks or so (just after every new submittal day) asking "Did anyone apply for this or that or whatever".
Does anyone have another system where people can find out about applications they wouldn't be notified about, or a list of all pending cases?