How To Use Accela

You can look up and track the status of  all building and tree cutting permits online via the Accela Citizen Access website ( Once you've opened the database website, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on "Search Submitted Applications and Permits" undeneah "I Want To".

  2. A form will appear in the next screen.  Scroll down until you see the "General Search" section. Within that section you will see a field for "Street No." (the house or building number) and "Street Name".  Enter the street number of the property in the "From" field and leave the "To" field blank unless you want to enter a range of street addresses.  (Do not enter the same number in both fields.)

  3. Enter the street name of the property in the "Street Name" field.  It is not necessary to enter any other field and may cause a limited number of records to be returned if the building record you are seeking is missing the Quadrant or Street Type in its address field.

  4. Scroll down and click on "Search".  ALL the permits associated with the street address you entered will appear at the bottom of the screen, sorted by most recent date.  (Scroll down if you don't immediately see the permit records.)   If the Street Number or Street Name were entered incorrectly, the following message will pop up:  NOTICE: If your search returns no results, please modify your search criteria and try again.

    • Important: If the record(s) you are searching for does not appear, try entering the Street Address with another spelling variation. For example, if you are searching for records on Pine Tree Drive, enter the street address as "Pine Tree" (two words) and "Pinetree" (one word) and you will see that different records are returned depending on the way each record was entered into Accela.

  5.  Click on each highlighted blue record number to see the permit details.

  6. To access a arborist plan review for a building permit, click on any record number that begins with "BB".  One property may have more than one building permit, so make sure to open each record.

  7. Click on the drop down arrow beside  "Record Info" in the menu bar towards the top of the screen.

  8. Click on "Processing Status" in the drop-down menu.

  9. Scroll down until you see the drop-down arrow beside "Arborist Plan Review".  Click on that arrow.

  10. A tree will have either a Private or Public tree review depending on whether the tree is on private property or public land.  Click on the drop down arrow that appears beside either one of these review types to see the detailed information about the arborist plan review that was conducted.  Click on the '+' sign beside any line to see the arborist comments associated with that step in the plan review.

  11. Underneath the Processing Status section of the Buidling Record, you can also find the Orange and Yellow Sign posting details and whether there was (or is still pending) any appeal action. 

  12. Go back up a level to the "Record Info" and click on "Attachments".  You will see a list of documents that the permit applicant has submitted to the City, such as site plans and pictures.  Documents that are linked in blue text can be downloaded. Documents not in blue text are not yet accessible to the public via Accela, but can retrieved via an Open Records Request.  All site plans should be linked in blue text and available for download once a Preliminary Approval has been submitted to remove trees. If you cannot download these documents directly from Accela after the issuance of a Preliminary Approval, contact the arborist plan reviewer associated with this permit or Kathy Evans with the Tree Conservation Commission (404-330-6235,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and ask for these documents to be made available in the "Citizens' View" of Accela. (The name of the plan reviewer can be found by completing steps 9 - 10 above.)

 Below are status definitions you may see in a building record:

• OPEN – Permit application has been entered into system; plans have not been routed; deposit fees may be outstanding.
• ACCEPTED – Plans being processed to route for review.
• ACCEPTED DISTRICT REVIEW – Plans routed to UDC/Planning only for review.
• ROUTED FOR REVIEW – Plans have been routed and review agency tasks activated. As long as Permit Application has this status, permit is not ready to issue.
• APPROVED PENDING ARBORIST – Pending Arborist Final Approval of the plans. As indicated other reviews are completed but permit is not ready to issue.
• PENDING – Reviews are completed; however, there are problems to be resolved before the permit is ready to issue.
• READY TO ISSUE – Plans are approved and assembled. When final fees are paid, permit can be issued.
• INVOICED – Pending payment of final fees; then permit can be issued.
• ISSUED – Permit has been issued and inspections can be scheduled.
• ORANGE SYMBOL – Task previously active that is completed.
• GREEN CHECK – Task completed.
• HOURGLASS – Task active, not completed

For even more information on how to get the most information out of Accela, check our this Accela Tutorial we created to help guide people through the Accela process.  Note: this guide was developed when the arborist plan reviews were stand alone records named "Arborist Plan Review" and not nested within the related building permit record.  (See Steps 7 - 11 above for the current location of arborist plan reviews.) 

Caution: Do not put in the "Street Type" unless the street name is associated with numerous road types, such as Peachtree Rd, Peachtree Ave., Peachtree Way, etc.  The reason you don't want to enter in the "Street Type" is because sometimes a permit is assigned to the wrong street type or no street type at all.  By leaving this field blank, you will get all entries for the street name.

Hint: If you are curious as to what permits have been issued for an entire street, leave the "Street No." field blank.


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