Bret C. Keast, AICP

Advanced Cloud-based Municipal Planning Software Technology

For too long, companies have used word processing or desktop publishing software to produce reports, studies, and ordinances. Often, the formatting of these documents takes as long as drafting them. And, if more than one person is involved, multiple rounds of edits and versions of the document circulate among them. Once complete, the document is handed off for others to migrate to the web, most often as a static document.

Beginning in 2015, enCodePlusTM capitalized on the digital revolution to build state-of-the-art, municipal planning software that stands alone in the U.S. and Canadian markets. The release of the cloud-based self-publishing software has created a new found niche in the market of municipal and county governments by leapfrogging the archaic practices of the industry and wholly transforming it with a high-tech alternative that is vastly more robust and at the same time eco-conscious.

" enCodePlusTM gives full control to its clients to manage, update, and publish their own documents with consultation and services as needed. "

enCodePlusTM municipal planning software is the most advanced web-enabled technology used for drafting, editing, updating, amending, archiving, and publishing zoning and land development regulations, form-based codes, municipal codes, design guidelines, comprehensive plans, or any other document, especially those rich in tables and graphics.

Bret C. Keast, AICP, President of enCodePlus, LLC, learned his craft in urban planning through the early years of his career working for regional and municipal governments. Here, he came to appreciate the demands of public service, expectations of public servants, and the reality of public funding. His practice led to the ownership of a national planning consulting firm, Kendig Keast Collaborative, where he sharpened his skills in writing zoning and land development regulations. Recognizing the lack of technology and void in municipal planning software for use to write, comment, track, edit, archive, codify, and publish ordinances, resolutions, and by-laws to the web, enCodePlusTM was born.

With the breakneck advances in technology over the last decade, amazingly, local and county governments still rely on the age-old use of a Portable Document Format (PDF) to make their codes of ordinances (book of laws) available to the public. While useful for transferring and storing documents, PDFs are difficult to edit, they fail as a collaborative format, and if they are scanned, there is no way to convert them back to an editable form. Also, they're not always fully integrated with web pages. Those who have their codes online are rudimentary in their functionality. This is why enCodePlusTM is exponentially growing its share of what has been a relatively fixed market, until now.

Not surprisingly, the up and coming young professionals are hands-on, meaning they rely on their own techno-savviness rather than relying on others to do things for them. Unlike longstanding industry players, enCodePlusTM gives full control to its clients to manage, update, and publish their own documents with consultation and services as needed. This allows real-time publishing so the content is up-to-the minute rather than delayed by months, quarters, or in some cases, years.

There are a multitude of benefits for using enCodePlusTM. Where by communities have had to be overly reliant on their consultants to date, using enCodePlusTM municipal planning technology to draft their zoning and land development ordinances, the planning staffs of Kansas City and Wyandotte County, Kansas and Ankeny, Iowa, for instance, have collaborated in drafting and editing their ordinances through the cloud platform of the software. It goes without saying that this is significantly more efficient than sending drafts back and forth in multiple iterations while at the same time, improving the regulations.

Like any product, enCodePlusTM gets better over time. For a company that has grown organically, the product has been developed through the input of its customers. Development continues to be a high priority to maintain enCodePlus’edge in the industry, to grow market share, and to meet the continuing and increasing needs of their clients. The focus in the coming months is to roll out a new maintenance module providing for improved friendliness by creating a new dashboard that is intuitive in its layout and navigation and streamlines workflows.


enCodePlusTM, LLC


Bret C. Keast, AICP, President


enCodePlus™ is an Internet-based document presentation and content management system (CMS) used for municipal / county code codification and online publishing.

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