Monday, November 28, 2016

Development Insight, November 2016

 Partnering with the community to build and maintain a safer San Antonio      │  November 2016

Development Services Department

Roderick J. Sanchez
AICP, CBO-Director

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Grow Over Graffiti
Learn how to discourage graffiti vandalism. 

- Nov. 24 & 25 - 
Thanksgiving Break

- Dec. 26 to 30 - 
Winter Break

Development &
 Services Center

Main Address:
1901 S. Alamo San Antonio, TX 78204

Office Hours: 
7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday

Mailing Address:
PO Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283

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ISO - Classification 1 Rating

San Antonio's Development Services Department (DSD) is officially the 
best in the State of Texas

San Antonio's Development Services Department (DSD) is the first in the State of Texas to receive a Business Code Effectiveness Classification rating of 1 for commercial by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO). ISO is an independent statistical, rating organization providing advisory insurance underwriting and rating information to insurers. In 1999, DSD's ratings were 8 for both commercial and residential.

"We're the first in the State and twelfth across the nation to receive the highest rating a municipality can achieve for its exemplary commitment to building code adoption and enforcement," said City Manager Sheryl Sculley. "This is a major accomplishment not only for DSD department, but for the city as a whole. I'm very proud of DSD Director Rod Sanchez and his team at DSD for their hard work in accomplishing this.  The department has come a long way over the past decade under his leadership"

ISO evaluates building enforcement departments across the nation every five years and recently completed its DSD audit. It collects information from communities across the nation on their adoption and enforcement of building codes. It then analyzes the data and assigns a classification number to the community. This classification, ranging from 1 to 10, measures a city's commitment to the adoption and enforcement of the most recent building codes affecting the construction of new buildings. Class 1 is the most favorable classification.

"We are very pleased to have achieved this classification for our continued committed efforts to enforcing our municipal codes," said Rod Sanchez. "It's significantly important to the San Antonio business community because it's one of the criteria insurance companies use in factoring their rates. Theoretically the higher the score, the lower the premiums are."

Cities adopting and efficiently enforcing the most recent code revisions have a significant reduction in damages to buildings, thus reducing the number of claims during catastrophic events and natural disasters. Insurance companies can use the classifications to grant premium credits to buildings constructed within these municipalities.

Key reasons contributing to the department's exemplary rating include its dedication to adopt the latest building codes, certification requirements for staff, heavy focus on training, first-rate staffing levels, and strong, effective plan review and inspection processes. 

Newly Appointed Assistant Director, Land Development
On Nov. 3, 2016, Sheryl Sculley, City Manager, appointed Melissa Ramirez to Assistant Development Services Director, over the Land Development Division. Prior to this promotion, Melissa served as Interim Assistant Development Services Director and Policy Administrator for the Land Development Division. Melissa has been with the City of San Antonio since April 1995 and has more than 20 years of public service and construction experience.

"I am very happy to have her on board," said Rod Sanchez, Development Services Director. Melissa has well over 20 years' experience in land development and construction."

Melissa will continue to oversee the daily operations of the Land Development Division, to include Policy Administration. She will be responsible for land-use development through administration of the Zoning process and Subdivision regulations, serve as the Administrator for the Unified Development Code and Legislative procedures.  As such, she supports the review process of Master Development Plans, Rights Determinations, Platting, Street Engineering, Tree Preservation, Addressing and Street Name Changes, and manages a variety of boards and commissions, to include Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment, Zoning Commission and the Planning Commission Technical Advisory Committee. Her team facilitates the horizontal land development process in order to protect the health, safety and public welfare of the residents of the City of San Antonio.

Melissa joined DSD in 1998 and has served in various capacities, such as Building Inspector and as Planning Manager. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science degree from The University of Incarnate Word and an Associate's Degree from St. Philip's College in Architectural Drafting.

"She's been an integral part of re-design of programs and policies," Sanchez said. "She's widely respected with the development stakeholders."

DSD Holiday Schedule 

The Development Services Department will follow the City's holiday schedule; the office will be closed on the following days:

Thanksgiving Holiday: November 24 & 25
Winter Break: The week of Dec. 26 (Dec. 26 - 30 
The Development Services Department and the Fire Marshal's office will be closed 
Dec. 26-30, 2016 in observance of the City Winter Holiday. The office will re-open on
Jan. 2, 2017, as regularly scheduled, from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

After hour inspections on Dec. 28 and 29 will be available if scheduled and paid for by 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 23.  Please call the following numbers to schedule your after hour appointment.
  • Plat Construction Inspections - 207-0281
  • Building Inspections - 207-0220
  • Fire System Inspections - 207-8410
Note:  Online scheduling for inspections will not be available during the Winter Holiday Break.

Additional holiday schedule changes to note:
Board and Commission Holiday Schedule:
Planning Commission:
  • Meetings scheduled for Nov. 23 and Dec. 28, 2016 are canceled
  • New meeting dates are Friday, Nov. 18 and Wednesday, Dec. 14 (deadlines subject to change)
Zoning Commission:
  • Meeting scheduled for Jan. 3, 2017 is canceled
  • No change to December schedule
  • Recordation date of Nov. 25 will be moved to Nov. 28 (deadline will be Nov. 23 at noon)
  • The last regular recordation opportunity for this year is Dec. 23
  • The regular recordation schedule will be suspended during the winter break,
  • Dec. 26 - 30, 2016
  • Out-of-sequence recordation option will not be available during the winter break
  • Regular recordation will resume Jan. 6, 2017

Building Standards Board:
  • Meeting dates are Dec. 1 and 8

Performance Measures - FY 2017

Performance Measures

The complete Performance Measures Report is available online

Permit Activity    


Information Bulletins and Other Resources

For a complete list of additional resources, visit the sites shared below:    

The DSD Resources web site also offers more information, including Document Search, Forms and Applications, and Latest News.

DSD Honors our Veteran-Employees
DSD held its first Veterans Day recognition event on Nov. 10, 2016, and celebrated staff who served our country. Our veteran-employees participated in the event by wearing clothing items that represented their service branch. Thirty-five (35) of the department's veterans participated in the festivities and lined up for a photo in recognition of their service. 

In line with the celebration, Director Rod Sanchez thanked all veterans for their service to our country. The event concluded with refreshments and a small gathering of camaraderie in the break room.

City News

The city will be closed Nov. 24 & 25 to observe the Thanksgiving Holiday. 

Help showcase a new holiday experience throughout downtown and enter to win. 

Other Department News
 - Customer Comments, New Hires, Recognition, etc.  
Here's what you said about us...
Rosa Garcia, Sr. Dev. Service Rep., Customer Advocate, Plan Review
Miss Rosa Garcia was very knowledgeable, friendly and professional. Very helpful too.

Robert Luna, Code Enforcement Officer, Code Enforcement, Field Services
A citizen would like to recognize Robert Luna for his great work ethic, professional and kind demeanor; he is an asset to the department and would like to thank him for his service to the community. Great job Robert!

Bruno Fey, Plumbing Plans Examiner II, Plan Review, and Steve Voigt, Code Enforcement Officer, Field Services
A citizen phoned the department to thank Bruno and Steve for their efforts with picking up bandit signs in his area.

Margaret Pahl, Sr. Planner, Zoning, Land Development
Margaret Pahl is a true professional. She listens and addresses my concerns. She helped me with the entire process and made it a wonderful experience.



Congratulations to our DSD employees who received the following certifications: 

Job Opportunities

Development Services is recruiting for the following positions; apply online at: jobs.

For comments or suggestions regarding the Development Services Newsletter, contact Kathy Quinones.

City of San Antonio, Development Services, 1901 S. Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78204

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