On Feb. 8,
2017, the Development Services Department (DSD) was re-certified by
the International Accreditation Service (IAS) for Building
Departments/Code Enforcement Agencies.
A team of IAS representatives completed an on-site
re-evaluation over a three-day period, and confirmed the
department's enforcement of building codes and related
business processes for permitting, construction codes, plan
reviews, verification of professional licenses and certifications,
inspections, complaints and appeals, and certificates of occupancy.
During the visit, the representatives observed field
inspections, plan reviews and the One Stop counter, along with the
department's Standing Operating Procedures. They also assessed
current processes, which included interviews with several community
leaders, stakeholders, and City employees.
"Overall, the evaluation team was really
impressed with the department," said Terry Eddy, IAS
Evaluator. "Under the direction of the Development Services'
Leadership, the department has established a skilled, cohesive
management team and staff that works well together and embodies a
true customer service atmosphere."
The IAS representatives were most impressed with the
department's culture of facilitation, making the building process
easier for customers. Additional highlights include the
department's project manager program; communication between fire
and building inspection teams, coordination of hazardous material
plan reviews; and innovative outreach tools like the route
optimization software and the plan review commercial permitting business
card USB drive that contains all necessary forms and information
bulletins for commercial building in San Antonio.
"I'm very proud of this achievement," said
Michael Shannon, Interim Director, Development Services. "By
upholding this accreditation, my department demonstrates its
commitment to building and maintaining a safer San Antonio while
ensuring our customer's needs are met."
The IAS program is the first nationally recognized
accreditation program, for building departments, that guarantees
departments are operating at the highest level of ethical, legal
and technical standards. DSD received its original accreditation
in October 2010, and was re-accredited in January 2014.
The latest Information Bulletins (IB) are
This IB was amended to simplify the application and
review process for the tree preservation or tree canopy permits.
DSD will accept tree applications showing the trees/areas of tree
canopy to remain on the single-family residential lots, and will be
reviewed by the City Arborist. To learn more about the evaluation, visit
Coming Soon - Southern Edwards Plateau-Habitat
The Southern Edwards Plateau Habitat Conservation Plan
(SEP-HCP) was recently adopted by both the City of San Antonio and
Bexar County through the execution of an Interlocal Agreement (ILA).
The SEP-HCP provides a locally established approach for
compliance with the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) by allowing
the City and County to offer mitigation credit options. Bexar
County and the City of San Antonio have been issued a 30-year Joint
Incidental Take Permit by US Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS), and
with the execution of the ILA, the plan is moving toward
implementation. The SEP-HCP program will help support the
military's mission and provide a predictable, streamlined and locally
controlled process for obtaining compliance with ESA, while
continuing to balance species conservation with growth and
In Bexar County, the ESA applies to two endangered
songbirds, the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo, and
seven endangered karst invertebrates. The SEP-HCP will also
provide protections for several other species considered rare or
An approved HCP allows landowners, who have qualifying
habitat acreage and want to preserve it as open space, to voluntarily
donate or sell their land to the City or County. In turn, the
City and County can help streamline public and private development in
areas where the ESA applies by providing "credits" that
offset the "takings" of land where protected species might
The City's Development Services Department expects
enrollment applications for projects interested in participating in
the program to be available in April.
Next steps include finishing up details related to the
Coordinating Committee meetings, process, procedures, and certificate
issuance. Please note that all information will be published on
a new DSD web page dedicated to SEP-HCP. We will keep you
updated as information is available.
There will be a signing ceremony on April 19, at 10
a.m., at the Plaza De Armas Gallery. Numerous dignitaries will be in
attendance to celebrate this step forward in ESA compliance and in
supporting our military's mission.
The complete Performance Measures report is available online.
Post-Disaster Support for After the Storm
Just last month, several tornadoes left behind extensive
damage to trees, homes and utility
infrastructure. As part of the City's first responders, the
Code Enforcement Damage Assessment Team, or DAT for short, was
activated to do expedited, onsite evaluations and assessments to
determine life safety damages in residential structures, commercial
properties and infrastructure impacted by this natural event.
They focused on response and recovery needs by verifying the
disaster's impact and the community's ability to recover. The
team prioritized recovery efforts by coordinating with other agencies
such as the American Red Cross.
Beware of fraud and
Unfortunately, times like these also make San Antonio
the ideal environment suitable for frauds, scams and criminal
behavior. Fraudulent, unqualified contractors or "storm
chasers," come from all over the country looking for vulnerable
consumers. With resources, materials and contractors limited,
homeowners might try and seek a quick and easier road.
To assist homeowners affected by last month's storms,
our staff created a reference guide and packet of materials to assist
residents through this challenging time. Distributed by our DAT team,
in it are tips of what homeowners can do to decrease the chance of
becoming a victim of this crime. Knowing how difficult times like
these can be, our packet included a list of key staff members and
their contact information for residents to call with questions
regarding permits, contractors, and tree maintenance
contractors. Here are some of the tips:
Call your insurance company first.
Use local companies, making sure you check
their references and phone numbers.
Research, research, research. Check the
Better Business Bureau, your insurer or agent, and internet.
Be leery of contractors coming to your
door or those in unmarked vehicles.
Get multiple bids and ensure they are
members of an association, such as Roofing Contractors
Association of Texas.
The written estimates should be on company
letterhead, with clear contact information.
Check if the contractor is registered with
the City of San Antonio.
It's a red flag if the contractor asks for
payment up front or offers to cut a deal if you pull the needed
permits. Never pay the total cost of the project
To find out if a contractor is registered, call us at
(210) 207-1111 or visit our web site at sanantonio.gov/dsd and click
on "Contractor Registration & Licensing." Permits are
not issued to unregistered contractors.
Other Department News - Customer
Comments, New Hires, Recognition and more
Here's what you said about us...
Limas, Sr. Building Inspector, Hospital Team, Field Services
Xavier and his team were excellent to work with. He was
very helpful in making sure we got our inspections in a timely
manner. He kept us informed on things that were needed for certain
inspections. He was always available by phone to answer any questions
that we had.
Carlos Aldaba, Plans
Examiner II, Plan Review
Mr. Aldaba was very patient and professional with us and
explained in detail everything we needed to obtain a building permit
for a two-story addition. We wanted to share a few words of
Development Services Specialist Supervisor, Customer Advocate, Plan
I am extremely pleased with the level of customer
service I received from Jeremy. Jeremy was professional, courteous,
and knowledgeable enough to help me untangle the mess my general
contractor left me with. Jeremy was very responsive and he deserves
to be recognized.
Planner, Land Entitlements, Land Development
This was my first time coming into the office and was
relieved to have my questions answered by someone as friendly and
knowledgeable as Mr. Cassidy.
Maintenance Worker, Graffiti, Field Services
Homer was awesome and we look forward to working with
him in the future.
Zeke Solis, Senior
Planner and Shepard Beamon, Senior Planner, Zoning, Land Development
The staff working with our variance request was helpful
and courteous. Even after dealing with a difficult customer,
Zeke had a smile on his face and treated us very well. I am pleased
to say Mr. Beamon, was very respectful when he arrived at my mother's
residence and answered my questions as he was retrieving measurements.
So far, as a recent veteran, I am proud to be taken care of by my
city employees. This experience exceeded my expectations of customer
service and I'm very pleased. Thank you and God Bless.
to our DSD employees who received the following certifications:
Development Services is recruiting for the following positions.
To learn more, or apply online, visit the DSD jobs at the City
of San Antonio Career
comments or suggestions regarding the Development Insight