Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Development Services Department Update May 2017

Partnering with our community to build and maintain a safer San Antonio  |  May 2017

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Development Services Department

Michael Shannon
Interim Director

Development  & 
Business 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

City Council Approves Sign Code Updates
The Development Services Department (DSD) is pleased to announce that after 25 years, the City Code Chapter 28 Sign Code was amended, and will now be reviewed and updated with the Unified Development Code cycle, once every 5 years starting in 2020.  The Ordinance was approved by City Council on May 4, 2017, and will go into effect starting July 3.

This was a big undertaking that stemmed from a September 2015 Council Consideration Request. To ensure buy in from the community, DSD facilitated 21 stakeholder meetings that included members of neighborhood associations, billboard operators, the Real Estate Council, San Antonio and Texas Sign Association, and many others.  These groups contributed more than 1,000 hours of their time to help develop the updated chapter.

In an effort to make sure the community is aware of the new changes, the Development Services Department (DSD) will offer an education campaign to help get the information out timely and accurately.

Sign code highlights include:
- increase the buffer from residential homes
- adds flexibility to relocate billboards due to government action
- increases enforcement for violations
- provides consistency for digital sign brightness measurements
- requires a permit for "garage sale" signs placed off personal property (first two are included with cost of the permit) 
- clarifies removal or maintenance for safety purposes
- current signs that are legal today, will stay the same 

As in the past, DSD will host meetings with various groups, including the neighborhood associations and sign stakeholders to make sure all questions are answered regarding the new changes. We will also offer an online overview, and distribute the highlights to all impacted.

A special "Thank You" to all the stakeholders that helped us accomplish this change. Your support throughout the amendment process is greatly appreciated.

To learn more about the amended code, visit the  Chapter 28 Sign Code Updates  tab, on the web page. 

Additional DSD Council Items Passed

NCD Weekly Permit Process - approved on May 18
The Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) weekly permit process was amended to include weekly reports that will be distributed to registered neighborhood associations.  The weekly reports include notifications regarding preliminary plan review meetings and permit applications. In addition, these weekly 
reports  will be available online.

Neighborhood Protection Policy - approved on May 4
The amendment to Chapter 10, section 10-12, allows the building official to withhold the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy (COO) to businesses, as defined by the current International Building Code adopted by the City of San Antonio, with violations.  With this change, a business with a history of having their COO revoked at least twice in the past, by the building official, can have their COO withheld for up to 1-year.

Street Names Code Change -  approved on May 4
City Council approved a change to Chapter 6, section 6-674, Changing the Name of Street.  This change approves a five-year wait period for subsequent name changes to same street segments. The amended change is as follows: 'From the date of the respective City Council action, a segment of street that City Council has approved for change of name or addition of memorial designation may not be altered for a period of five (5) years.'

For more information, please visit the DSD website

Congratulations to our new DSD Administrators

Online Resources

The latest  Information Bulletins (IB) are provided below: 
IB 100 Review Certification of One and Two-Family Dwellings, posted 5/17 - This Information Bulletin was revised to provide more optional certifications that a home builder could use as an alternative to Plan Review and/or to Inspections. 

Plan Review optional certifications are:
-Certification of IRC Compliance (excluding any structural)
-Certification for Foundation and Structural Framing (including any tall walls or lintels, but excluding wall bracing)
-Certification of Braced Wall Design
-Certification of Energy Conservation Design 

Inspection optional certifications include  Foundation, Framing, Wall Bracing, Energy Conservation, Fire Blocking / Draft Stopping, Notching and Boring / Life Safety Plan 

For options not chosen, the City will perform Plan Review and/or Inspections as appropriate for those items.  Plan Review will continue to review for platting and for zoning as well as tree preservation for a residential application.

IB 125 Conditional and Partial Building Permits, posted 5/17 - This IB was changed to have the contact phone number updated. In addition, we added some questions to help understand the reason for the request. 

IB 102a and IB 102b Professional Engineer (PE) Review of Fire System Plans, posted 5/17 - These two Information Bulletins were changed to require a completeness review meeting before submittal of the Fire Alarm or the Fire Sprinkler Plans.  In addition, a checklist form (required) was added for City staff and the PE to use to document the meeting.  

IB 116 Preliminary Plan Review Meetings,posted 5/8 - The IB was revised to change the contact phone number.  In addition, the application form was changed to add a request for someone to speak to the overall plan review process.  

IB 221 Commercial 2015 IECC Submittal Requirements, posted 4/27 - The Commissioning form, embedded within the IB, was modified to add the project name, address and permit number, as the original form did not have a place for this information.

For a complete list of resources, visit the following sites:  

Performance Measures - FY 2017

The complete Performance Measures report is available online.

Permit Activity

Building Permits and Inspection Requirements

Warmer days usually lead to more construction of residential decks, fences, additions and accessory sheds.  Keep the following things in mind when starting your project:
  • Confirm that the  contractor is registered with the City of San Antonio.
  • Permits are needed for certain types of work:
  • Inspections are required upon each stage in the building process, we offer the following to help you prepare:
When hiring a contractor, verify the contractor's license with Development Services, and research their recommendations online or open permit status. Most reputable contractors will not ask for full payment before the starting work.
For more information, please visit the building permit requirements overview web page, or call Sylvia Flood, Chief Building Inspector for Residential Combination Team, at 207-2750.

Registered Contractor Search Available Online

The City of San Antonio requires all City and State licensed contractors to be registered with the Development Services Department (DSD) prior to the issuance of any permit(s).

To help property owners find a licensed contractor, DSD offers a 'Contractor Search' feature available online. To use this feature, customers will need to use the license type search feature, available on the DSD website.  This feature includes a drop down list of all license types registered with the City. Once you select the type of contractor you are looking for, click on the 'Find Record' button to obtain the list of registered contractors. While the list offers business names and addresses, it does not provide phone numbers; we suggest to Google the company after selecting your business of choice.

If additional help is needed, customers can contact the Call Center and provide the name of the company, license holder, or license number and our staff will confirm if the contractor is registered and more importantly verify that the contractor is active.

Please note if you are a first time contractor registering with the City, you will need to register in person. DSD offers help obtaining or renewing City issued licenses or contractor registration during regular business hours. Registration requirements vary depending on the type of license or registration you hold. To learn more about obtaining a contractor license, visit the registration web page.

For more information, you may email the DSD License Team or call customer service at 210.207.1111. 

SABCA Training is Coming
This summer's SABCA Training will be held at the Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center.  The topic will be: 2015 International Existing Building Code (IEBC) Overview.

There is still time to sign up for the June 20 training; this session will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Don't delay, register today!

Other Department News
- Customer Comments, New Hires, Recognition and more

Here's what you said about us...

Dennis Attard, Sr. Electrical Inspector, Field Services
I cannot thank the City of San Antonio Development Services Department (DSD) enough for ensuring that the company installing our solar panel system completed all tasks within city codes and safety regulations accordingly. A special thanks to Mr. Dennis Attard, one of the electrical inspectors for our residence, who took the time to answer all of our questions while providing informative responses and recommendations. His feedback via a conference call also facilitated the ability of one of the contracted electricians to fix the deficiencies identified on our inspection card. What an asset Dennis Attard is to the SA DSD Electrical Inspection team - we are so appreciative of his time and service!

Jeremy Camarillo, DSD Specialist Supervisor, and  Monica Guillermo, DSD Rep., Customer Advocate, Plan Review and Katie Totman, OHP
I left messages with the Historic Preservation and Development Services and received prompt replies. The three people I spoke with answered my questions professionally and clearly. And one quickly found the answer to one of my questions. My experience today with these two City of San Antonio Offices has renewed my faith in our city government. I appreciate the professionalism showed to me. Please know it was well received.
Anna Alexander, Development Services Specialist, Customer Advocate, Plan Review and Zeke Solis, Sr. Planner, Zoning, Land Development
I received more than exemplary customer service and was provided with all if not more information regarding all aspects of my initial inquiry. I felt as though my concerns where prioritized by this department and the overall experience was beyond my expectations. Thanks to Anna M. Alexander and Zenon Solis.

Lisa McKenzie, Graffiti Program Coordinator, Graffiti Abatement, Field Services
Excellent work this morning! Please thank your team for me. This past Friday night there was the senior prom for one of the high schools at the Eilan. I believe the students that were not invited decided to do something different to impress the students that did attend their prom.  Overnight the tagging began. Thank you for the fast work. I am truly impressed with the turnaround time. I greatly appreciate the service.  Thanks, David McCary, Director, Solid Waste Management


Congratulations to our DSD employees who received the following certifications: 

New Hires


Job Opportunities

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 Center.

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

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