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Revisions to Service Center Request Form

Further Improve Intake Process


The DSD Service Center Team facilitates a variety of services for applicants, including permit activation and AB+C Portal registration. Generally, the team provides these services in response to applicant requests through the online Service Center Request Form and the online chat feature on the Service Center page


The response time for these collective functions varies depending on the volume and complexity. To help speed up these requests, DSD recently improved the functionality and accessibility of the Service Center request form. 


  • Applicants who seek to activate an approved permit or update a trade license or insurance information will now be prompted to use the chat feature, instead of the online form, to facilitate a quicker response.  


  • Applicants who need to change license holder information will now find an option specifically for that action, along with guidance on the additional information DSD requires to process the request. 


  • Additional prompts will now help staff evaluate and organize requests to support faster responses.

 

These improvements will further streamline Service Center requests. We appreciate your ongoing feedback, which helps DSD continue to improve processes to serve the community better.

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Land Use Team Upgrades Intake Process,

Now Easier to Submit Applications


DSD recently launched a new webform for Land Use applications. As part of continuing efforts to improve the development process, this new Land Use Application Submission Form enables customers to submit new applications, updates and revisions.


The form offers guidance on submission requirements and allows applicants to:


  • Apply for and update Site Plans, submit time-sensitive letters for Subdivisions, Zoning, Zoning Verification and General Permits.
  • Upload large files (up to 150 MB) within the tool without waiting for a separate link.
  • Request to connect an AB+C account to a specific case number.


Like other new intake forms, the Land Use Review (LUR) update includes a ticketing system. This will improve tracking and streamline the application process, in turn reducing overall processing times for all land use permitting requests. Customers will still have an option to submit requests by email until Monday, May 2, when all LUR applications will require the new form.


Stakeholders can provide feedback on the new submission process through this survey.  


Special thanks to our development stakeholders who tested this pilot program before the launch. We appreciate your time and willingness to work with us to improve development services. 

Site Plan Exemption Simplified for Tree Permits


Starting in February of this year, separate tree permits are no longer required for projects with site plan exemptions. Under the revised process, the plans received during the exemption process will serve as the tree permit. This approach is consistent with those used for site plans and site plan corrections.


Cases that have already received guidance to submit a tree ordinance review application, sometimes referred to as a TORA or tree permit, will proceed under the former process. New submissions will not include this step. 


Applicants with questions about their projects should contact the original tree reviewer listed on the comment report. 

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Safe Fence Regulations

Code Amendment Process Underway

The Development Services Department seeks community input on improvements to fence design safety regulations. This engagement process is in response to Resolution No. 20211104-039, which directs staff to gather stakeholder feedback on the following changes: 


  • Requiring flat top styles on new fences of all lengths 
  • Applying flat top fence requirements to all new fences of six feet tall or lower 
  • Applying flat top fence requirements to substantial fence repairs or remodeling of 50% or more of an existing fence 


Interested stakeholders can provide feedback between April 25 and June 5, 2022 on the dedicated Speak Up Austin page. DSD will also offer virtual and in-person engagements throughout the month of May. The material will be presented in English and Spanish at each session. If additional interpretation services are needed, please request via email.


Virtual Engagement Opportunities 


Tuesday, May 10, 2022  

10:00 a.m. to noon 

English Registration Link 

Spanish Registration Link 

 

Monday, May 16, 2022  

10:00 a.m. to noon 

English Registration Link 

Spanish Registration Link 

 


In-Person Engagement Opportunities  


Saturday, May 7, 2022  

10:00 a.m. to noon 

Permitting and Development Center, Rooms 1406 and 1407 (Event Center)

6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr. | Austin, Texas 

English Registration Link 

Spanish Registration Link 

 

Thursday, May 26, 2022  

6:00 to 8:00 p.m. 

Permitting and Development Center, Rooms 1406 and 1407 (Event Center)

6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr. | Austin, Texas

English Registration Link 

Spanish Registration Link 

 

The engagement series ends on June 5, 2022. DSD will use the feedback received to inform proposed Code amendments, which will be presented to City Boards, Commissions and the Austin City Council for discussion and action.  

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Get Registered: Upcoming Street Impact Fee Webinars


The Austin Transportation Department will host two Zoom webinars for developers on the implementation of Street Impact Fees (SIF). These Council-adopted fees will be required for most new development projects to fund transportation infrastructure improvements. 


Large-Scale Developer Session 

Thursday, May 19, at 10:00 a.m. 

Register here.


Small-Scale Developer Session – broadcast in English and Spanish 

Thursday, May 19, at 1:00 p.m. 

Register here.


The webinar presentation will provide an overview of Street Impact Fees, and attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of SIF program managers. 

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Save Water and Money with Austin Water Rebates


Summer is just around the corner, and that means many Austin residents will be using more water on lawns and landscapes.


Austin Water offers its customers, and customers of qualifying water providers, a variety of landscape and irrigation-related rebates to help maintain a healthy landscape while conserving water. Incentives include rebates on rainwater harvesting systems, hose timers, drought-tolerant landscapes and even swimming pool covers.


Check out the full list of Austin Water’s rebates and incentives.


Applications for improvements this spring are due by April 30, and planting must be complete by June 15 to qualify. Before starting a project or purchasing any equipment, make sure to read through the eligibility requirements and guidelines on each rebate application.


For more information about Austin Water’s conservation rebates, tools, and programs, visit www.waterwiseaustin.org, call (512) 974-2199, or email watercon@austintexas.gov.

Small Business Week:

Permitting Guidance for Small Business Owners


Members of DSD’s Development Process Team will present two webinars for small business owners during Small Business Week.

 

The Commercial Development Process: From Start to Finish

Attendees will learn about the full commercial development process from start to finish, including Zoning, Subdivision, Site Plan, Building Plan Review, Permit Activations and Inspections.


Monday, May 2, 2022

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Register here.

 


What to Know Before You Buy or Lease

Attendees will learn information that will help inform decisions before buying or leasing a commercial property and share interactive tools to help navigate the development process.


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Register here.


Two New Programs Replace Shop the Block Pilot


The City’s temporary Shop the Block program is winding to a close. However, the outdoor seating and retail options made available through the program are being transitioned to two new, permanent programs. 


The Development Services Department will administer the Parking Lot Patio Permit program. The program will issue annual permits that allow businesses to use some dedicated parking spaces for seating or retail. 


The Austin Transportation Department will manage the Sidewalk Cafes and Street Patios program, which will provide permits for businesses to offer seating on City-owned sidewalks or in areas devoted to parking.  


Those with active Shop the Block permits can expect their permits to expire this summer, 180 days after approval of their extension, and are encouraged to apply at least 60 days before that date. This will allow for ample review time and ensure a smooth transition from one permit to another.

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Urban Forest Grants Grow Opportunities

to Support Austin Trees 


The City of Austin’s Urban Forest Program recently awarded $1.24 million to seven projects that will help grow and protect the community’s healthy tree canopy and provide more trees where they are needed most. 


The Urban Forest Grant program, administered by the City’s Development Services Department, is supported primarily by the mitigation funds the City receives when protected trees are removed for development projects. Grants are reserved for community-based projects that help support the community’s healthy tree canopy. 


 2022 Urban Forest Grant recipients include: 


  • Austin Independent School District ($753,131) 
  • Partners for Education, Agriculture & Sustainability ($172,366) 
  • Austin Parks Foundation ($143,954) 
  • Fruitful Commons ($98,222) 
  • The Contemporary Austin ($46,977) 
  • Ecology Action of Texas, Inc. ($20,450) 
  • Waterloo Greenway Conservancy ($5,132) 


If you have an eligible project for future consideration, apply here. The application deadline for the next round of Urban Forest Grants is July 1, 2022. 


Building Safety Month is Coming Soon!


May 2022 is the 42nd annual International Building Safety Month, and the Development Services Department is partnering with Austin Code and the Office of Sustainability to celebrate and raise awareness about the processes and policies that guide Austin’s safe and sustainable development. 


You are invited to follow the Development Services Department on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for Building Safety Month highlights using #BuildingSafetyMonth365. This is a communitywide effort, so we encourage you to post your own content throughout the month, too!