BuildSA News
Land Development News
Escrow Accounts-Land Development and Improved Functionality for Add/Remove Contacts on a Record and Withdrawal/Refund Record
 
We are pleased to offer our Land Development customers the option of creating Escrow Accounts to pay for Development Services Department fees.

The Escrow Account functionality is available to all registered Citizen Access Portal users. Click here for Citizen Access Portal Registration .  Escrow Account Owners have the option to add Authorized Agents to their accounts. An Authorized Agent is a person granted permission by the Escrow Account Owner to use the Escrow Account and pay record fees to the City of San Antonio. The Escrow Account Owner has the option to Add or Remove Authorized Agents instantly.

Account Management Page for Citizen Access Portal Account Owners
In addition to the availability of Escrow Accounts for Land Development records and the improved functionality of the Add/Remove Contacts and Withdraw/Refund Record, the Account Management page also underwent an upgrade.

Contacts are now managed at the record-level. Users of the Citizen Access Online Portal will not need to add contacts to their Account Management page and then add them to a record. As new applications for records are created, the applicant has the option of selecting ‘Look Up’ to find a contact or Add New. We strongly suggest to always use Look Up and search for a contact before creating a new contact. Doing so will eliminate duplication of a contact.

Please contact the Development Services Department Call Center, (210) 207-1111, with questions about creating an Escrow Account for Land Development records; the Account Management page update; improved functionality for Add/Remove Contacts on a record and Withdrawal/Refund records. You may also email us at DSDBuildSASupport@sanantonio.gov.  

We continue to work toward creating an innovative and user-friendly system for you, our valued customers.
Did you know? BuildSA Training is Available
BuildSA training is available every month at the One Stop. The upcoming schedule includes creating plats, zoning records, refunds, and more. To register for training, please email us at: DSDBuildSASupport@sanantonio.gov . Be sure to include the course and date you are signing up for.   
Contractor Connect is Here to Help
In line with maintaining a safer San Antonio, DSD launched the Contractor Connect program in May 2019 that benefits both property owners and home improvement/home builder contractors. For the property owner, DSD offers an enhanced search tool to identify home improvement/home builder contractors by type of work (roof, fence, etc.), and whether they are categorized as Registered, Registered Plus, or Premier.
 
Under this program, home improvement/home builder contractors can now register for Registered Plus or Premier categories simply by completing an application and meeting the qualifications required by DSD. Once approved, contractors can promote their Registered Plus or Premier credentials, along with their services. To date, DSD has home improvement/home builder contractors categorized as:
  • Registered – 1,639
  • Registered Plus – 25
  • Premier – 2
 
To be eligible for the Plus and Premier status, contractors must fall in line with the credentials listed in the table below:
DSD offers monthly training classes to registered contractors who are interested in elevating their registration level; training is scheduled at the One Stop on the second and fourth Tuesdays, in Training Room B, from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

For more information regarding Contractor Connect , please visit our website.

Strike Team
DSD also piloted a new program with a ‘Strike’ Team to find and issue citations to contractors who are doing work in the City without a license or without proper permits. As a result, over 800 citations have been issued – requiring contractors to register and to correct work completed without permits. To support the additional workload at DSD, a request was included in the 2020 budget proposal to formally staff this program.
Announcing Streaming Meetings @ DSD
Now available, streaming coverage of development-related boards and commissions meetings, including the Zoning, Planning Commissions, Building Standards Board, and Historic Design & Review.

To accommodate this effort, both DSD and the Government and Public Affairs office renovated the Board Room at 1901 S. Alamo, 78204.

With the renovations, you can now take advantage of full v ideo coverage of the meetings. If by chance you miss a live meeting, the recorded versions are available online within a day or two. The coverage is also available in Spanish.

To view a streaming video, or find an archived meeting, visit online at https://www.sanantonio.gov/DSD/Boards/MeetingVideos.
The Latest on Military Protection Areas
The City of San Antonio continues to move forward with work on the ETJ Military Protection Areas (MPA). The Planning Commission recommended approval of the ETJMPA regulations and the ETJMPA Comprehensive Land use Category Map on June 26, 2019 with the following recommended changes: Exemption of existing single family residences from limited review/certificate of compatibility; Modification of language for Continuation of Land Use to make consistent with State law; Modification of residential density in Agricultural Land Use Category to make consistent with JLUS. 
 
On July 16, the Zoning Commission recommended approval of the ETJMPA regulations with the Planning Commission changes. The City Council Planning & Community Development Committee was briefed about the item on Aug. 21; the full City Council will consider adoption of the regulations, comprehensive land use category map, overlay districts (MLOD, MSAO, AHOD, and ERZD), and Bexar County ILA on Sept. 19. 
 
More information on the ETJMPA can be found on our website .
Legislative Update
In 2019, the Texas Legislature passed legislation which directly affected the City of San Antonio’s existing codes and processes related to both Residential Re-platting (HB 3314) and Appeals to the Board of Adjustment (HB 2497). As a result, DSD issued two Rule Interpretation Decisions (RIDs) to ensure our codes and processes align with state law. As both bills are effective on Sept. 1, 2019, the RIDs will also be effective on that same date.

HB 3314 changed the way the residential replats are processed and approved. The legislation allows for administrative approval of residential replats without any variances or exception, so long as public notice of the action is provided to property owners within 200 feet after the action is taken. Previously, residential replats required a public hearing before the Planning Commission. Residential replats with a request for variance or exception will still require a public hearing before the Planning Commission for approval. For more info, visit RID 2019-004.

HB 2497 made significant changes regarding who can file an appeal to the Board of Adjustment (BOA) and the timeframe for filing an appeal. The bill essentially creates two different tiers of appeals to the BOA: Tier 1 Appeals not related to a specific application, address, or project; and Tier 2 Appeals related to a specific application, address, or project. These two tiers determine who may file an appeal to the BOA. Tier 1 Appeals are general in nature and relate to a policy, decision, or interpretation that is not limited in scope to a single specific application, address, or project. Tier 2 Appeals are related to a specific application, address, or project. The legislation limits who may file a Type 2 Appeal to the owner of the subject property, the property owner’s contractor or representative, or an owner of real property within 200 feet. Additionally, appeals can only be filed within 20 days of the date the decision is made. For more info, visit RID 2019-003.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes, please contact the Policy Administration Section at UDCAmendments@sanantonio.gov
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