In this issue:
  • Cost Impact Analysis
  • Take Our Survey!
  • Holiday Schedule
  • Security Measures at DSD
  • Online Resources
  • Performance Measures
  • Department News
Cost Impact Analysis Proposed for UDC Process
In late 2018, Councilman Pelaez issued a City Council Consideration request directing DSD to conduct a comprehensive review of the Unified Development Code (UDC) revision process and to study the feasibility that each UDC amendment includes an economic impact analysis. A diverse task force composed of economic development professionals, development professionals, and neighborhood leaders was convened to study the issue and make a recommendation. 

The task force met three times between June and August, 2019 to review current UDC amendment processes and best practices from other organizations, including the International Code Council’s (ICC) Committee Action Hearings where proposed changes to the International Building Codes were evaluated. One notable takeaway included ICC requires a cost impact statement (CIS) to be provided with each proposed amendment. The task force recommended a similar process for UDC Amendments to include the following actions:
 
  • Add language, in Section 35-111, that requires requests for UDC amendments made during and outside the 5-year update process to include a CIS with the proposed amendments. The CIS must indicate whether the UDC amendment would:
- Increase the cost of construction/development
- Decrease the cost of construction/development, or
- Not impact the cost of construction/development
  • Require the applicant to substantiate their statement with appropriate documentation
  • Consider any UDC Amendment without a CIS with backup data to be incomplete
  • Remove the July 1 date for revisions from Section 35-311(b) in order to reduce confusion over deadline dates
 
The task force also suggested changes to the UDC Update Request Form that includes a CIS in line with the proposed UDC changes. As such, the updated form directs applicants to indicate initial and long-term maintenance costs; consider city costs such as personnel and enforcement costs; and to quantify and rationalize current cost baselines and any cost projections associated with the request.
 
The Planning Commission recommended approval on Oct. 23, 2019, and the City Council Planning and Community Development Committee recommended approval on Nov. 12. The full Council will consider the item on Dec. 12, and the Cost Impact Analysis requirement is anticipated to be in place for the 2020 UDC Amendment Cycle.

As a reminder, the 2020 UDC process kicks off Jan. 1, 2020. To learn more about the process review the Fact Sheet , or visit the 2020 UDC website . You can also sign up to receive notifications on upcoming meetings and amendment updates, or contact us at UDCAmendments@sanantonio.gov for questions.
Take Our Communications Survey
We want to hear from you!
Take our short survey to help us improve the way we share information with you. The survey is designed to tell us if we are communicating effectively by using our current resources, which include our website, newsletters, emails, and social media platforms.  

The survey runs through Dec. 10, 2019.

We appreciate your time, and look forward to your feedback!

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Holiday Schedule
The Development Services Department will follow the City holiday schedule; the office will be closed on the following days:
For more information about the DSD holiday schedule, visit our webpage.
Inspections and Boards & Commissions Holiday Schedule
DSD and the Fire Marshal’s Office will be closed Dec. 24, 2019 through Jan. 1, 2020 recognizing the City Winter Holiday. Both offices will re-open on Jan. 2. 2020, as regularly scheduled, from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
 
Inspections on Dec. 27 and 30 will be available if scheduled and paid for by 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 20.    The inspection fee over the holiday break is $100 per discipline (Building, Fire, Mechanical, Plumbing and Electrical), per inspection. Note:  Online scheduling for inspections will not be available during the Winter Holiday Break.

Please call the following numbers to schedule an appointment.
  • Plat Construction Inspections - (210) 207-0281
  • Building Inspections - (210) 207-0220
  • Fire System Inspections - (210) 207-8410 (Fire Inspection fee is $82.40/hour with 2-hour minimum.)

For more information, see our holiday inspection flyer .
New Security Measures at DSD
As previously shared, DSD recently implemented new security measures to enhance safety at the Cliff Morton Development & Business Services Center for our customers and staff.

Last month, the department added a new visitor check-in system, similar to that used by local school districts. With the new system, customers will need to present a photo ID at the Meet and Greet desk to obtain a visitor sticker. The visitor sticker allows customers access to the employee area and second floor training rooms. Customers will need to return the sticker upon leaving the building. During your time at the office, customers will be accompanied to and from back office areas by City staff.

Please note the new process requires all visitors to enter at the front of the building to pass through a metal detector. Upon entry, security personnel will scan all personal belongings for prohibited items to include: metal nail files, pocketknives, firearms, box cutters, scissors, razor blades, pepper spray, stun gun or taser, or any item designated or altered to function as a weapon.

To accommodate the new security measures, please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to visiting us for permits, meetings, and board and commission hearings.

In addition, you may park in the lot adjacent to the building or the lot across the street at 1902 S Alamo (usually this one has more capacity); for your safety, please use the crosswalk if parking across the street.
 Thank you for helping us make our building a safer place to do business. For questions, please contact us at dsdsupportservices@sanantonio.gov .
San Antonio is Tree City USA
On Nov. 1, 2019, DSD raised the Tree City USA flag to proudly fly alongside our City flag in recognition of State Arbor Day and all our Tree Preservation team’s hard work. The official Texas State Arbor Day is held on the first Friday in November each year. 
 
The City of San Antonio was recognized as a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation back in 2015. To qualify as a Tree City USA community, the community must meet four standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. These standards (a tree board, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance) were established to ensure every qualifying community would have a viable tree management program and that no community would be excluded because of size. The state of Texas has 88 Tree City USA communities.
 
San Antonio celebrated trees and nature at the annual Texas Arbor Day festival, held on Nov. 2. DSD participated at the free, family- friendly festival where attendees adopted trees.

Remember, fall is a terrific time to plant trees all across Texas!
SABCA Fall Session Success
Development Services hosted two San Antonio Building Codes Academy (SABCA) training sessions this past fall. The all-day trainings took place at the Urban Ecology Center at Hardberger Park.

The October 22-23 classes focused on the 2018 IRC-Accessory Structures, Decks, Carports, & Patio Covers. This session was taught by Chris Kimball, SE, MCP, CBO and Vice President of West Coast Code Consultants, Inc. Utah Operations. The second set of classes took place October 29-30, with training on 2018 IBC Multi-family Dwellings. The instructor for this session was Todd Snider, PE, SE, CBO, who serves as the Plan Review Supervisor for West Coast Code Consultants taught the multi-family dwellings session.

Both sessions were successful with 316 attendees over the 4-day training period. The trainings were extremely beneficial for DSD and other City department's staff who attended, as well as customers. Some customers represented area community colleges, the cities of Live Oak and New Braunfels and the DSD Director from Corpus Christi.
Online Resources
For a complete list of resources, visit the following sites:


** Information Bulletins located in Documents Online are numbered by section.
Performance Measures & Permit Report
Performance Measures
The performance measures report is available online .
Permit Report
Department News
Job Opportunities: If you are interested in joining our department, apply online .
For new hires, promotions, and retirement news , click here .
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