Legislative Updates
The 86 th Texas Legislature, held in Austin, Texas, adjourned on May 27, 2019. DSD continued to follow the items below:
HB 852 & Changes to Existing Residential Permit Fees
Effective June 24, 2019

House Bill 852 was signed by Governor Abbott on May 21, 2019 and went into effect immediately. Due to changes in State law which impact how fees are assessed, City Council approved revisions to the City Code Chapter 10 on June 20. 

As such, permits for all residential additions, remodels, foundation repairs, and swimming pools now h ave new fees through the permitting system. The new fees are based on the average cost per permit over the last 3.5 years.

For questions regarding any of these changes, please contact us at 210.207.1111, during our office hours of Monday-Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
SB 621 - Plumbing Licenses and Enforcement
On June 13, 2019, Governor Abbott signed an executive order   allowing the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners to continue its operations through May 31, 2021, giving the 87th legislature time to address the matter. What this means is local jurisdictions like San Antonio will NOT have to modify our current plumbing codes and adopt new rules this summer to regulate plumbing licenses to protect our community. For now, it will be business as usual.
HB 2584 - Bite Sticks Bill
On June 14, 2019, Governor Abbott signed HB 2584, passing the Bite Sticks Bill. With the approval, code officers will have access to bite sticks as a means to protect themselves from dangerous dogs throughout their daily tours. The bill goes into effect on Sept. 1, 2019.
Recognized for Best Practices by ICC
The Development Services Department (DSD) is once again recognized by the International Code Council (ICC) for the Best Practices we follow .

“It is a great accomplishment to be recognized for processes and practices our department follows regularly,” said Director Michael Shannon, PE, CBO. “Partnering with our stakeholders, employees, and citizens of San Antonio are key to ensuring success in keeping our city safe and involved.”

According to the ICC, the purpose of Best Practices is to maximize the benefit of shared resources, concepts and programs, to learn from both our successes and failures and provide contacts to better enable state and local jurisdictions to function in a more cost effective and efficient manner. As such, building departments are encouraged to use these tools to help enhance operations.

In January, DSD submitted several best practices for consideration to the ICC Major Jurisdiction Committee (MJC). Of these, five were acknowledged as best practices by the MJC and combined into two groups: Code Adoption and Related Activities and Certification Program.

The Code Adoption and Related Activities best practices focus on DSD’s use of stakeholders and task forces when the City either updates or creates an ordinance, or adopts the latest building codes. The Certification Program highlights the department’s certification pay policy and the creation of an on-site testing room to facilitate exam testing by our staff. These recognitions support Development Service’s continued effort to be a national leader and the best in the country. 
BuildSA News
Land Development News

Thank you to all who participated in the Land Development Release BuildSA Survey last month. From your feedback, it is clear customers prefer a classroom setting with a focus on specific record types and BuildSA processes.

An obvious need was identified early with 61% percent of daily BuildSA users wanting to know more about the Electronic Document Review (EDR) process. In addition, 86% of all users responded they create minor and major plats. Those results made the decision to offer the Platting: EDR class an easy call; two sessions were held in June and 31 participants attended. While in training, DSD took this opportunity to conduct a Q&A session, and shared future enhancements.

The DSD BuildSA team is working hard to create the classes that will most benefit our customers and staff. We will be holding two more training sessions, scheduled for July 12 and 26. The course details will be announced shortly. If you would like to attend, please email the BuildSA support team at DSDBuildSASupport@SanAntonio.Gov

Be on the lookout for upc oming BuildSA training opportunities, which will be posted on the DSD website, in the BuildSA Classroom Training section.
Announcing New PCTAC Members
After an application and review process, the Planning Commission on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, appointed seven regular members, two experienced members, and three alternate members to the Planning Commission Technical Advisory Committee (PCTAC). 

The PCTAC advises the Planning Commission on the Major Thoroughfare Plan and Unified Development Code (UDC) amendments and meets as often as necessary.  The members will play a key role in the upcoming 2020 UDC amendment process. The new members are:
Visit the  PCTAC web page  to learn more about the Commission. 
Cara Tackett, Award Recipient
Congratulations to Cara Tackett, SVP Pape-Dawson Engineers, for receiving the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Executive Award for Large Business, presented at the Tribute to Women Business Leaders luncheon on June 4, 2019.

“Cara plays an essential role at DSD,” said Director Michael Shannon, PE, CBO. “Her commitment and desire to help shape the City of San Antonio has a significant impact on how we partner and engage with our stakeholders, and community overall.”
 
Each year the Chamber of Commerce celebrates women business leaders who are making a difference in San Antonio.
 
“Cara was recently appointed to the Planning Commission Technical Advisory Committee for her leadership, experience and knowledge,” said Melissa Ramirez, Land Development Assistant Director. “She is a true leader and problem solver in the development community, and is always great to work with even in challenging situations."

Photo credit to Pape-Dawson Engineers for allowing us to use their photo. 
Coming Soon – SA Tomorrow Future Land Use Categories Available on One Stop Zoning Map
The Planning Department is working with communities throughout the City of San Antonio to complete 30 sub-area plans that will implement the SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan . A key component of these plans is the future land use maps that will determine where people will live, work and play. Future land use maps are also the basis for zoning and other land use and development decisions.
 
The updated categories enable the City to implement the Comprehensive Plan and will also create consistent, predictable, and well-defined classifications for application across the whole City. These categories can be found in Chapter 35 Unified Development Code  (UDC), Land Use Categories and Definitions section . While many of the categories will be familiar, a new color scheme and several new categories have been introduced.
As the SA Tomorrow sub-area planning process progresses over the coming years, new Regional Center and Community Plans will be adopted for the entire City of San Antonio. The future land use map will be updated using these new categories and will be displayed on the City of San Antonio One Stop map.
 
More information on SA Tomorrow and future land use categories can be found at https://www.sanantonio.gov/planning.
Online Resources
The Information Bulletin (IB) listed below is new; to learn more, select the link.  

This IB was created to inform our customers of the plat exception process. When an applicant applies for a plat exception, staff must determine which, if any, of the 17 exceptions apply to that property or if the property will require platting or replatting. If a property does qualify for a plat exception, staff issues a Certificate of Determination to the applicant, otherwise a denial letter is prepared. 

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

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 and certification news , click here .
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