BuildSA Release 2 is Underway
Habitat Compliance Form Update
Since November 2018, a Task Force composed of representatives from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the Military, the development community, environmental consultants, and neighborhood representatives have met to discuss changes to increase the efficacy and clarity of the Habitat Compliance Form (HCF). 
 
The HCF was originally developed in 2009. While the HCF is intended to be a communication tool that provides notification of development activity within the jurisdiction of the City of San Antonio to USFWS and TPWD, the purpose of the form is to alert USFWS so they can enforce the Endangered Species Act. Recently, city staff identified the form lacks clarity, is difficult to understand, and can result in confusion. As such, the task force met to make changes to the HCF to ensure the communication tool is conveying accurate and useful information. 
 
The task force completed their work and presented the revised HCF to the Community Health and Equity Committe e on Feb. 28, 2019. Th e Planning Commission Technical Advisory Committee recommended approval on Feb. 25, and the full Planning Commission recommended approval on March 13. The HCF is on track to be presented to City Council on April 11 for final approval.
 
For more information, visit the HCF website
Legislative Update
The 86 th Texas Legislature, held in Austin, Texas, is currently in session and runs through May 27, 2019. 

In line with the process, Development Services, in partnership with the City’s Department of Government and Public Affairs, continue to monitor and review bills that are filed for possible impacts to our department operations.

To date, most of the legislative activity involves tax relief and school funding, but a few bills with the potential to affect DSD operations were filed. We are pleased to report Senator Menedez filed a bill that, if passed, will allow our Code Enforcement Officers to carry “bite sticks” for protection against vicious dogs encountered when conducting neighborhood inspections. Other bills filed relate to determining costs of building permits and expedited proceedings for substandard and dangerous structures. 

The department is actively engaged in the process. On Feb. 14, 2019, Michael Shannon, DSD Director, testified to the House Urban Affairs Committee regarding the City of San Antonio’s process for regulating short-term rentals. On March 18, Mark Bird, City Arborist, spoke to the House Agriculture and Livestock Committee about the city’s tree ordinance. 

DSD will continue to monitor bills as they are proposed and filed throughout the legislative process.
Short Term Rental Mobile Application Now Available
With the Short-Term Rental (STR) Ordinance in place, STR owners are required to obtain a permit and register for payment of the Hotel Occupancy Taxes in order to operate a STR in the city limits of San Antonio.

To date, we have issue d 1,096 STR per mits.

In an effort to make this process easier for our customers, the department offers an online mobile-friendly version of the application form . This application allows customers to register for a permit and pay taxes online using any computer, tablet and/or smartphone. The form looks similar to the image below:
To view the STR Ordinance, or learn more about the program, visit the Short Term Rental website .
Public Hearing and Tentative Board/Commission Agendas
April Classes Still Available
The April session of the San Antonio Building Codes Academy (SABCA) still has a few spots open. Sign up to attend either the April 8 or April 9 class, and learn about the 2018 IRC Braced Wall Provisions.

The sessions will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center, Gathering Hall, 8400 N.W. Military Highway, San Antonio, TX.
 
SABCA’s goal is to bring high-quality educators and necessary building-related codes training to code officials, design professionals, builders, tradesmen and building owners and managers. The training provides Continuing Education Units and is provided by International Code Council professional instructors.

Questions can be referred to Charlotte Barrett , Special Projects Manager, or for more information, visit us on our SABCA website
Online Resources
The Information Bulletin (IB) listed below is new; to learn more, select the link.  

DSD created IB 571 to detail the policies and procedures regarding the development of an Urban Farm, and to explain other important development criteria regarding Greenhouses, Indoor Growing, Residential Gardens and Markets, accessory structures, and permitting requirements.

IB 567 clarifies how DSD issues permits for modifications of existing streets, medians, intersections, and other areas of City right-of-way when such modifications are part of the approved project scope for new development within the City. The IB also provides submittal requirements, and details the process of review and permitting, and the inspection of these more extensive improvements located in the right-of-way.
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 .
Promotions, new hires, and certification news , click here .
City Holiday Announcement
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