Development Services Department - Code Enforcement Services
Resident Responsibilities

To explore the resident's responsibilities section, select a tab (listed on the right) below.

Absentee Property Owner registration

An absentee property owner is a person with legal possession of a one-family or two-family (duplex) dwelling, who resides outside of Bexar County, Texas. Post Office Boxes are not accepted as proof of residency. An absentee property owner is subject to the registration requirement when a second code violation is identified on the subject property within a 12-month period. Absentee property owners without code violations or with only one code violation per 12-month period are not affected.

Click here for list of properties identified

Registration requirements (for each property) include:

  • Complete/submit the Absentee Property Owner Application
  • $50.00 registration fee paid annually for at least two years
  • Designation of a local property manager or agent. Agent must reside in Bexar County
  • Property owner that remain violation-free for a minimum of two years will no longer be required to register with the City

Bandit signs

City Codes 28-152, 28-153. DSD Code Interpretations CI2014-004 & CI2014-005

DO
  • Obtain a permit for your signs and follow the weekend signs rules and regulation.  
  • Home Owner Associations (HOA), Property Owner Associations (POA) and neighborhood associations may display event signs in their area to announce meetings.  Signs may be no more than 6 square feet in size and must be removed 48 hours after the event.
  • Political Signs may be displayed on the city right of way and allowed to remain up to 90 days after elections.
  • Citizens may remove un-permitted bandit signs at their own risk (Think safety first).     
  • Contact the City if you have any questions or have received a notice of violation from Code Enforcement.
DON'T
  • Place a bandit sign on a city right of way.
  • Attach a bandit sign to a utility pole, tree, retaining wall or any other object located on a city right of way.
  • Ignore a notice of violation from the City.

Bandit Signs

City Right-Of-Way     
City Codes: Chapter 6, Section 6-1,Chapter 19, Section 19-168 and Section 19-178

DO
  • Keep Right-of-Way clear.  They are used for public passage and for the installation of curbs, sidewalks and utilities.
  • Keep Rights-of-Way free of obstructions including, overhanging tree limbs and other plants that impede the passage of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
  • Contact the Development Services, Code Enforcement Section, if you have any questions about what is allowed on a City Right-of-Way. 
DON'T
  • Store any obstructions such as recreational equipment (swing sets, basketball goals, etc.) on City Right-of-Way.
  • Build anything on City Right-of-Way without prior approval.
  • Ignore a notice of violation from the City.
  • Park a vehicle in an alleyway. (City Code section 19-168)
  • Park over the curb line or block the sidewalk with your vehicle. (City Code section 19-178)
 

Garage / Yard Sales

City Codes Affected: Chapter 16, Article XII Garage Sales

DO
  • Obtain a Garage Sale permit before the start of the sale from one of the following locations:
  • Sell up to 5 items or less on your property without a Garage Sale Permit.
  • Post the permit in plain view at the time of the garage sale.
  • Display up to two (2) signs no larger than four (4) square feet in area, on the premises, announcing the sale during the permitted time of sale.
  • Have your sale between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Have up to four (4) Garage / Yard Sales per calendar year, on each property, not to exceed one (1) garage sale per quarter.
  • Save you’re first three (3) Garage / Yard Sale permit receipts to obtain your fourth free permit. The free permit can be obtained at the City's Development Services Department only.
  • Obtain a Garage Sale rain check at the City's Development Services Department inclement weather.  You have one week from the permit issue date to obtain a rain check.
  • Register any church, charitable, or non-profit organization with the City's Development Services Department in order to hold a maximum of twelve (12) Garage Sales per year. While non-exempt, you must still purchase the garage permit; however, there is no fee for this registration.
DON'T
  • Have a Garage / Yard sale if a permit has not been obtained.
  • Post or display signs on telephone poles, light standards, street signs or the City right-of-ways.
  • Display the following items at your Garage / Yard Sale, these items are prohibited from selling to the public:
    • Aerosol Paints
    • Ammunition
    • Glue
    • Guns
    • Live Animals
  • Sell food items unless you obtain a food sales permit from the City Health Department.
  • Exhibit or display items on the public right-of-way.
garage sale

Graffiti

City Code 21, Article X
DO
  • Property owners who have been victimized by graffiti vandalism should record damages for insurance purposes.
  • Take photos of the vandalized area and document when the crime occurred; the Police may request this information when you report it.
  • Call the police non-emergency number to report graffiti vandalism, (210)207-SAPD (7273). 
  • Remove graffiti within 24-48 hours, this is key to graffiti prevention.
  • Request graffiti removal on public property by calling 311, or download the free San Antonio 311 Mobile App on your iPhone or Android.
  • Follow the 3Rs (Record, Report & Remove) to help eliminate graffiti vandalism in your community.
  • Contact the Graffiti Hotline at (210)207-Buff (2833) for assistance with removal or supplies, or if you would like to volunteer.
DON'T
  • Miss an opportunity to record the graffiti, by taking a photo, for police use. 
  • Approach someone who is vandalizing property.
  • Miss an opportunity to have City staff or volunteers remove the graffiti, by reporting it to 311.
  • Leave graffiti on your property longer than 48 hours; property that is not maintained will attract more graffiti.

graffiti

Alley Maintenance    
SAPMC Section 308.1, City Codes 14-10 (d), 14-61 and 14-64

DO
  • Mow the alley to its center and keep it free of debris and other obstructions; your neighbor is responsible for maintaining the other half, City code 14-61, San Antonio Property Maintenance Code (SAPMC) Section 308.1.

  • There must be a clearance of at least fourteen (14) feet high by fifteen (15) feet wide for vehicles to enter the alley, and the alley bed must be reasonably free of debris and passable to the vehicle, City code 14-64

  • Remember that additional regulations apply for garbage and recyclable collection in an alley, City code 14-10(d.).

  • Contact the City if you have any questions or have received a notice of violation from Code Enforcement.
DON'T
  • Let your alley become overgrown and filled with junk.

  • Fence off any portion of the alley; it is a public passage way and must be kept open just like a city street.

  • Obstruct the alley with plants or stored items. 

  • Ignore a notice of violation from the City.
alley maintenance

fence construction    
SAPMC section 302.7.1., UDC Section 35-514, and City Codes 6-2

DO
  • Obtain a permit from the Development Services Department before building a fence, even if you are building it yourself.
  • Maintain your fence in compliance with property maintenance standards.
  • Repair your fence if it leans in excess of 15 degrees from vertical or if it has any broken, rotted or fire-damaged slats; you may remove the fence instead of repairing it if the fence is not required by another San Antonio Property Maintenance Code (SAPMC) section 302.7.1.
  • Abide by the height restrictions and construction standards found in the Unified Development Code (UDC) Section 35-514 and City Code 6-2.
  • Make sure you know where your property lines or boundaries are located. The City does not provide this service to homeowners.
  • Call 811 to locate any possible utility lines before digging postholes. Failure to do so is against the law and might hurt you if strike a utility line.
DON'T
  • Let your alley become overgrown and filled with junk.

  • Fence off any portion of the alley; it is a public passage way and must be kept open just like a city street.

  • Obstruct the alley with plants or stored items. 

  • Ignore a notice of violation from the City
  • Use barbed wire or razor wire on your fence; this type of material requires special permission from Development Services before installation.
  • Wire the fence with electricity; electric fences require special permission from the Development Services Department before installation.
  • Use plywood, sheet metal, plastic, paper, tarps or similar material not approved by the Development Services Department.
  • Ignore a notice of violation from the City.
 fence requirements

Minimum property maintenance    

City Codes Affected: SAPMC

DO
  • Understand the rules: the City’s minimum property maintenance code is available on-line for viewing and at all City libraries, and hard copies are available for sale at the Development Services Department (One Stop).
  • Protect your home or business from the elements with paint or other protective covering or treatment
  • Mow your lawn and keep grass and weeds less than 12 inches in height.
  • Keep your property is clean, safe and sanitary condition at all times.
  • Properly install smoke detectors and check them annually
  • Contact the City if you have any questions or have received a notice of violation from Code Enforcement.
DON'T
  • Defer maintenance, especially painting and maintenance of your foundation, walls and roof systems.
  • Allow exposed electrical wiring or unsafe equipment to be used; have them fixed immediately
  • Ignore a notice of violation from the City.
property maintenance

Clean and secure vacant property  

City Codes: Chapter 14-10 and Chapter 6, Division 2

DO
  • Maintain your yard.
  • Remove all trash and debris from your property.
  • Secure your structure.
  • Follow all applicable rules and regulations regarding property maintenance. 
DON'T
  • Allow your yard to become overgrown in excess of 12 inches.
  • Allow your property to become littered or messy.
  • Allow your structure to become accessible.
vacant building

Demolitions

DO
  • Follow all applicable rules and regulations regarding demolitions.
  • Properly dispose of all demolition debris at an approved disposal facility.
  • Maintain the unimproved land.
DON'T
  • Allow your yard to become overgrown in excess of 12 inches.
  • Demolish without first obtaining a demolition permit.
  • Demolish without proper utility disconnection.
  • Dump demolition debris.

Curbstoning vehicles

City Code 19, Article VI Division 5, Section 19-244
DO
  • Sell your own vehicle out of your home (No more than one at a time and no more than five vehicles per calendar year).
  • Sell your vehicle at an authorized vehicle sales facility.
DON'T
  • Place your vehicle in a conspicuous way on public land or commercial property with the intent to sell.
  • Leave your vehicle at a location, which is not your own, with the intent to sell.
alley maintenance

Junked or inoperable Cars

City Code Chapter 19, Article VI Division 2, Section 19-357
DO
  • Maintain all privately owned vehicles in good working order on your private property.
  • Keep inoperable vehicles out of ordinary public view at all times; the vehicle should be placed in an enclosed garage, behind a privacy fence or relocated to a licensed auto repair shop.
  • If an investigation is conducted on your property for a possible inoperable vehicle, you must meet with the Code investigator within ten (10) days to verify the vehicle in question is operable.
DON'T
  • Store a vehicle that is wrecked, dismantled, or partially dismantled at a residence in ordinary public view.
  • Cover an inoperable vehicle with a tarp; if it is stored on a private property it must be stored out of public view.
  • Attempt to conduct major auto repair at your residence on an inoperable vehicle; major auto repair in a residential zone neighborhood is not permitted.
fence requirements

Front or side yard parking

City Code Chapter 19, Article VI Division 2, Section 19-194 and UDC Section 35-383

DO
  • Park your vehicles and trailers on an improved surface composed of one of the following: gravel with a barrier, concrete, brick, or asphalt).
  • Park on your yard when washing your vehicle.
  • Park your vehicles and trailers in the rear yard without surface improvements.
  • Park an RV on improved surfaces on your property.
  • Park an over-sized vehicle in residential district for trip preparation.
  • Pave no more than 50% of your front yard if needed (consult your Neighborhood Association) 
DON'T
  • Park on your unimproved front or side yard.
  • Block your city Right-of-Way or sidewalk.
  • Drive, propel, park or stand any vehicle upon any sidewalk or park over a curb.
  • Don’t park and block an alleyway.
  • Permanently park any over-sized vehicles in a residential district.
  • Park an RV in the restricted parking area (15 feet from the curb or street line).