Development Services
Codes & Ordinances

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Development Services Department Map

Cliff Morton Development and Business Services Center
1901 South Alamo Street
San Antonio, TX 78204

Phone:
210.207.1111

Hours:
7:45 am - 4:30 pm (Mon - Fri)
Closed on City Holidays

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Codes & Ordinances Overview

Development in the City of San Antonio requires conformance with all adopted building codes, land use regulations and the City's design and construction standards.

On January 29, 2015, San Antonio City Council approved the adoption of the 2015 International Code Council (ICC) building-related, fire and property maintenance codes with local amendments.  With the exception of the 2015 International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC), these codes went into effect on May 1, 2015.

 


As of May 1, 2015 the City of San Antonio has the following International Code Council (ICC) codes in effect. The International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC) went into effect July 15, 2015.

  • 2015 International Building Code
  • 2015 International Residential Code for One and Two Family Dwellings
  • 2015 International Mechanical Code
  • 2015 International Plumbing Code
  • 2015 International Existing Building Code
  • 2015 International Fuel Gas Code
  • 2015 International Fire Code
  • 2015 International Energy Conservation Code
  • 2014 National Electric Code

Chapter 28 - Signs and Billboard Ordinance went into effect July 3, 2017:

The following local amendments to the Codes have also been adopted:

Code Interpretation

The Building and Fire related codes are updated every three years. During those update periods, there are often questions concerning how the City is interpreting the actual Code or the Rules.

Go to Code Interpretations to see if your question has been addressed.  To obtain a Code Interpretation see IB 115 on How to Request a Code Interpretation.

Forms & Applications:

Resources:

On May 15, 2017 the Neighborhoods & Livability Committee approved City staff to begin meeting with impacted stakeholders to develop appropriate amendments to City Code Chapter 18 - Mobile Living Parks:

To improve the overall health and safety at mobile home parks
Proposed changes to current City Code provisions could include dedication of staff to conduct proactive inspections to ensure that the density of mobile homes does not increase over time
Regular inspections of electrical, sewer and water connections
Confirmation that the parks are in compliance with the City’s Property Maintenance Code.
To improve the overall health and safety at mobile home parks
Regular inspections of electrical, sewer and water connections
Confirmation that the parks are in compliance with the City’s Property Maintenance Code.

Proposed/Potential Changes from original Chapter 18 may include:

DSD and Health will lead program
Revised and streamlined application process
Possible modification to registration fees
Additional proactive inspections for code compliance
Clarification of suspension/revoking of licenses for failure to comply
Clarification of appeals process
Additional violations/penalties for failure to comply

Documents:
Chapter 18 - Mobile Living Parks Proposed Revisions
Ordinance – 9/15/1970
Ordinance – 2/13/1997
Ordinance – 9/20/2001
Ordinance – 9/11/2008
8/16/17 Presentation

Meetings:
May 15, 2017: Presented to Neighborhood & Livability Committee July 7, 2017: First stakeholder meeting at 2 pm August 16, 2017, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Development Services Dept. Boardroom September 20, 2017 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Development Services Dept. Boardroom October 25, 2017 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Development Services Dept. Boardroom November 28, 2017 Present Recommendations to Community Health and Equity December (TBD): Present revised amendments to City Council for consideration and approval

 

Dark Sky Policy Evaluation

WHAT IS DARK SKY?

The Dark Sky denotes a place where the darkness of the night sky is reasonably free of interference from artificial light to reduce light pollution. Dark Sky lighting is lighting provided where it is needed, while reducing unnecessary scattered light and glare. Dark Sky focuses on only using as much light as is needed and when it is needed.

The advantages of reducing light pollution include an increased number of stars visible at night, reducing the effects of light on the environment, and cutting down on energy usage. Scientific studies have shown that light pollution, the inappropriate or excessive use of artificial light negatively impacts the environment, human health, military nighttime activities, and is wasting energy and financial resources. Thousands of cities across the world have adopted codes as a tool for a community to use to control light pollution, including glare, light trespass and skyglow.    

Visit the City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability website at http://www.sanantonio.gov/sustainability/DarkSkyPolicyEvaluation for more detailed information on this program.

In February 2017 Councilman Mike Gallagher issued a City Council Consideration Request (CCR) for city staff to explore the emerging short term rental trend and other cities best practices that have been implemented to address the trend. Review elements include:

  • Research if short term rentals impact property values and neighborhood safety statistics.
  • Review how cities have updated municipal codes or ordinances to allow this industry to operate.
  • Review options for registering hosts with the City and if a permit should be required.
  • Research if short term rentals should be required to remit hotel occupancy taxes
  • Determine policies and procedures to enhance public safety in the short term rental industry.

Comments and recommendations made either through meetings or submitted through email will be posted here. Please be clear on each recommendation and its' basis. We ask that email comments be submitted no later than March 24, 2017.

Please submit comments by email to:
Michael Dice, Policy Administrator - 210.207.7877.

STR Taskforce Members

Comments

Meetings

  • Taskforce Meetings - 10:00am - 12:00pm
    • May 30
    • June 27
    • July 25
    • Aug 22
    • Sept 26
    • Oct 24
    • Nov 8
    • Nov 15 - 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
  • General Meetings - 5:30pm - 7:00pm
    • July 11
    • Aug 08
    • Sept 12
    • Oct 10
    • Nov 14
    • Jan (TBD)

Meetings will be held in the 1st Floor Boardroom at the DSD Building located at 1901 S. Alamo, unless other noted.

Boards and Committees

  • Technical Advisory Committee - Nov 27

  • Documents

    Links

    Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.

    In accordance with City Code Sections 10-14(a)(5) and 11-40 - section 108,  the City’s Building-related and Fire Codes Appeals and Advisory Board (BRFCAAB) has begun the process of conducting public hearings on nationally recognized building-related and fire codes (building, existing building, residential, fire, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, fuel gas and energy codes), in order to make recommendations to the Building Official and Fire Chief for adoption or local amendment. 

    As part of that process, the BRFCAAB is reviewing the technical provisions of the following codes:

    2018 International Building Code, IBC
    2018 International Existing Building Code, IEBC
    2018 International Residential Code, IRC
    2018 International Fire Code, IFC
    2018 International Mechanical Code, IMC
    2018 International Plumbing Code, IPC
    2018 International Fuel Gas Code, IFGC
    2018 International Energy Conservation Code, IECC
    2017 National Electrical Code, NEC

    At the Board meeting on October 4th, 2017, the BRFCAAB established the following subcommittees in accordance with City Code Section 10-14(a)(5):

    Mechanical Code Subcommittee - Meeting November 9, 2017, 9:00 a.m. - Tobin Room
    Plumbing and Fuel Gas Code Subcommittee – Meeting October 30, 2017, 2:00 pm - Tobin Room
    Building, Existing Building, Residential, and Fire Code Subcommittee - Meeting November 15, 2017, 9:00 a.m.- Tobin Room
    Energy Code Subcommittee - Meeting November 14, 2017, 2:00 pm - Tobin Room

    All meetings will be held at 1901 S. Alamo in the designated meeting rooms unless otherwise noted.

     *The BRFCAAB Chairman created the Electrical Code Subcommittee in February 2017.

    These subcommittees will be holding open public hearings to review the technical provisions of the new codes and proposed amendments thereto.  All code review subcommittee meetings and public hearings will be posted.  DSD and SAFD recommend that all interested stakeholders participate to help us once again adopt the appropriate minimum building-related and fire codes for San Antonio.  

    Once all of the subcommittees complete their reviews, they will present their recommendations to the full BRFCAAB for review and consideration.  Once the full board completes their review, the Board will make a recommendation to the Building Official and Fire Chief who will present their recommendations on a Code Adoption Ordinance to the Community Heath and Equity Council Committee.

    As reported earlier this year, the BRFCAAB Electrical Code Subcommittee that was formed in February 2017 is about to complete its review of the 2017 NEC.

    DSD will post and maintain a calendar of the proposed subcommittee technical review meetings and will post updated drafts of the different codes on our website in the near future.

    City Council Consideration near April/May, 2018 with an effective adoption date of June/July, 2018.

    In December 2016 Councilman Roberto Trevino issued a City Council Consideration Request (CCR) for city staff to review the Alta Vista Neighborhood Conservation District standards for possible update.

    A Committee has been formed consisting of property owners within the Alta Vista Neighborhood to review and recommend potential changes to the "NCD-2" Alta Vista Neighborhood Conservation Overlay zoning district. 

    Comments and recommendations made either through meetings or submitted through email will be posted here.  Please be clear on each recommendation and it's basis. 

    Email comments to Kristie Flores, Planning Manager
    210.207.5889

    Committee Meetings
    October 24, 2017
    November 28, 2017
    January 23, 2018
    February 27, 2018
    March 27, 2018

    Committee meetings will be held in Training Room B, 2nd floor at the DSD Building located at 1901 S. Alamo, unless otherwise noted.

    Documents

    Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.

    In April 2017 Councilman Medina and Councilman Trevino issued a City Council Consideration Request (CCR) for city staff to review the San Antonio Unified Development Code’s current Infill Development Zone (IDZ) designation and it’s development standards. Review elements include:

    Research of comparable municipal infill policies
    Review of how the “IDZ” zoning designation effects neighborhoods
    Review of the impact of reducing setbacks and parking requirements
    Determine policies and procedures to enhance the livability of established neighborhoods

    A Task Force has been formed consisting of representatives from neighborhoods and development community to review and recommend potential changes to the “IDZ” zoning district.   General Meetings will also be held to gather more input from the public.  

    Comments and recommendations made either through meetings or submitted through email will be posted here. Please be clear on each recommendation and its' basis.

    Email comments to Logan Sparrow, Principal Planner
    210.207.8691

    IDZ Task Force Members

    Documents

    Task Force Meetings: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
    October 23, 2017
    November 27, 2017
    January 22, 2018

    Task Force Meetings will be held in Training Room B, 2nd floor at the DSD Building located at 1901 S. Alamo, unless otherwise noted.

    General Meetings: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
    October 9, 2017
    November 7, 2017
    December 5, 2017
    February 6, 2018

    General Meetings will be held in the 1st Floor Boardroom at the DSD Building located at 1901 S. Alamo, unless otherwise noted.

    In March 2017 former Councilman Alan E. Warrick II, issued a City Council Consideration Request (CCR) for city staff to review the Mahncke Park Neighborhood Conservation District standards for possible update.

    A Committee has been formed consisting of property owners within the Mahncke Park Neighborhood to review and recommend potential changes to the "NCD-6" Mahncke Park Neighborhood Conservation Overlay zoning district. 

    Comments and recommendations made either through meetings or submitted through email will be posted here.  Please be clear on each recommendation and its' basis. 

    Email comments to Zenon Solis, Planning Coordinator
    210.207.7796
       OR
    Email comments to Kristie Flores, Planning Manager
    210.207.5889

    Next Committee Meeting
    January 25, 2018

    The Committee meeting will be held in the Tobin Room, 1st floor at the DSD Building located at 1901 S. Alamo, unless otherwise noted.

    Documents

    Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.

    The Unified Development Code (UDC) is located in Chapter 35 of the City's Code. It includes regulations for the preparation of land in anticipation of development, such as subdivision platting, zoning, and street and drainage design, as well as historic preservation. As such, the UDC implements the City's Comprehensive Plan and Master Plan Policies. Built into the UDC is a once every five year update program where amendments may be submitted for consideration and recommendation through various boards and commissions.

    Over the course of administration of the Unified Development Code, interpretation questions often arise. Rule Interpretations are formal interpretations of the Unified Development Code.

    Go to Rule Interpretations to find an existing interpretation. To submit a Rule Interpretation please see Information Bulletin 555.

    IB 558 UDC Amendments Process

    The  City of San Antonio completed the most recent five year update in 2015.  The 2015 amendments became effective on January 1, 2016 and included approximately 200 amendments and 670 pages. Below you will find the UDC amendments ordinance, as well as helpful training materials from the update program.

    UDC Updates Training:
    Tree and Landscape UDC Amendments
    Zoning UDC Amendments
    Platting UDC Amendments
         2015 UDC Plat Exceptions
    TCI Storm Water UDC Amendments & Drainage Manual
    Infrastructure and Transportation

    lid/conservation subdivision Amendments APPROVED BY CITY COUNCIL, FEB. 18, 2016  (Amendments to be effective February 28, 2016)

    LID/Conservation Subdivision Ordinance
    LID/NCDP Training Session - 03-29-2016
    LID/NCDP Presentation

    UDC Amendments Approved by city council, dec. 17, 2015  (Amendments to be effective January 1, 2016)

    2015 UDC Amendments Ordinance

    2015 UDC Update Proposals

    The Unified Development Code (UDC) update program occurs every 5 years, specifically on those years ending in a “0” or “5.” The program provides citizens and stakeholders opportunity to propose amendments pursuant to Section 35-111: Section 35-111. Updates for Amendments.

    The 2015 UDC update includes approximately 260 proposed amendments submitted by 30 individuals/agencies. These amendments will be reviewed and considered by several stakeholders, committees, Boards and Commissions prior to final consideration by City Council.

    Below are the meeting schedules and amendments to be considered:

    July 13, 2015 July 20, 2015 July 27, 2015 August 3, 2015 August 10, 2015 August 17, 2015 August  24, 2015 August  31, 2015
    September 14, 2015 September 21, 2015 September 28, 2015 October 12, 2015 October 26, 2015 November 23, 2015

    The City of San Antonio is currently revising Section 35-385 of the Unified Development Code relating to Wireless Communications Systems.  The update is intended to make the regulations regarding cellular phone and cellular data more flexible and predictable, as well as complying with various federal order and Supreme Court rulings.  An additional goal is modifying the regulations to take into account new and emerging technologies in the wireless industry.

    With these goals in mind, the Development Services Department has assembled a group of industry leaders and experts to help us draft a revision to the City's wireless regulations.  Over the next few months, these stakeholders, DSD staff, and staff from the City Attorney's Office will be working to revise the current draft ordinance.

    For more information, please contact:  
    Michael Dice, Policy Administrator, michael.dice@sanantonio.gov, 210.207.7877