The Customer Advocate Section's goal is to ensure you have a great experience in conducting business with Development Services. The Section is divided into the following teams to meet your specific needs:
Meet and Greet Team
The members of this team provide your first experience when you enter the Cliff Morton Development & Business Services Center. They will welcome you to the building, listen to your needs and guide you to the proper area for service within the building. They will also issue you a ticket to obtain counter service for:
Obtaining a trade permit
Applying or obtaining a certificate of occupancy
Renewing/registering your state or city license
Obtaining walk through commercial plan review
Obtaining residential plan in-take
Obtaining a consultation regarding the development process
Obtaining a consultation regarding small business information
The large counter at the DBS Center also has staff for other City departments and government entities as follows:
San Antonio Metropolitan Health
Office of Historic Preservation
Fire Marshal's Office
Public Works Storm Water Engineering
Completeness and Assignment Review Team (CAR)
The members of this team provide one-stop service for those customers seeking to submit an application for commercial building permits. The CAR team provides a completeness review of the commercial building application for all associated construction plans and documents. The objective of the completeness review is to reduce the need for the resubmittal of drawings that were disapproved because required information was missing. The team will perform a non-technical summary review of your construction plans/documents with the objective of identifying any missing, critical elements prior to the actual start of the formal review process. If elements are missing, the team will communicate with you in a timely manner so that you are aware of any missing plans/documents. Your submittal documents will also be reviewed by the CAR team to properly assign/route your plans to appropriate City review agencies for their technical review and approval.
The review period for completeness and assignment of submittals for commercial building permits is three working days from time of submittal. If the application, construction documents, and all required review agency documents are complete, the official city clock for plan review will start the day the plans were received. If the submittal package is not complete, the design team/owner will be provided a list of items in writing that need to be submitted as per section 105.3.1 of the 2009 International Building Code (IBC). Until the required documents are submitted to the CAR team, the application will be deemed incomplete, the fees for plan review will not be able to be paid, and the clock for plan review will not start. Incomplete applications will remain with the CAR team for a period of 30-days. If the application is still incomplete after that time, the application will be considered abandoned pursuant to IBC Section 105.3.2.
Applicants submitted commercial building applications have two options:
- Drop off plans - an applicant may drop off the application package for review and leave right away. The CAR team has three working days to review the submittal package for completeness. Within the three days, the applicant will be informed of any missing documents. If the submittal package is complete, the applicant will be informed of the fees to be paid. Fees may be paid on-line, over the phone using a credit card or escrow account (call (210) 207-1111) or in person at the DBS Center or one of the City Service Centers. Once the fees are paid, the plans examiners will be assigned their reviews. The plan review clock will start the date the applicant submitted the building plans (for complete applications). For incomplete submittal packages, the plan review clock will start on the date the applicant submitted all of the required documents.
- Appointments - the CAR team is available to in-take commercial plans by appointment. When making an appointment you will be asked some questions that will help us determine the time needed to review your submittal package. To schedule an appointment, contact Ann Garcia at
email@example.com or (210) 207-0143.
Checklists have been developed as Information Bulletins (IB's) to assist in understanding the minimum information needed on commercial plans to be accepted for review. If you are submitting a project with multiple buildings on one lot with the same address, please use the
multiple building form. A project with multiple buildings on separate lots with different addresses require separate applications for each address and will receive separate building permit numbers (AP #).
The City follows the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and
Texas Board of Architectural Examiners for requirements as to use of design professionals to design, stamp and seal projects.
Should you have any questions, please contact us:
Customer Assistance Team
1901 S. Alamo
San Antonio, Texas 78204
Development Services Specialist Supervisor
Joshua Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org (210) 207-0143
Mark Celestino email@example.com (210) 207-0019
Jaime Perez firstname.lastname@example.org (210) 207-0017
Olivia Rodriquez email@example.com (210) 207-0156
Minor Plans Team
The Minor Plans Team performs over the counter plan review services where the scope of the work is minor and falls within a prescribed set of criteria. The team also provides customer consultation on the plan review and submittal process, minimum code requirements and the basics of the Development Process under the Unified Development Code. Minor projects that are reviewed over the counter are identified with priority designations of either
"Walkthrough" or "10 Day." The following matrix lists the criteria for these over the counter plan review:
Category of Plan Review
Type of Construction
Size of Project
Occupancy Group as defined in the IBC
Interior Finish out
(Additions and new structures do not qualify)
3,000 Sq. Ft.
Group B Business
Group M Mercantile
additional $100 will be charged for this expedited
service when the work is over 500 sq. ft.
Interior Finish outs
8,000 sq ft (interior finish outs and renovations)
1000 sq ft (additions and new structures)
Work does not exceed 2 stories
Group B Business
Group M Mercantile
Group U Utility and Miscellaneous
educational uses, factory, hazardous uses,
institutional uses and storage uses do not qualify
for over the counter plan review.
Performance Measures for Reviews
Walkthrough plan review - walkthrough plans allow customers to walk their project plans to each plans examiner that needs to review the plans for land use and building code compliance requirements. As a result, the customer will know immediately after each review, if their project complies with the City requirements or if corrections will be required on the plans to bring them into compliance with applicable city codes. Very minor corrections can on some occasions be performed by the customer at the counter.
10-day plan reviews - the 10-day (calendar days) plan review process is also an expedited plan review procedure. Once the permit application is submitted to Development Services and the submittal package is reviewed for completeness by the CAR Team, the project is reviewed by the Minor Plan Team members for code compliance. All applicable disciplines will review the plan set within ten (10) calendar days. If no code deficiencies are noted during the review, a building permit will be issued to the customer when the review is completed by staff. If/when code deficiencies are found during the review process, the Minor Plans Team shall notify the applicant in writing of the deficiencies. The customer shall respond to the code items as needed as outlined in
Information Bulletin 111.
The Minor Plans Team provides customer consultations on the plan review and submittal process, code requirements and the basics of the Development Process as provided for under the Unified Development Code. The department also offers a more detailed pre-submittal review of a project design using our
Preliminary Plan Review process.
When the plan reviews are completed and all non-compliance issues have been corrected by the applicant and approved by Development Services, a building permit will be issued. Once the building permit is issued, the construction process can begin. The construction process involves site inspections and approvals by Development Services Inspection Teams. Once the building construction is completed and all inspections have been approved, the department will issue a:
- Certificate of Occupancy for new construction and interior finish-outs
- Certificate of Completion for renovations and remodels
If you would like a Certificate of Occupancy for renovations and remodels, you will be required to submit a separate
Application for a Certification of Occupancy.
- Plan Review Submittal (Commercial Checklist)
- Accessing Plan Review Comments Online
- Procedure for Submitting Responses to Plans Review Denial Comments
- Code Modification Requests
- Code Interpretation Requests
- Preliminary Plan Review Meetings
- Administrative Exception Variance Request Procedures
- Partial and Conditional Permits
Development Services Department
Plans and Permits Section
Customer Advocate Section
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and Permits Section