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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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Do I need a permit for a Garage Sale?

A permit is required for all garage sales in San Antonio for sales of 5 or more items. A permit may be obtained at participating H-E-B stores, in person at our One Stop or by using our On Line Permitting System. Garage sales can only be held on premises zoned or used for residential purposes. For more information visit our Code Enforcement Webpage or call us 210.207.1111.

Do I need a permit to install a fence?

All new fences require a permit. For repairs or replacements of an existing fence, a permit is only required if the total repair or replacement exceeds 25% of the continuous length of the existing fence. Please review the Fence Application for specific requirements. If you are unsure whether or not a permit will be needed, contact us at 210.207.1111.

Do I need a permit to build an accessory structure, such as storage shed?

Yes, a permit is required to build an accessory structure greater than 300 sq. ft. Building Setbacks apply.  A Homeowner can obtain this permit. For more information see the Residential-Permit Application Section.

Do I need a permit to build a carport?

Yes, a permit is required to build a carport and must meet building setbacks. A Homeowner can obtain this permit. For more information see the Residential-Permit Application Section.

Do I need permit to add a room to my home?

All additions require a permit and Homeowners can obtain this permit. Additions over 1,000 sq ft and 2nd story additions require construction plan review. Separate permits are required for trade work and can only be obtained by licensed contractors (mechanical, electrical, plumbing). Foundation designs and inspections require an engineer.

Do I need a permit to build a deck?

If your proposed residential deck meets all four of the criteria listed below, you are not required to obtain a building permit:
1. The deck does not exceed 200 sq. ft. in area;
2. The deck is not more than 30 inches above grade at any point;
3. The deck is not attached to a dwelling; and
4. The deck does not serve the exit door of the dwelling

To find out if your deck will require a permit review Information Bulletin 151.

If I cancel my permit can I get a refund?

The permit holder can request to cancel their permit by completing the "Cancel Permit Request" form. The cancellation of your permit does not automatically entitle you to a refund. You can complete the "Request for Refund" form if you meet the requirements for a refund. For additional information see the Review/Permitting Section.

Do I need a permit to repair or replace my roof?

Yes, a permit is required for repairing/replacing a roof. A Homeowner can obtain this permit and perform their own work or hire a registered Home Improvement Contractor (non-structural). If there is a change in pitch, a Homeowner can also obtain this permit (requires plan review) and perform the work themselves or hire a Residential Building Contractor (Structural).

Do I need a permit for minor work in my home?

While as a homeowner you can perform many types of non-structural & structural work, for your safety you must use licensed trade contractors for electrical and/or heating/air conditioning work. A homeowner can only apply for a plumbing permit for an existing residence provided that it is your homestead and you will personally be doing the work. (Refer to Plumbing Homeowner Affidavit). For more information see the Residential-Permit Application Section.

Do I need special permits to remodel if my home is in a special zoning district?

Yes, if your property is located in a Historic District, Flood Plain District, Neighborhood Conservation District, RIO, Overlay District or Corridor District you are required to ensure special requirements are met prior to any remodeling of your home or planning new construction. For more information see the Residential-Zoning Section.

When do I need a new Certificate of Occupancy?

When a change of ownership of an existing building or tenant‐spaces within a building occurs, and the occupancy classification remains the same, a new Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is not required. You can request a name change on the existing C of O. For more information or if you have any questions, see the Business Owners Section.

How do I obtain a license for my business?

The type of business license or permit needed is based on the specific type business you plan to operate within the San Antonio City limits. As a customer services initiative, we host a Small Business Liaison that provides business owners assistance with licensing and permitting questions. You can contact the Liaison at 210.207.3903, or email Small Business Liaison.

How do I know if the property I am seeking to use is properly zoned?

You can use the One Stop Map to look up the zoning of the property. You can also review the summary of zoning districts (Permitted Uses). If you need general assistance in determining if your zoning allows the intended use, please call our Call Center at 210.207.1111.

Do I need a permit to remodel the building?

A building permit is required if you are making any changes to the structure, demolishing, altering the interior, or changing or expanding the use. If you are not sure if a building permit is required, contact us at 210.207.1111; our Call Center will be happy to assist you.

What do I need to do if I plan to sell alcohol?

Development Services is responsible for certifying requirements related to zoning and local ordinances and for processing a new or name change to a Certificate of Occupancy. You must be aware that there are locational requirements related to the sale of alcoholic beverages. Please visit our TABC Requirements Section or call our Customer Service Center at 210.207.1111.

What do I need to do if I plan to serve food?

Every person seeking a license to establish, maintain, or operate an establishment that plans to serve food within the San Antonio City limits and unincorporated parts of Bexar County should contact the City Health Department. Metro Health issues permits and performs inspections in accordance with the local health code and State regulations. For more information call 210.207.0135 or visit them at 1901 S. Alamo St.

How can I reconnect utility services at my business?

To reconnect utility services at your business you will need a permit and you will need to schedule an inspection with Development Services. Once the inspection is completed, Development Services will notify CPS Energy that it is safe to reestablish utility services.

Does the City process DBA registrations?

No, the City does not process DBA registrations. DBA's are registered with the Bexar County Clerks Office. For assistance you can call 210.335.2216. DBA name changes may have additional Health Department requirements. For information on these requirements visit Metro Health's website.

What is the first thing I should do before opening or expanding my business?

The first step is to find out what types of businesses are allowed at the property. Whether you are thinking about opening a restaurant or buying a coffee shop, you’ll want to confirm you have enough parking spaces, zoned properly and other factors. You may schedule a free consultation with us, or contact our Small Business Liaison by calling 210.207.3903 or email Small Business Liaison.

How do I apply for a building permit?

The business owner or agent (contractor, engineer, architect, or tenant) can apply for a building permit by completing the Commercial Building Application or the Commercial Remodeling Application. Upon obtaining a building permit, you can begin your construction. Trade permits (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) are also required and can be obtained by licensed contractors. The permit holder will need to schedule the required inspections. Please see Information Bulletin 101.

If the design is unable to fully meet all building codes, what are my options?

We recognize that at times the design or ideas for your project may not fully comply with or may not be addressed by the City’s adopted building codes or the Unified Development Code. Our goal is to work with you to help resolve any development issues. We offer a range of code options. Please visit the Code Options Section for guidance.

Is there a license requirement for building contractor?

There is no licensing requirement for a commercial general contractor. A residential general contractor must be registered as a Home Improvement Contractor (non -structural) or a Residential Home Builder (structural).

Do I need to register with the City as Contractor?

In accordance with the City’s Building Code, Development Services requires all contractors, licensed by the City and the State, to be registered with the City prior to the issuance of any building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical or other type of permit(s). Registration must always remain current. For more information visit our Contractor Registration & Licensing.

How can I schedule an inspection?

We offer three ways to schedule your inspection: 1) on‐line using our permit and inspections system, 2) you can use your mobile device to access our mobile friendly Inspection Scheduler, or by 3) calling the Inspection Request Line at 210.207.1111 (this option has a $3.00 fee)

What are the requirements for trade contractors conducting work in SA?

Trade Contractors (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) must be licensed by the State of Texas and must also register with the City. See Contractor Registration/Licensing Section for more information.

As a general contractor, can I demolish a building?

A general contractor can demolish a commercial building as part of construction/permitting of a new building. The demolition would be covered under your own contractor's insurance. As a stand-alone demolition project (or not associated with a new building permit), you must be a licensed demolition contractor with the City.

Can a general contractor pull trade permits or request trade inspections?

General Contractors cannot pull trade permits or request a trade inspection. Trade permits and inspections can only be requested by a licensed trade contractor. General Contractors are responsible for linking the trade permit to the correct building permit. Note: Not linking permits properly can delay the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy (see Information Bulletin 194).

As a general contractor do I own all the building permits I pull?

The owner of the property owns all building permits regardless of who pulls the permits. However, trade permits are owned by trade contractors.

How do I request a temporary COO to occupy a portion of a new building?

A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy can be issued to occupy a portion of a new building once the necessary inspections have been performed. For more information on how you can obtain a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy please see Information Bulletin 126.

How can I expedite my project?

Development Services is aware that the timing of permit issuance can impact a contractor’s timeline. As a customer service initiative, we offer ways to expedite your project through plan review. For additional information on how to expedite your project, please visit the Commercial Review Section.

How do I request an new address for new construction development?

You must complete a Request for Address/Verification Form and submit all required documentation. Please see Information Bulletin 536

What should I consider if I plan to subdivide land for development?

The City has established regulations to ensure that streets, parks and utilities can adequately serve new development and considers concerns sensitive to environmental such as water quality, tree preservation, floodplains and drainage. In order to obtain building permits or utility services a subdivision plat may be required. For more information regarding new development please go to the Land Development Section.

Will I get to meet with staff to review the requirements for my project?

Yes, you can meet with Land Development Staff in a Preliminary Land Development Meeting to discuss topics related to platting (see Information Bulletin 516). There is also an opportunity to meet with Plan Review Staff in a Preliminary Plan Review meeting where you and your design team can discuss topics related to building permits (see Information Bulletin 116)

If I have a problem with my address who can I call?

You can report an address concern to the City of San Antonio Addressing Team via email at DSD Addressing Team.

Who issues “Official” addresses in the City of San Antonio limits?

The City of San Antonio Addressing Team issues addresses within its municipal boundaries. For more information regarding the issuance and processing of Addressing, please contact the Addressing Team via email DSD Addressing Team.

Who issues addresses outside the city limits and within Bexar County?

CPS Energy issues all addresses outside of San Antonio City limits but within Bexar County. For further information, please contact CPS Energy at 210.353.4050 or via email at ce@cpsenergy.com.

What do I need in order to request an address for my new electronic meter?

A new address for an additional meter may be assigned provided the proposed scope of work complies with the requirements of the City Code (i.e. a new suite in a retail shopping center, an additional dwelling unit in a multi‐family zoning district). To obtain a new address, you can complete a Request for Address/Verification Form along with required documentation. Please see Information Bulletin 536

Does the City of San Antonio have a Tree Preservation Ordinance?

Yes, the City of San Antonio has a Tree Preservation Ordinance effective throughout the San Antonio City Limits and its Extraterritorial Jurisdiction. For more information go to our Tree Preservation Section.

What construction codes are currently enforced in San Antonio?

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 IECC, these new codes will go into effect on May 1, 2015. Until then, you may submit your plans under the 2012 I-Codes or the 2015 I-Codes. For more information visit the Codes & Ordinances Section.

Where can I find the City’s local codes amendments?

The City’s local amendments to the building-related codes can be found in Chapter 10-Building Related Code of the City and San Antonio, as amended by Ordinance 2015-01-29-0066.

The local amendments to our fire codes can be found in Chapter 11, Fire Prevention Code and Chapter 16, Licenses and Business Regulations of the City Code of San Antonio as amended by Ordinance 2015-01-29-0067.

Where do I find land use regulations?

General information regarding land use regulations can be found in our Land Development Section. Additional details regarding regulation of land preparation, such as subdivision, platting, zoning, street and drainage design, as well as historic preservation, can be found in the Unified Development Code (UDC), Chapter 35 of the City’s code.

How can I expedite my project?

Development Services is aware that the timing of permit issuance can impact a contractor’s timeline. As a customer service initiative, we offer ways to expedite your project through plan review. For additional information on how to expedite your project, please visit Expediting Your Project.

If the design is unable to meet all building codes, what are my options?

We recognize that at times the design or ideas for your project may not fully comply with or may not be addressed by the City’s adopted building codes or the Unified Development Code. Our goal is to work with you to help resolve any development issues. We offer a range of code options. Please visit the Code Options and Code Modifications Section for guidance.

How do I apply for a building permit?

For step-by-step procedures go to Developing in San Antonio and select whether your project is residential or commercial. There you will find all of the forms and applications you will need to apply for a building permit.

 

Has the City issued any Code Interpretations?

Development Services has a process to allow the owner and/or owner’s agent to obtain a formal Code Interpretation to any provision of the City’s building construction codes. The current list of Code Interpretations issued can be found in our Code Interpretation Section.

Does the City have any procedural guidelines?

Yes, the City has developed Information Bulletins as a method to communicate procedural guidelines. A list of all Information Bulletins is located in our Documents Online.

How long does it take to get a permit?

The time to obtain a building permit varies depending on the type of project. We have provided information on the Average Time to Obtain a Building Permit to assist you with this process.

Do you have a list of common plan review discrepancies?

Development Services has created a list of the Most common developer delays and discrepancies.