Development Services

Office & Location

Development Services Department Map

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

Visit our Office
Includes visitor check in information and safety measures at DSD.


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

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On Nov. 30, 2020 the City of San Antonio officially completed its goal of transitioning to an integrated e-government solution to help meet the goals of our city and to provide an excellent level of customer service.  

Accela Automation, from Accela, Inc. was selected as the provider.  We have branded the software BuildSA.  BuildSA is a web-based product enabling our customers to conduct business with Development Services via the Internet, 24/7, 365 and is sustainable into the future.

With BuildSA, permitting, platting, zoning and code information is shared among our partnering agencies, CPS, SAWS, Bexar County, Metro Health, Office of Historic Preservation, Parks and Recreation, Capital Improvements, Fire Marshall, Storm Water and across our divisions, Plan Review (Permitting), Land Development and Field Services (Code Enforcement), helping to modernize how we do business and ensuring faster and more accurate delivery of services to customers.   


As of Nov. 30, 2020, DSD transitioned to BuildSA, a paperless online permitting system. With this new system, our customers can pull building and fire permits and complete license applications and renewals online while conducting business with DSD and the Fire Marshal's office. To help through the transition of current permits, Hansen, our old system, remains available to allow MEP permits for new residential building permits issued in Hansen prior to Nov. 30. In addition, the Homebuilders recording and the MEP Contractors recording is available as a reference from training sessions held the week of Dec. 14, 2020. From the two meetings, we have the Homebuilders Q&A and MEP Q&A available for your reference as well as the Get Started Guide for Permitting

For questions related to permits in Hansen, email us at Customers who need assistance setting up their on-line account or linking their professional license, email; be sure to include your license holder name, contact phone number, license number, username ID, email address, and company name.

The following BuildSA pre-recorded training sessions offer information and are available for viewing. 

What's Changing Training

Commercial Projects
Training Recording: Commercial Projects 
Training Presentation: Powerpoint
This course discusses upcoming changes to our current application process for commercial projects. Join us to learn about the new combination permit and other important information regarding the commercial project applications.

Residential Projects
Training Recording: Residential Projects
Training Presentation: Powerpoint
This course discusses the residential projects application, the types of permits that may stem from this application type and the categories of dwelling units involved.

Training Recording: MEP Application/Permit(s)
Training Presentation: Powerpoint
The following Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) Trade permits will be combined into one application/record: * Electrical with all subtypes * Mechanical * Plumbing with all subtypes * Join us to learn of the upcoming changes when applying for this permit type.

Demolition Record
Training Recording: Demolition Record
Training Presentation: Powerpoint
A demolition permit is an application to fully demolish a building, residential or commercial. Join this session to learn more about what this application includes and how to create the record. 

Fire Systems
Training Recording: Fire Systems
Training Presentation
Join this session to learn about the different types of Fire System Permits. 

Customer Portal Training

Portal Account Creation and Tips
Training Recording: Citizen Access Portal Account Creation and Tips
Training Presentation: Powerpoint
This course walks you through creating your Citizen Access online portal account, when to create the account as an organization, editing information on the account, selecting a record-type and adding/removing delegates to your account.

Portal Account Creation and Tips
Training Recording: Citizen Access Portal Account Creation and Tips
Training Presentation: Powerpoint
This course walks you through creating your Citizen Access online portal account, when to create the account as an organization, editing information on the account, selecting a record-type and adding/removing delegates to your account.

Linking Licensed Professional to New Online Account
Training Recording: Claim the LP Record
Training Presentation: Powerpoint
This course is for registered contractors and offers tips on how to ensure their Hansen registration record is ready for use in the new online portal. 

Creating a Record using the Citizen Access Portal
Training Presentation: Powerpoint
This course walks the participant through selecting an application-type using our new online portal, completing required information on the application, payment of fees (if any) and submittal. *This session does not include instruction on the use of the Plan Room for electronic document submittal.

Inspections-Scheduling and Uploading Documents
Training Recording: Inspections-Scheduling and Uploading Documents
This course walks the participant through the use of the online portal to find the record to request an inspection, scheduling the inspection and uploading documentation.

Commercial Project-Record Creation and Amendment
Training Recording: Commercial Project Creation Amendment
Presentation: Powerpoint
This course instructs participants on the use of the online portal to create a Commercial Project application, complete required information and final submittal. The course includes creating the amendment for the record.

The Plan Room
(electronic document management)
Digital Plan Room: Training Videos
Training Recording: Plan Room Electronic Document Management 
Training PresentationPowerpoint
Electronic documents may be uploaded using our new online portal. This course introduces the Plan Room and walks participants through the steps for using the Plan Room to upload electronic documentation and to view comments/marking from Development Services staff.

Hansen In-Flight Records
Training Recording: Hansen In-Flight Records
Training Presentation: Powerpoint
This course discusses record transition from the Hansen system to our new Citizen Access portal. Join us to hear how the migration of records occurs and what to expect if your records currently exist in the Hansen system.

Fire Systems: Creating the Fire LP Record
Training Recording: Creating the Fire LP Record
Training Presentation: Powerpoint 1 and Powerpoint 2
This course walks the participant through the online portal to select the Fire LP record-type, complete all required information on the application and final submittal.


Our DSD BuildSA Support team offers training throughout the year. To register for training, please email us at Be sure to include the course and date you are signing up for. 


o  11/13/20 - Creating Amending Plats in BuildSA 

o  12/11/20 - Creating Minor Plats in BuildSA


Due to COVID-19 and the social distancing requirements, all classes will be held via WebEx video conferencing. 

Welcome to the BuildSA Online Training Resource Center!

This page features training guides and videos created to assist our customers with BuildSA. The User Guide, Frequently Used Building Guides, Quick Guides and videos contain step-by-step instructions for using the online portal. 

Creating an online portal account is the gateway for our customers to submit applications and documents on a 24/7 basis, as well as make payments, schedule inspections and view progress of a record.  

Note to Existing Customers: 
If you are an existing customer, and to gain access to your applications, please use the same contact information as used on your application when creating your Citizen Access online portal account. 

Escrow Accounts:
Escrow Accounts did not transfer from Hansen. You may request to close your Hansen Escrow Account by submitting a refund application to

New Escrow accounts can be created to pay fees due for Accela applications. To learn more, review our Escrow Account brochure today! 

NEW! Most Frequently Used Building Guides

How to upload inspection letter or insurance

Customer Application Shopping Cart Guide

Submitting a License Registration Application (new or renewal) 

Submitting a Permit Application Requiring a Licensed Professional

Adding a Contact or Licensed Professional to a Building Permit 

Inspections Building Permits 

Customer Resources:

Citizen Access User Guide

Online Citizen Access
User Guide


Quick Guides

Delegate Management

Checking the Status of Inspections 

Contact Quick Tip Guide

Withdrawal of Application & Refund

Best Practices for Locating an Address

Link/Delink Amendment

Citizen Access Uploading Documents

Citizen Access Pay Fees with Escrow

Frequently Asked Questions

BuildSA Electronic Document Review FAQ


Training Modules

Paying Fees on a Record

Related Records in BuildSA

Creating Record Collections

Finding Record Status

Citizen Access Activity Report Lesson 10

Inspections Building Permits

Citizen Access Create an Escrow Account


Recorded Training Sessions

  GSABA Session - 1/20/21

  MEP Session - 12/16/20

  GSABA Session - 12/14/20



How to Create an Online Portal Account

How to Check the Status

How to Search (Non-Registered Users)

Scheduling Inspections


Tutorial 1 - Uploading Plans and Documents

Tutorial 2 - Finalizing and Submitting Your Review Packages

Tutorial 3 - Accessing and Responding to Issues and Conditions

Tutorial 4 - Uploading Corrected Plans and Documents

Tutorial 5 - Downloading Approved Documentation 







Welcome to the BuildSA Online Training Resource Center!

This page features access to training resources that have been created for our staff. The training materials are meant to help you, the user, navigate BuildSA.

The User Guide and the Online Training Modules provide essential information about the functionality of BuildSA and use an easy-to follow, step-by-step method.

Additional resources will be made available as they are developed.

Feel free to view or download any of the materials provided. Check the BuildSA Training Calendar for training opportunities.

Learn, Prepare, Practice!

Staff Resources:

Staff User Guide

Staff User Guide


 Quick Guides

Adding A Filter User Guide

BuildSA Terminology

PIN Numbers Info for Staff

Short Term Rental (STR) Application Quick Reference Guide

Short Term Rental (STR) Permit Quick Reference Guide

Short Term Rental (STR) Renewal Quick Reference Guide

Searching for Specific Record Types Guide

 Training Modules:

Module One- Introduction to BuildSA

Module Two- Task Card vs. List View

Module Three- Your Pages, All Pages, Favorites

Module Four- Main Menu, Pinning Spaces

Module Five- Creating, Searching and Updating Records; Custom Fields, Lists and Documentation

Module Six- Searching for APOs

Module Seven- APO Conditions, Record Conditions, APO Owners

Module Eight- Workflow ProcessTask Update and Workflow Comments

Module Nine- My Reports, Pre-Existing ReportsUnassigned Review Tasks

Module Ten- Transactional Record Emails

Module Eleven- Associating Records, Related Records, Cloning Single

Module Twelve- Meeting Management


Adobe Acrobat for BuildSA EDR (Electronic Document Review)

BuildSA users will utilize Adobe Acrobat to perform document revisions in the EDR (Electronic Document Review) component. Adobe Acrobat is a software developed by Adobe Systems to view, edit, print and manage files in Portable Document Format (PDF). Using Adobe Acrobat enables users to instantly edit PDF scanned documents.

To access the complete library of Adobe Systems’ tutorials visit their website.

The following videos are highly recommended for BuildSA users using Adobe to perform edits:

Get to know about Adobe Acrobat Reader

Work with PDFs online

Insert and organize pages in a PDF

Edit a PDF

Create PDF from Microsoft Office

Edit Text and images in PDF

Combine documents into PDF

Add sticky notes and other annotations

Extract a Page from PDF

Split a document

Export a PDF to Microsoft Office Formats


About BuildSA

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BuildSA is the name given by Development Services Department (DSD) to the web-based Accela product purchased which enables our customers to conduct business with us via the Internet, 24/7, 365. DSD went live with BuildSA on November 30, 2020, thus eliminating the need for paper applications and modernizing our business practices.

Most of the systems Development Services uses today will either be replaced or integrated. Here are just a few examples: 

  • Hansen
  • ECCO
  • LDS
  • TPLT
  • Customer Alert System (CAS)
  • Dynamic Portal

We recommend using Firefox, Chrome, Edge or Safari to ensure receiving the best user experience.

The BuildSA Customer Call Center is available M-F, 7:45am to 4:30pm. Please contact the BuildSA Customer Call Center at 210-207-1111 (select Option 5).

Link to BuildSA: BuildSA Online Portal. Ensure you allow pop-ups from this site. Allowing pop-ups ensures vital forms display for your use.

  • Open Internet Explorer
  • Go to settings in your browser (located on the top right hand side of the page)
  • Select Internet Options
  • Select the Privacy Tab
  • Uncheck the option to Turn On Pop-Up Blocker
BuildSA is the designated name of the project or software system that will either replace or integrate with many of the systems we use today. The provider of the system is Accela, and through its Accela Civic Platform, Development Services will streamline the delivery of its services.

June 2015-Accela Contract Signed

Spring 2016-Fit Gap Analysis Conducted

December 2016-Project Work Suspended

February 2017-Meeting With Accela

April 2017-Alternative Implementation Approach Explored

June 2017-Beginning of Path Forward with GCOM (New Vendor)

August 2017-New Vendor! New Approach! 

Due to the complexity of our business and the amount of resources required to deploy a system like this, the project is divided into two phases that follow the development process:

  • Phase 1 includes activities associated with horizontal development such as zoning, platting and construction inspections.
  • Phase 2 is for activities associated with horizontal construction, such as plan review, permitting, inspections, building-related fire permits and includes code enforcement activities.

Customers seeking to build, develop or improve property in the City of San Antonio and surrounding areas will have access to new capabilities and will be introduced to new ways of submitting applications, making payments and interacting with City and partnering agency staff.

Development Services Staff and Partnering Agencies, who are considered Core Users, will have access to new capabilities. Both groups will receive training to learn how to effectively use the new system in order to transact with the citizens of San Antonio.



Information about the project can be found in the Project Newsletters or on this Project Website. You can also obtain information from your Change Managers or designated Change Agent. 

Accela is the provider of the software system and, through its Accela Civic Platform, will help Development Services streamline the delivery of its services. Accela has been the industry leader in designing and delivering productivity and engagement software to help government agencies deliver their best customer service.

To learn more about Accela and their Accela Civic Platform, visit their website.

GCOM is the integrator for the complete implementation of BuildSA for Land Development. GCOM is Accela's largest certified partner and has previously participated as a subcontractor on the BuildSA Project in the areas of data conversion and integration.

To learn more about GCOM and their services, please visit their website

BuildSA is projected to take several years to complete. Due to the complexity of our business and the amount of resources required to implement a system like this, the project is divided into two phases, Land Development and Building Development & Code Enforcement.


The goal of a four-week 'sprint' is to take a subset of functionality and deliver a potentially working piece of the final software product.

Each four-week sprint takes us from good to great! The steps in each sprint consist of:

  1. Discover & Define
  2. Design, Develop, Demo & Prototype
  3. GCOM Test
  4.  BuildSA Test Complete
  5. Close & Plan.

Ms. Crystal Gonzales, DSD Assistant Director, is the BuildSA Project Product Owner.

The Product Owner is the person representing the business and the customer. The Product Owner brings the voice of the customer and the BuildSA business teams together. The Product Owner also promotes and guards all BuildSA standards and packages information for the Steering Committee and the Governance Board.

The Project Accomplishments to date include:

  • Seven System Interfaces
  • 100+ Reports
  • BuildSA website
  • Design and development of several end-user manuals
  • LDS, TPLTS Zoning Data
  • Vetted 2000+ requirements
  • Configured 32 record types
  • Built seven environments.
The scope of Phase 1 is to complete the replacement of the LDS/TPLT systems and address the gaps in delivery and known issues/defects that resulted from the previous BuildSA implementation work.  

Yes. Some data will not migrate and will be stored and accessible by staff as needed.  All end-users will receive training on accessing stored data.


A prototype is a sample or model built to show a process or a concept of the system. This is often used to provide a brief insight on how the system will look and work.

The BuildSA Project Governance Committee is comprised of several City of San Antonio leaders. Their role is to make project related decisions regarding policy and strategy and to support overall project oversight. 

There are several ways you can reach out to us if you have questions about BuildSA.

You can email the Organizational Change Team at

You can contact your designated Change Agent. For a list of all Change Agents, go to FAQ, Who are the assigned Change Agents?



Customers will have several features including:

  • Finding the appropriate application and helpful tips about the application process using the permit wizard.
  • The ability to submit applications 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
  • Schedule and track inspections online from any computer or from a mobile device.
  • Access to submit online payments using credit card or escrow account.
  • Access to real time support from our staff using Live Chat.
  • Ability to track application activity and view real time status.
  • System generated email notifications for activities such as application confirmation, inspection status and application results.
  • Access to the Accela Mobile Application which may be used to schedule and track inspections.
  • The ability to submit documents electronically for review by staff.

Development Services Staff and Partnering Agencies, who are considered Core Users, will have access to new capabilities.  Both groups will receive training to learn how to effectively use the new system in order to transact with their customers.

Core Users will have the ability to:

  • View and manage tasks using a workflow management system.
  • Use a single source of information to deliver all services.
  • Receive and process documents submitted electronically.
  • Benefit from BuildSA’s capability to generate appropriate application fees.
  • Seamless access and integration to other systems such as the City Council Agenda System (Legistar), Bexar County Appraisal District System (BCAD), and the City’s Municipal Court System.
  • Ability to view and track all activity by site or location address, helping them make better informed decisions. 

Yes, the existing electronic plan review system will be replaced with Accela’s integrated e-Plan Check. 

 With Accela’s integrated solution, customers will submit their documents with their online application.

BuildSA will be a paperless, web-based solution that will allow Development Services and partnering agencies to review, markup and comment on documents-- eliminating the need for paperwork that typically accompanies paper-based reviews. BuildSA’s solution will allow concurrent reviews and better collaboration among the various agencies, providing customers with clear feedback.


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The BuildSA Team is working on the development of hands-on training sessions using ’scenarios’ or real-life examples for Development Services Staff and partnering agencies. This type of learning also involves interpersonal skills such as teamwork and communication.

The BuildSA Team will conduct training workshops for our citizens and the development community. Self-paced, on-line training modules will be developed for more widely used processes.

Yes, the BuildSA Team is will train each group and hold several BuildSA Roadshows throughout each phase. A roadshow offers an opportunity to demonstrate the system to end users. Users of the BuildSA System will be able to interact with the system and ask questions. Roadshows and training will take place during the release of each phase and will be specific to the functionality for that phase. Please check back for specific dates and training information as the project progresses.