March 2015 
In This Issue...
Development Services 


Roderick J. Sanchez

AICP, CBO-Director



Check out 
the latest 
to learn about 
the top 5 violations
Upcoming City Holidays


- April 24-
Fiesta San Jacinto Day 

- May 25 - 
Memorial Day

- July 3 - 
Independence Day

- Sept. 7 - 
Labor Day

Development & Business  Services Center


Main Address:

1901 S. Alamo San Antonio, TX 78204


Office Hours: 

7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday


Mailing Address:

PO Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283

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Introducing the new DSD Website



The Development Services Department (DSD) announced the unveiling of its new website on March 24, 2015.  The newly designed site has a different look and feel from what most will remember, but don't worry - all the information you need is still available at your fingertips.


The DSD site offers easier navigation and includes a new "I am a..." module that answers frequently asked questions based on who you are, i.e., homeowner, business owner, contractor, or land developer, along with a more refined search capability for documents like Information Bulletins, Code Interpretations and Rule Interpretations. In line with enhancing the website, we will soon add the design professional section to the "I am a..." module.   


Additional highlights include a 'Message from the Director' video in the rotational banner, and the 'online services quick links', located on the right side of the home page. These links were set up to help you access our applications more efficiently, including permit status, inspection scheduling, and quick access to our permit system, where you can log in to the DynamicPortal. In the About section, on the left, you will find the department organizational charts, performance measures, customer newsletters, and "Our Employees", also known as the employee contact list.


Please note that with the launch, the top 10 most frequently visited DSD pages will be redirected to the new webpage where you can find the same information. While this redirection will only last a few weeks, we suggest you save and bookmark the new pages you use most often to your "favorites" for easy reference. 


Our goal with the new site is to provide our visitors an easier way to learn about the department. We encourage you to navigate through the website and provide us feedback using the on-line survey.


A special 'Thank You' to our stakeholders at Associated Builders and Contractors - South Texas, Real Estate Council of San Antonio, Professional Engineers in Private Practice, and American Architects for their help and feedback in making sure the new site is all-inclusive, functional, and easy-to-use. 


If you need help finding specific information on the site, please contact the DSD call center at 210.207.1111, prompt 0. 


We are excited about this redesign and hope you find the new website easy to use and informative.  
SAFD High-Rise Residential Sprinklers


 The San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) responded to a mutual aid fire at a residential high-rise building in the City of Castle Hills on Dec. 28, 2014.  The fire at the Wedgewood Apartments resulted in multiple fire deaths and a significant resource deployment of SAFD personnel and equipment. Unfortunately, the building was not equipped with a sprinkler system as would be required in modern codes. Although the event happened in Castle Hills, it had a huge impact on San Antonio as the department realized the need to evaluate the potential for an event like this to happen in our city. Fire Chief Charles Hood stated that lives could have been saved and the fire could have been extinguished, or at least held at bay, had sprinklers been installed.

After the incident, the SAFD recognized the need to inventory high-rises that did not have sprinkler systems and had features similar to Wedgewood.  In 1982 the City changed its fire codes to require fire sprinklers in any new high-rise building 75 feet or more in height. San Antonio has more than 200 buildings that are 75 feet or more in height and considered a high-rise building by code definition. More than 100 have been identified as built before the 1982 code requirement for sprinkler systems, with at least 43 of these being residential buildings.  Many of these structures had sprinklers installed as part of upgrades over the years; however,  at least 12 still do not have sprinklers.  Of the 12, five of the buildings identified cater to senior citizens, similar to Wedgewood.


In the Fire Department's efforts to continue to educate the public, the SAFD Fire Prevention Division modified an existing presentation to senior citizens, which includes fire safety and survival techniques for high-rise fires. The program is being offered to managers and residents in buildings that cater to senior citizens, but would be a benefit to all high-rise dwellers as well. The presentation illustrates the importance of smoke alarms, exit planning, and other fire safety issues.  The department will be working with community partners such as the San Antonio Housing Authority, the San Antonio Apartment Association, and others, to bring this presentation to their tenants. 


The SAFD, along with DSD, is forming a stakeholder group to study the feasibility of a retroactive code requirement for existing high-rises. Most, if not all, will agree that sprinkler systems will make these buildings safer. However, the group will explore the obstacles and challenges to make a retroactive requirement a reality. The process should take 4-6 months with the results and recommendations presented to the San Antonio City Council's Public Safety Committee in the summer of 2015. The first stakeholder meeting is scheduled for 

April 15.   

Performance Measures - FY 2015


To view the performance measures in their entirety, visit


The February metrics are as follows:


Performance Measures



Permit Activity    



Information Bulletins and Other Resources


Great news on the Information Bulletins below. These items were recently updated to include auto-fill permit applications, making it easier to complete the form on line. 


IB 120a - Fast Track Metal Stud Permit Application


IB 120b - Fast Track Electrical Permit Application


IB 120c - Fast Track Plumbing Permit Application


IB 120d - Fast Track Mechanical Permit Application






For a complete list of resources, visit the following sites:    

City News 



Beginning Friday, March 27, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will begin major lane closures on I-10, I-35 and U.S. 281.




On May 9, 2015, voters have the opportunity to choose the Mayor & City Council that represent them and vote in two special elections.





Get your tickets to San Antonio's locally-grown, downtown, music festival taking place April 10 and 11 at La Villita Historic Arts Village.


Other Department News
 - Customer Comments, New Hires, Promotions, etc.  
Here's what you said about us...


Valerie Huerta, Bldg. Location Specialist, Land Entitlements

Valerie Huerta helped me with addressing/parcel issues on permits two weeks in a row, in lightning-fast time!  She is an asset to the city!


Olivia Rodriguez, Development Services Specialist, Commercial Plan In-Take

Fantastic customer service!  All jurisdictions should look to your office for leadership and examples of providing outstanding service.


Abel Torres, Development Services Specialist, Land Entitlements

Abel was polite and quick to help me.


John Kelly, Code Enforcement Supervisor, East Field Unit

Very professional and empathetic.


Graffiti Abatement, Code Enforcement, Special Units

My staff member and I (Risk Management/Safety) visited the Graffiti Abatement section today for a meet and greet. Lisa and Edward gave us a tour of their facilities in the main building and building 3 at the Callaghan facility. I walked away from the tour and discussion with a better understanding of not just the Graffiti Abatement program, but also the role of DSD in the City. I look forward to working with Lisa, Edward and their staff in the future. I am excited to assist them with any safety concerns they may have.


Jackie Corona, Development Services Supervisor, Customer Advocate Section

I was denied by the Historic commission  for what I feel is a very unreasonable reason. I was very upset and in tears and almost gave up on my project until I had the pleasure of speaking with Jackie. I will have to return to the historic board but after talking to Jackie I have a better understanding of setbacks and how they play a part. Jackie provided great customer service and is an asset to your department.

New Employees









Job Opportunities


Development Services is recruiting for the following positions: 


Apply on-line at San Antonio Job Opportunities.


For comments or suggestions regarding the Development Services Newsletter, contact Kathy Quinones.