August 2015 
In This Issue...
Development Services 


Roderick J. Sanchez

AICP, CBO-Director



2015 UDC Proposed Updates are underway

Visit  the Codes and Ordinances web page for more information. 
Check out 
the latest 
to learn about 
the top 5 violations
Upcoming City Holidays

- Sept. 7 - 
Labor Day

Development & Business  Services Center


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1901 S. Alamo San Antonio, TX 78204


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San Antonio, TX 78283

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FY 2016 Proposed Operating Budget

On Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, Roderick J. Sanchez, Development Services Director, presented the Development Services Department (DSD) FY 2016 Proposed Operating Budget to City Council. At the presentation, Rod shared the Development Services Fund is balanced with money available in the financial reserves.
As previously shared, DSD is replacing the current software systems with BuildSA. BuildSA, a Comprehensive Development Services Software System, will replace the department's software, including Hansen, ECCO, TPLT, and LDS, and will take about 30 months to complete; the first phase (replacement of all the Land Development Systems) should be complete by November 2017. With BuildSA, $17.5M  total capital cost project, customers will have access to real-time updates, easier access to information, a permit wizard, text/email updates, and social media messaging; giving customers the right information at the right time. To support this initiative, DSD proposed 11 new positions; of the 11 positions, seven will remain at DSD while four will be in ITSD.
As a capital project, the parking lot expansion, at 1920 S. Alamo St., will have approximately 80 additional spaces for employee parking, allowing for more customer parking at the One Stop. The parking lot expansion is budgeted for $1.8M. and should be completed early next summer.
Revenue enhancements for FY 2016 will stem from the following increased fees: non-conforming use registration, zoning application fee (based on size), zoning application and master plan amendment continuation fee, alcohol variance fee, and after-hour fire plan review fee (per hour).  The table below outlines the proposed fee schedule:

As proposed, after-hour fire plan reviews will be available with added resources to expand after-hour services, including the review of fire systems. The cost will be recovered by the new after-hour fire plan review fee provided in the table above.
In line with department efficiencies, DSD proposed two more positions for plan scanning with a realized savings of $8K, for a total of 13 combined new positions.  
From the general fund, Code Enforcement proposed an increase of staff funding to support the City South Annexation, along with the addition of six new trucks for the graffiti abatement team.
Overall, DSD proposed the increase of current staff levels and will continue to work on IT initiatives to enhance our customer service.  While we are increasing some fees in FY 2016, DSD has not had significant fee increases since 2008. 
Our focus of improving cycle time, ensuring consistency, and promoting customer service / facilitation throughout each project contributed to our success last year, and will continue to be instrumental throughout 2016. To learn the latest about the proposed DSD budget, view the FY 2016 Proposed Operating Budget presentation, available online 
New CAS Notification - Track Your Inspector Arrival Time
On a typical day, the building inspectors of the Development Services Department (DSD) perform over 500 inspections across the City, resulting in more than 1 billion possible route and stop alternatives.
To help streamline the inspection process and make it more efficient, DSD is rolling out Route Optimization, a custom-made web solution that will generate daily optimum route plans for building inspectors. As an added feature, Customer Alert System (CAS) will support this service by sending email notifications to customers with detailed information like the inspector's current location and estimated arrival. Available late September, Route Optimization and the CAS enhancement will make doing business with Development Services easier, faster, and more accessible.
Once available, customers who subscribe to CAS and schedule an inspection will receive an email by 7:30 a.m. that provides a tracking link, giving access to real-time tracking of the inspector's current location, arrival time, and contact information. The notification will read 'Track Your Inspector's Arrival Time' and include the permit number scheduled for inspection. The tracking link should be refreshed throughout the day to help you better estimate the inspector's arrival and see their current location. This notification is similar to the pass/fail inspection results generated today through CAS.
Route Optimization brings many benefits for DSD overall, including more inspections per inspector per day. Since the solution ties in to the department's use of mobile technology, inspection supervisors have access to online dashboards to monitor inspection activity in real time and push updates to inspector mobile tablets. The solution will also ensure inspector and vehicle accountability via GPS tracking, and the inspection vehicle fleet will be greener since optimized routes would reduce fuel usage and maintenance costs. 
DSD is dedicated to enhancing the development community customer experience, and with new tools like Route Optimization and the department's latest project, BuildSA, we are making a solid step toward achieving our commitment.
As more information is available, we will post it on Facebook and the DSD website.  
Information Bulletins and Other Resources
The Information Bulletins (IB) listed below had recent significant changes; to learn more, select the IB link.  
IB 153 - Photovoltaic Systems, posted Aug. 24, 2015
The purpose of this Information Bulletin is to assist with the minimum requirements for submitting applications, plan submittals, permitting, inspection, testing and commissioning of photovoltaic systems installed in San Antonio. This bulletin has been updated to embed CPS Energy's process. 

Note: Information Bulletins, located in DSD Documents Online, are numbered based on the assigned section. The assigned numbers are generally categorized as outlined below:
  • 100s - Plan Review
  • 200s - Permits and Inspections
  • 500s - Land Development, Land Entitlements, Zoning, Policy Administrator
  • 800s - Code Enforcement
Keep in mind, there may be some instances where the IB overlaps sections and may be in a different section than thought. 
For a complete list of Code and Rule Interpretations and Information Bulletins, visit the sites shared below:    
The DSD Resources website also offers for more information, including Document Search, Forms and Applications, and Latest News.
Performance Measures - FY 2015


To view the performance measures in their entirety, visit


The July metrics are as follows:


Performance Measures



Permit Activity    



2015 UDC/TAC Update

The 2015 Unified Development Code (UDC) Amendments process is well underway! Since the first meeting on July 13, the Planning Commission's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)  has considered approximately 157 amendments out of the 260 submitted; there are approximately 27 amendments yet to be considered by TAC. 
TAC will continue to meet every Monday until the end of September, except for Labor Day, Sept. 7, as this is a City Holiday. Once the TAC consideration process is complete, the amendments will be reviewed and considered by Boards and Commissions, and the Transportation, Technology and Utilities City Council Committee. Final consideration by City Council is scheduled for December 2015, after the reviews have been completed.  Adopted codes will become effective Jan. 1, 2016.
To view a list of submitted amendments and TAC Agendas, please visit the  2015 TAC Agendas or the 2015 UDC Drafts Submitted  section on the DSD website.
For more information about the UDC process, email Melissa Ramirez, Policy Administrator, at
Introducing New Planning Manager - Land Entitlements 

The Development Services Department (DSD) is happy to announce that Michael Dice is now our new Planning Manager over the Land Entitlements team in the Land Development Division. Michael now supports the coordination of the Planning Commission Agenda, Master Development Plans, Plats, and Addressing.
Michael reports to Melissa Ramirez, Policy Administrator, as we have merged Land Entitlements with Policy Administration.
Michael has been with DSD for seven years managing the Plan Review - Customer Advocate section, including permits, licenses and certificates of occupancy, and brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He will continue to provide excellent service to our Land Development customers. 
Thank you for your support as we transition our Land Entitlements team to better facilitate your needs. 
For questions, please contact Michael Dice, Planning Manager at 210-207-5889 or by email at or Melissa Ramirez, Policy Administrator at 210-207-7038 or by email at
10th Annual Back 2 School Jamboree

Our friendly Code Officers representing Development Services at the District 2 - 10th Annual Back 2 School Jamboree! The event was held Aug. 21, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Claude W. Black Community Center.
Back row left to right: Matthew Kjos, Joshua Martinez, Andrew Jones, and Vernon Drake
Front Row left to right: Melanie Benson, Leticia Villareal, and Karen Kuppers-Alvizo

City News 

San Antonio International Airport has two parking options for travelers, the parking garage and green lot.


Three-pronged plan will guide the City toward smart, sustainable growth.

City Hall and most municipal offices will be closed to observe the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015.

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

Gustavo Silva, Commercial Building Inspector, Field Services
Gustavo has made himself available by cell phone to me and answered questions I had about Code issues and procedures in San Antonio. Since this was my first San Antonio build, I am very grateful to him for helping me avoid any permit problems. I have never had an inspector that I felt was such an asset to me in getting my job done the right way. Thanks Gustavo, and no I didn't know Gustavo before he showed up on my job site.
Claudia Padilla, Sr. Development Services Specialist, Project Mgt., Field Services
Amin Tohmaz, PE, Development Services Engineer, Plan Review
I have had the opportunity to work with many cities across the U.S.A. and none of them provide the ongoing continued level of excellent service provided by COSA. This is all departments all the time, with absolutely excellent service provided by DSD and SAFD.
Sandra Garza, Administrative Assistant, Open Records, Plan Review
The process was user friendly, and Sandra gave a very quick and efficient response from my Open Records Request. Thank you!
Armando Cortez, Inspector, Tree Preservation/Landscape, Land Development
Armando went above and beyond to ensure that my questions and doubts were addressed.  His patience and professionalism is greatly appreciated.
Arturo Silva, Commercial Building Inspector, Field Services
Arturo was great, he helped lead me in the right direction to make sure my building was safe for my customers.
Sandra Gonzalez, Administrative Assistant, Zoning, Land Development
Ms. Gonzalez is very helpful and knowledgeable. I spoke to several different employees from the department but did not get much help, if any. She answered all of my questions and explained the process to me kindly.
Reid Cassidy, Land Entitlements, Policy Admin, Land Development
I was asking about a lot/land, and even though it didn't work out, Reid was really helpful. He helped me make a good choice on not purchasing the land.
New Employees









Job Opportunities


Development Services is recruiting for the following position:

Apply on-line at:  jobs



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