Why Should I Apply for a Permit?

Permits must be obtained prior to starting a building project so that the City can make sure it complies with the building safety codes. Most construction and remodeling work requires a permit (even if you’re doing the work), with the exception of minor repairs such as painting, wallpapering, carpeting and tiling. Electrical, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and most plumbing work requires that a licensed trade professional do the actual work in addition to obtaining a permit. They are also required for: re-roofing, fences (including repair or replacement of over 25% of existing fences), carports, room additions, demolition, repairs affecting the structural components of a building (walls, foundations and roof system to include replacement of windows and doors), replacement or alteration of public sidewalks, curbs and driveway approaches, storage sheds over one story or over 120 square feet in size and most decks, new installation or major alteration of plumbing, HVAC or electrical systems. All new structures exceeding 120 square feet also require a permit.

The permit costs vary depending on the type of work and scope of the project. Not getting one can result in penalty fees equal to the amount of the permit, plus the normal cost of the permit. This is also in addition to any fine(s) assessed as a result of an Administrative Hearing Citation.

What Zoning and Permit Violations Does the AHO Hear?

Just a few examples of cases that come before the hearing officer are: violations involving construction without a required permit; occupying a commercial or industrial building without a certificate of occupancy; unauthorized businesses in residential districts; building setback and design regulations; multi-family use of a property zoned for single-family dwellings; and obstructing the view of an intersection. Those are general examples, and there may be exceptions or additional code requirements involved. Contact our office at (210) 207-1111 before starting your project.

- Gerald Roebuck, COSA Code Enforcement Supervisor

(reprinted from the City of San Antonio Code Connection newsletter, September/October 2014 edition)