We support our vibrant community through responsible development. Our services include plan reviews, inspections, permits and information resources to help developers, contractors, event organizers, business owners, homeowners and other residents understand and apply existing codes and guidelines to keep our community safe.
Building Plan Review is responsible for reviewing and approving Residential and Commercial building plans for compliance with applicable codes and regulations. Once a building plan is approved, a building permit is issued by the Service Center, along with applicable trade permits (electrical, mechanical, plumbing & irrigation). Depending on the type of work that is permitted, building inspections may be required during construction. Once the permitted work is completed, a final inspection is required.
The Service Center provides permit payment services and issues permits and applicable trade permits (plumbing, electrical, mechanical, irrigation), "stand-alone" trade permits (plumbing, electrical, mechanical, irrigation) that are not tied to a building permit and registers licensed contractors (electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and irrigation) to perform work.
The Community Tree Preservation Division administers the City's Tree regulations by performing tree reviews, permitting, and inspections, and implements the Urban Forest Master Plan. The Division serves to cultivate a relationship between Austin residents and their trees by fostering a resilient community forest accomplished through an interconnected mix of regulations, outreach, planning, and community partnerships.
The Development Assistance Center (DAC) provides development consulting services and business-related permitting services. They will answer your questions and make sure you are knowledgeable about the procedures and requirements that apply to your project.
The Expedited team includes specialized reviewers that represent the following review disciplines: Building, Mechanical, Plumbing, Electric, Structure, Fire, Health, Industrial Waste, Arborist and Zoning. Applicants and their consultants will attend a pre-scheduled, single-review session with the Expedited team ready to make on-the-spot decisions and changes as needed. Contractors and owners will be encouraged to attend the review session. If the plans meet the respective codes and ordinances, permits can be issued following the review session.
Water Quality/Drainage Reviewers in the Land Use Division perform pre-construction review for water quality and drainage for site plans and subdivision plans to assure compliance with the Land Development Code.
The Development Services Department has various online tools to help you search for development & permit related information, sign-in for service, view geographic related information, or learn about the development process.
The Community Registry is a database of self-registered neighborhood associations and other community organizations, maintained by the City of Austin Neighborhood Assistance Center in the Development Services Department. The Community Registry is an important communication tool for neighborhoods and other development-interested groups to be notified of land use issues relating to their area. Organizations registered in the Community Registry are encouraged to update their record at least once every two years.
DSD is committed to conducting annual customer satisfaction polls to gather input on how the department can improve the service level provided to its customers. The polls are administered by ETC Institute.
In August 2017, the Office of the City Auditor released a report on the demolition permitting process that highlighted areas of concern. The City Council followed up in December 2017 with a resolution requesting the Development Services Department develop recommendations to redesign the demolition permitting process to achieve the goals from the City Auditor's report.
As of July 2019 the Emerging Projects Map (EP) process has evolved into a continuously updated map application showing major zoning, site plan, and subdivision land use cases under City review in the last two years. It also shows the pre-July 2019 data for reference purposes.
Growth Watch is your portal to datasets extracted from the City's development review system to support tracking and understanding of development trends. It is intended primarily for those wishing to download the data and manipulate it in software such as GIS, Business Intelligence, Spreadsheet, Database, or similar software.
The Neighborhood Assistance Center (NAC) provides educational resources and information about the City of Austin’s operations and services. The center facilitates and assists effective communication between neighborhood stakeholders and the City of Austin.
The Success Metrics identifies key performance measures and target goals for the Development Services Department. These metrics gauge the performance of review times, wait times, employee investment, and technology to assess business processes and organizational efficiencies. These reports are published monthly.
Blueprint of Change showcases the journey of DSD from its inception to the completion of its ambitious two-year Action Plan.
The Zucker Final Report was received on Friday, May 8th, 2015. Below are links to the full report and individual chapters.
The Residential Design and Compatibility or "McMansion" regulations, were designed to minimize the impact of new construction, remodels, and additions to existing buildings on surrounding properties in residential neighborhoods by defining an acceptable building area for each lot within which new development may occur.
The City of Austin's Building Technical Codes (Chapter 25-12), contains regulations for Building, Electric, Fire, Property Maintenance, Mechanical, Plumbing, Residential, and Solar Energy. The City of Austin follows the 2015 International Building Code.