The General Permit Program is a specific type of site development review, permitting, and inspection process for City of Austin Departments and Franchised Utilities. General Permits allow infrastructure improvements, maintenance, and new installations on City of Austin-owned property or within easements dedicated to the City of Austin. City of Austin and franchise utilities are allowed to construct on city properties with a General Permit.
- Examples of City of Austin-owned property include:
- City of Austin ROW’s (Right of Way)
- Water quality lands owned and managed by Austin Water Utility or Watershed Protection
- Utility sites or easements dedicated, used, and maintained by the City of Austin.
A fee-based operating contract, the Annual General Permit (AGP), is a negotiated contract agreement between Development Services Department and eligible parties. Eligible parties are City of Austin partner departments or private franchise utilities, the AGP is renewed annually or every 2 years with each party.
- The AGP document determines when the scope of work is outside the scope of the General Permit Review Program, establishing the limits of what type of construction qualifies for a General Permit.
- Establishes partner departments or franchise utilities responsibilities such as submitting construction plans which meet City Code, including all specifications, design criteria manuals, interdepartmental agreements, MOUs, etc.
- The AGP document allows for field inspections and process audits to ensure submitted plans follow the AGP terms and conditions.
- AGP plans are an engineered set of plans developed for construction.
- Submitted plans are typically reviewed for environmental, some transportation, limited site plan review, and others as needed.
Types of General Permit Projects
Annual General Permit
An Annual General Permit is a pre-existing agreement between an organization and the City of Austin's General Permit program. An Annual General Permit will allow for the application of a General Permit exemption or a General Permit formal review. Email General Permits to learn more.
A smaller project with a maximum limit of work of 3000 s.f. or a maximum of 300 l.f. is reviewed and permitted as a General Permit Exemption unless otherwise specified in the department stakeholder’s Annual General Permit.
- Updates occur when your project has been rejected and you provide an update addressing the comments. Updates to General Permit Exemptions may be emailed directly to the assigned reviewer.
- Corrections are when changes occur in the field after the plans have been approved and the approved set needs to be revised. Corrections to General Permit Exemptions must be submitted as a new General Permit Exemption.
Larger scopes of work are reviewed and permitted as Formal General Permit Applications.
Updates occur when your project has been rejected and you provide an update addressing the comment report.
Corrections are when changes occur in the field that deviates from the approved plans and those changes need to be reviewed. You will be asked to upload a completed General Permit Correction Acknowledgment Form (PDF).
Applications and Forms
For a complete list of forms and applications visit the General Permit section of the Forms & Applications webpage.
- Formal General Permit Applications submitted through Intake have a ten (10) business day turnaround for initial reviews and updates. The Master Comment Report is generated two (2) business days later as long as all reviews are on time.
- General Permit Exemptions do not technically have a code-mandated turnaround time; however, the internal performance measure is ten (10) business days.
- A General Permit is an alternative site plan that does not require the same level of review as a standard site plan submitted to Land Use Review.
- Any project that exceeds the parameters of a General Permit Exemption or a Formal General Permit Application must be submitted to Land Use Review as a Site Plan.
Staff is available for preliminary site visits or whenever a permit holder has a need to have plan review staff involved for any issues that might require a correction to an approved plan set.
The General Permit Inspectors are housed within the Environmental Inspections work unit in the Construction Inspections Division of Development Services Department.
For more information on General Permit Inspections, like how to schedule an inspection, please visit the Environmental Inspections webpage.