The City of Austin Development Services Department and other city departments issue development-related permits, such as building permits, land use permits, special event permits, temporary use permits, and business-related permits. Below is a summary of these types of permits and links to more information about each. For a list of work that does not require a permit, visit Work Exempt from Permits.


Building Permits

Commercial Building Permits

Building permits for new construction and remodels of commercial and multi-family buildings. The project's scope will determine what type of review may be required before a permit may be issued.


Residential Building Permits

Building permits for new construction, additions, or interior remodeling of single-family, duplex, two-family houses, and accessory dwelling buildings on one lot. The project's scope will determine what type of review may be required before a permit may be issued. 


Expedited Building Plan Review (Residential and Commercial)

The Expedited Building Plan Review program is a premium service that accelerates the building plan review and permit process by holding a single review session with a full team of experienced plan reviewers and the applicant’s design team.


Stand-Alone Building and Trade Permits 

The Service Center issues various stand-alone building permits and trade permits (electrical, mechanical, and plumbing).


Demolition / Relocation Permits

For permits involving demolition or relocation, also information on the new Demolition Notification Tool for tracking demolition applications.



Land Development-Related Permits

Barton Springs Zone Annual Operating Permit

In the Barton Springs Zone, water quality controls (i.e., sedimentation/filtration pond, retention/re-irrigation systems, etc) for commercial and/or multi-family sites must be maintained according to the Watershed Protection Department's criteria found in the Environmental Criteria Manual.


General Permit Program (for City of Austin partner departments or private franchise utilities)

The General Permit Program is a specific 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. 


Hazardous Materials Storage Permits 

Hazardous Materials Storage Permit is required for specific Underground Storage Tank (UST) Facilities.


Site Plan Permits

A site plan is a detailed drawing of proposed improvements and construction on a lot. It depicts the location of buildings, landscaping, parking lots, driveways, detention ponds, utility improvements, etc. Site Plans are reviewed for compliance with Austin’s Land Development Code Chapter 25-5 Site Plan (LDC). A Site Plan Permit is required for any site work on a non-residential site or a change of zoning use unless it meets the requirements for a Site Plan Exemption. 


Small Cell Permits

Small Cell facilities are low-powered antennas that provide cellular and data coverage to smaller geographic areas, supplementing the larger cellular network and improving service for wireless customers.


Subdivision Permits

A subdivision of land occurs when a property owner, within the City limits or the Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), divides a tract of land into two or more parts for the purpose of sale, development, or extension of utilities to the property to be subdivided. Additional types of subdivisions include combining platted lots and/or portions of lots into new lots by resubdivision, adjusting lot lines between existing legal lots by amended plat, or vacation of plats.


Tree Permits

The City Arborist Program is responsible for issuing tree permits to remove or construct within proximity of a protected or heritage tree for residential & commercial properties. These regulations are designed to balance re-forestation and preservation to achieve the best long-term benefit for the community.


Underground Storage Tank Construction Permits

New construction, remodeling, repairs, removal, or closure of an underground storage tank may require an Underground Storage Tank (UST) Construction Permit. Visit Environmental Inspections to learn more.



Other Permits

Alarm System Permits

The Alarm Administration Division administers the City of Austin’s Alarm Ordinance, issues alarm permits, and strives to improve public safety through education and awareness initiatives to eliminate false alarms.


Concrete Installation Permits (Non-Peak Hours)

In the City of Austin, installing concrete within 600 feet* of a residence, church, hospital, hotel, or motel is not allowed between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. unless a permit is issued as authorized under Section 9-2-21 (Permit for Concrete Installation During Non-Peak Hour Periods). 


Mobile Retail Establishment Permits

Permits for mobile retail establishments which sell non-food items and services to customers from a movable vehicle or trailer that routinely changes locations.


Parking Lot Patio Permits

Austin City Council has authorized a new program allowing businesses to create a seating or retail area in owned or leased parking lots through the Parking Lot Patio Permit. Applicants interested in repurposing parking spots must apply for a permit through the Development Services Department and be inspected by the Austin Fire Department.


Pools and Spas

This program under Environmental Health Services ensures that all public and semi-public aquatic facilities follow proper safety guidelines.  These facilities include public pools, training facilities, spas and interactive water features.


Right of Way Permits

If you're doing any work in the public-owned portion of land (the ROW), or if your work requires using any part of the ROW, then you need a ROW permit. 


Sign Permits

The City of Austin requires a Sign Permit for outdoor signage as stated in the Land Development Code


Special Event Permits

The Austin Center for Events (ACE) assists event organizers through the City permitting process by providing requirements and guidelines necessary to produce a special event in the City of Austin.


Temporary Use Permit

The short-term use of a property in a space not approved for occupancy and/or for a different use may be authorized with a Temporary Use Permit.