Dear General Contractors, Builders, and Property Owners,
Spring has sprung in Texas and not only are the wild bluebonnets making an appearance but so are property owners who are shaking off the winter season and making ready for home improvements and new construction. With construction moving forward as an essential business in this uncertain time of COVID-19, the City of Horseshoe Bay Development Services Department moves forward as well. We would like to take this opportunity to share a few hot topics from our Department.
We had hoped to host our first General Contractor’s Meeting of the year this past March on the 30th. Strict regulations prohibiting group meetings in order to slow the spread of Coronavirus put a halt to that plan, as well as many other things in our lives. As construction work continues, Development Services would like to advise permit applicants of a few items to remember when submitting your permit applications, which were to be topics at our cancelled Builder’s Meeting.
- Fill out your permit application in full by providing all contact information and signatures on the permit application.
- Post your issued permits and keep approved plans at the job site until after the final inspection is completed or you receive your Certificate of Occupancy.
- New residential construction plans should include the location of the propane tank and future fiber conduit on the site plan when submitted.
- Remember that your blower door and duct leakage tests must be performed by a certified IECC and HERS inspector.
- You should always monitor expiration dates on permits and Temporary Certificates of Occupancy.
- New residential construction applicants are required to obtain your own new 911 address prior to, and to include with your permit application submission for all new residential permits going forward. This new step has been added in response to the high volume of permit applications that the department processes daily. For more information on how to do this or any other item listed here, contact the department at 830-598-9959.
The Stay Home, Stay Safe (SHSF) Order has offered lasting impacts on each one of us during this unprecedented time. While General Contractors are continuing with business, they have reported various ways that the SHSF Order has impacted their job sites, such as slowing down deliveries of construction materials and providing difficult scheduling and subcontractor availability. Most builders I have spoken with tell me how they are taking care to observe the guidelines for job site safety such as those offered by the National Association of Home Builders. These practices include washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer, practicing social distancing, staying home if sick, and the use of personal protection equipment. It is our recommendation that General Contractors should practice and continue to use these and other best practices at the job site. For more information and to print resources and responsibilities for Contractors, visit www.nahbnow.com, or speak with our Code Enforcement Officer Ray Garcia or Development Services Staff.
COVID-19 has brought about another visible change - that our Lobby is now closed to the public, as is the whole of City Hall for the time being. The City watches for new Executive Orders from the Governor’s Office daily and will respond as new Orders are issued that may affect continued lobby closures and possible re-opening. Some City Staff including Development Services Staff have been working from home and others are working in staggered shifts. We are happy to report that due to our Department’s desire to increase efficiency in the past few years, our Department had already implemented digital plan submissions, and the lobby closure has shown little impact on processing times. If you need help to submit or pay for permits, or to schedule inspections, or for general questions, please do not hesitate to call the Department at 830-598-9959 on Monday – Friday between 8am-5pm.
Another change that will impact our Department is the announcement of the upcoming retirement of Development Services Director, Eric Winter, by December 2020. Mr. Winter has worked to implement new subdivision developments, ordinances, has annually ushered in and assisted new Planning & Zoning Commissioners and Board of Adjustment Members, created new department staff positions and processes, and has been a crucial part of City leadership for the past 13 years. I personally have worked for Mr. Winter the past 5 years. Together we have seen changes in our Department and in the City. Mr. Winter has partnered with City Management and worked to make Development Services a top High Performing Department in our organization. The effects of which lead to safer, more efficient homes, more efficient processes for our customers, more effective Code enforcement, thorough future planning, and high engagement from all department staff. Feel free to give him a call or email and help to wish him well in future endeavors. He will truly be missed.
Development Services would like to thank you, the general contractors, builders, and homeowners for your cooperation, continued compliance of City Ordinances and Building Codes, and for seamlessly adjusting to new methods of doing business. Please know that our office has staff available to assist you during regular business hours. Our lobby may be closed, but we remain available to answer your phone calls, emails, and process permits, plats, and other business as usual items on Monday-Friday, 8am – 5pm by calling 830-598-9959.
Stay safe and well,
Jessica Noaker, Senior DS Tech, Deputy Building Official