The Greater San Antonio Builders Association encourages its members to be active in local politics to responsibly support legislation which benefits the building industry and the San Antonio area in general. On this page, builders will be able to find helpful information on current political issues which affect builders as well as associate industries, how to get involved in these issues, and contact information for government representatives to contact so the voice of San Antonio area builders can be heard.
The Sound Attenuation ordinance was adopted in 2010 with the purpose of establishing building standards to lessen the external noise from military training and aircraft operations heard inside homes, schools and limited other buildings. The resulting ordinance will affect about 400 new homes.
Boundaries - the orange dashed line represents the sound overlay.
Click on image for a larger map.
Homes within the boundaries must be tested or built to meet the Sound Transmission Class (STC) requirements:
· Total exterior wall area is made up less than 30% of windows and doors – STC of 30
Expected cost: $5,000 - $10,000
· Total exterior wall area between 30% and 40% windows and doors – STC 32
Expected cost: $20,000
· Total exterior wall area more than 40% windows and doors – STC 40
Expected cost: $25,000
The testing will be about $5,000 per home. Builders will also have to sign a certification that the home meets the requirements of the ordinance.
To view the Ordinance in its entirety, click here.
The 2009 International Fire Code (IFC) now applies to single-family residential & homes must meet the new fire-flow requirements.
- Homes at or below 3,600 square feet (89% of those permitted in San Antonio) would require a fire-flow of 1,000 gallons per minute for 1 hour, which for most communities is adequate.
- Homes over 3,600 square feet must meet the commercial fire-flow requirements in Table B105.1 of the 2009 IFC.
When does this apply?
The Fire Flow requirements need to be addressed at the platting/development stage, and it will become a problem if a larger home is built than the water main is designed for. There are alternative options in the Code if the Fire Flow cannot be achieved i.e. steel construction, fire sprinklers, etc.
What do you need to do?
Key points of the proposed Information Bulletin:
- Start date - These new requirements will be applicable to lots that began the plat process on or after August 1, 2010.
- Developer will indicate in writing the anticipated maximum house size of the development when permitting their public water mains well before actual building permit. They will also acknowledge in writing that they understand that if bigger houses eventually come in for permit review and the fire flow is more than what was designed, additional fire protection features may be required during the house design and permitting.
- A note will be placed on the plat indicating the fire flow at which the development was designed for.
- During building permit, PDSD will only require fire flow tests on those dwellings > 3,600 sq.ft. in area. Smaller homes will not require this test as the review through SAWS or Bexar Met will be sufficient.
- I have listed a number of design alternatives to reduce the required fire flow if a builder runs into a case where they want to build a bigger house than what was anticipated and the minimum fire flow is not available. This means that there are options available to ensure that development of larger houses will not be stopped by this new fire flow requirement.
The City of San Antonio has initiated the preparation of the North Sector Plan, which once adopted becomes a component of the City’s Master Plan. The North Sector is the first of seven sector plans to be created for the City and its extraterritorial jurisdiction. The sector plan will function as the long-range guide to the preferred growth, conservation, and redevelopment of this area in a comprehensive manner. The current draft recognizes the majority of undeveloped land north of 1604 in the "Country Tier" - meaning only one residnetial home is allowed per 10 acres. This could have a dramatic affect on landowners and greatly limit what you can do with your property.
The Planning Commission will be considering adoption of the Plan on Wednesday, July 28 at 2:00 pm at the Cliff Morton Development Services Building (1601 North Alamo, and you are invited to attend and make comments.
For more information about the North Sector Plan, visit the website at http://www.northsectorplan.com/.
Click on image to see a larger map.
The Lackland Joint Land Use Study is a cooperative study led by Bexar County in concert with the City of San Antonio, Lackland Air Force Base and Port San Antonio to study growth around the military base and surrounding areas. The purpose of the Lackland JLUS is to allow the Air Force and Port San Antonio to fulfill their missions and protect the safety and welfare of the surrounding communities and businesses. The JLUS will focus mostly on preventing future land use conflicts while encouraging investment in the community.
To support the continued preparation of the Lackland AFB Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), which is being funded in part by Bexar County, an online survey has been created to seek additional input from members of the public. The study process began with a series of community meetings in March 2010 through which EDAW collected input from attendees. That information has been compiled to develop the second phase of community outreach through the online survey.
The survey, which takes less than 2 minutes to complete, will pose 10 ‘Yes or No’ questions that will help the study team gauge the level of importance of each topic. This will help the team craft recommendations that specifically address the needs expressed by the community. The survey will be open through the end of August.
To participate in the Lackland JLUS survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/lacklandpublicsurvey
For more information about the study and other ways to participate, please visit the project Web site www.lacklandjlus.com or contact Michele Parlett with the Bexar County Economic Department at (210) 335-0034 or by e-mail.
Construction Stormwater Requirements
As of March 5, 2003, construction activities disturbing more than one acre are required to obtain coverage under the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) - Permit # TXR150000. Failure to obtain coverage under these permits could result in penalties being assessed.
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)Construction Industry Compliance Assistance
Supreme Court Ruling on Clean Water Act
The NAHB Environmental Management System (EMS) is the first tool of its kind for the home building industry. It helps our members better comply with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and EPA regulations – particularly those regarding storm water permits. Designed for medium- to large-sized firms, the $25 EMS tool includes a CD and detailed book of instructions. A key element of the tool is the "Significant Aspect/Impact Register," a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that allows home builders to prioritize potential environmental issues they may have to address, ranked according to impact or importance as they relate to the environment, regulatory compliance and costs. The tool was first demonstrated to NAHB Environmental Issues Committee members during our Spring Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, DC.
New Lead-Based Paint Regulations
The Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (LRRP) applies to homes constructed before 1978 when lead paint was banned. The rule requires that renovations in homes built before 1978 and that disturb more than six square feet must be supervised by a certified renovator and conducted by a certified renovation firm. In order to become certified, contractors must submit an application - with a fee - to EPA, and complete a training course for instruction on lead-safe work practices. Those who violate the rule could face a fine of $37,500 a day. Its opt-out provision, which expired July 6, let consumers allow contractors to bypass extra preparation, clean-up and recordkeeping requirements in homes where there were no children under 6 or pregnant women, thus avoiding additional costs.
Remodelers’ and other contractors’ estimates of the additional costs associated with the lead-safe work practice average about $2,400, but vary according to the size and type of job. For example, a complete window replacement requires the contractor to install thick vinyl sheeting to surround the work area both inside the home and outdoors – with prep time and material costs adding an estimated $60 to $170 for each window.
Please contact us if you need to attend the Certification Course for the new Lead Paint Rule.