Government Affairs Update
City of San Antonio COVID Ordinance; City Council Agendas; SARA update; 87th Legislature and AG Opinion
City of San Antonio
The City of San Antonio’s Development Services Department (DSD) and GSABA will host their bi-monthly meeting this Wednesday, August 12th at 1:00 pm. The agenda for the meeting along with the July Performance Standards can be found by clicking the first link below. The call in WebEx phone number is 415-655-0001 and the access code is 122 312 3061.
Please note that the next City Council meeting will be held this Thursday, August 13th at 9:00 am. The Mayor and Council will consider adopting a COVID ordinance. A draft of the ordinance can be found by clicking the second link below.
The City of San Antonio has also updated the Build SA Plan and Timeline and you can find the handouts from the July 20th meeting on the third link below. Please note that the City is making system enhancements for Electronic Plan Reviews, Building and Fire Permits, Code Enforcement and License Registration. There will be online training available in the future.
- COSA City Council Agenda 8.13.20.pdf
- Draft COVID Ordinance COSA.pdf
- Build SA July 2020 Stakeholder Meeting.pdf
Several Cities within our jurisdiction are conducting virtual City Council and Committee meetings. The most recent Council agendas are attached.
San Antonio River Authority (SARA) Update
The San Antonio River Authority (SARA) released Version Two of their design standards for new wastewater utility service regulations and design standards that became effective on August 1st. We reported in July that changes were proposed by SARA that could have resulted in costly and impractical design standards being adopted.
We want to thank Trey Dawson with Pape-Dawson Engineers for his leadership on this important issue. Trey prepared a detailed summary of the changes proposed that would have adversely impacted the Development and Building Community. Thanks to Trey’s leadership and the efforts of the Real Estate Council (RECSA) along with several Associations, we were successful in getting the proposed changes made by SARA revised.
You can find the email response from Katie Overstreet, Sr. Utilities Engineer with SARA to Trey Dawson on the link below with the modifications outlined.
What is Happening at the State Level
87th Legislative Update
The Texas Association of Builders (TAB) monitors and provides regular updates to GSABA on what is happening at the State Capitol. Scott Norman, TAB’s Executive Director, shared the following information with me last week:
- There will be restricted access to the Texas Capitol during the next session that will kick off in January 2021.
- The Comptroller recently released a study that shows the budget shortfall could be as high as $11 Billion in the event that Texas does not receive federal funds. The anticipated shortfall with federal funds will be a minimum of $4.5 to $5 Billion.
- The budget will be the first priority in the upcoming session and there could be a special session on Redistricting.
- There is not a clear picture of which party will be in control of the Texas House of Representatives. The Democrats only need 9 seats to take over the House.
- Our industry will be on the defense as the Texas Municipal League (TML) and municipalities across Texas will be looking for additional revenues due to budget shortfalls. We anticipate that bills will be filed to tax construction labor and possibly overturn HB 1473 that was passed in the last session which provided property tax relief and reduced the burden of the agriculture exemption rollback tax.
- There has been discussion on the possibility of filing a bill to require Municipalities to use Third Party Inspection Companies during a disaster.
Texas Attorney General’s Opinion on Restricting Evictions
On Friday, August 7th Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion regarding local governmental entities restricting eviction procedures under local emergency declarations.
J.D. Hale with the Texas Association on Builders shared a few important takeaways from the opinion:
- The opinion finds that local governments do not have the authority to rewrite state law like the Property Code statues that govern evictions.
- This opinion does not have the force of law but as the state’s top legal official, reflects the AG’s legal interpretation.
Upcoming September Construction, Legal and Sales Webinars
GSABA will host webinars every Wednesday during the month of September. We received a grant from NAHB to host an OSHA Fall Prevention four hour class. You will find an overview with dates and times of the classes below.
Construction, Legal and Sales September Webinars.pdf
On behalf of your President Jeff Czar, the leadership team and your Government Affairs Co-Chairs, thank you for being a member of GSABA. We will continue to keep you informed on critical issues facing our industry.