AUSTIN (KXAN) — Starting Saturday, Oct. 1, the city of Austin will implement new fees and fee increases for site and subdivision review and inspections.
The Development Services Department says minor changes will also be seen in tree review, building inspections, zoning and other development-related services. The new fee structure was adopted by the Austin City Council as part of its 2016-2017 budget.
The department introduced its Service First initiative, which expanded customer wait areas and deployed remote sign-in service to reduce counter wait time. They also developed an interactive web portal (Smart Start) to help small businesses with the development process.
Deploying customer exit surveys, automating tree inspections and on-time building plan reviews were also part of the initiative. This fall, the department will launch “ePlan,” which they say will modernize the development process by allowing for electronic submissions and review of development plans.
The Development Services Department is responsible for providing development plan review, building permit issuance and site and building inspection services.
In June, a KXAN Investigation showed the department had lowered its goals and that home zoning applications rarely were reviewed on time.
In fiscal year 2014, the city set a goal of getting 85 percent of new residential zoning applications reviewed within seven days. The department missed the goal, only getting 38 percent completed on time. However, in fiscal year 2015, the city lowered the goal to completing 25 percent of the reviews on time. It exceeded that standard, reviewing 26 percent within seven days.
To view a comprehensive list of new and updated fees, click here.