Development in the San Antonio ETJ

February 27, 2018 by Megan Amitrano

Ranking third in the United States for cities with the largest growth in population per the 2015-16 national census, the greater San Antonio area is booming with development to accommodate new Texans. With the City limits continually becoming more dense in residents and their amenities, more San Antonians are choosing to work and play in the five mile unincorporated boundary about the City limits known as its Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (or ETJ). The City of San Antonio ETJ is completely within Bexar County and therefore has development standards regulated through interlocal agreements between the City of San Antonio Development Services Department and Bexar County Public Works.

Although design standards are similar for projects in the ETJ as inside City limits, BIG RED DOG engineers are experts in the unique parameters of subdivision platting and permitting within the City of San Antonio ETJ.

San Antonio Development
photo credit: nan palmero (CC)

When platting in the ETJ, the County and City will review the subdivision plat prior to recordation to ensure all regulation of the City of San Antonio Unified Development Code Chapter 35 are met. More specifically, the Cities’ comprehensive tree-preservation and drainage regulations are enforced in the ETJ by plat Letter of Certification reviews conducted by City departments. The County will issue a final Letter of Certification recommending plat approval before the plat is seen by the City of San Antonio Planning Commission and in some cases, Bexar County Commissioners Court for recordation.

When constructing, renovating, or changing the building occupancy as part of a project in the ETJ, Bexar County Fire Marshal Office issues permits for land development. Similar to the interlocal platting agreement between the City and County, prior to issuance of a building permit, the Fire Marshal will require tree, irrigation, drainage, and signage approvals to be acquired through the City review process. Once these reviews and approvals are obtained, Bexar County Public Works will issue a Building Permit Authorization that will be necessary for the Bexar County Fire Marshal Office to begin their review of a project’s site work, foundation, and/or building permit applications.

Is your next development within the City of San Antonio ETJ? BIG RED DOG’s experts can ensure that your project exceeds the area’s unique design, permitting, and platting requirements. Let’s get started! Contact us today.

Written by Megan Amitrano

Megan Amitrano

Megan Amitrano is a Graduate Engineer in our San Antonio office. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Megan began her career at BIG RED DOG as an intern, and joined us full time in 2018.