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TO: Development Services Customers
Administrative Exception Variance Request Procedures for Building
Permits, Environmental, and Platting (AEVR)
DATE: October 10, 2006/Revised November 16, 2007/August 1, 2014/ December 19,
CREATED BY: Land Development Division/Engineering and Environmental Section
As a customer service initiative, the Development Services Department (DSD) created this revised
bulletin to update IB 124. This bulletin has been updated to incorporate the department’s new format for
Information Bulletins. Application updated to include a fillable application.
The City’s Unified Development Code (UDC) provides applicants the opportunity to seek administrative
reprieve from sections of the code that are routinely modified, as well as provides ways to appeal
administrative decisions by submitting Variances to Planning Commission. UDC Section 35-511(e)
allows Administrative Variances for items relating to Division 3 Landscaping and Tree Preservation
(Environmental Variances). UDC Section 35-436 allows for Administrative Exceptions for subdivision
plat related items. UDC Section 35-501 lists specific code sections in which an Administrative Exception
may be granted. The current UDC and its amendments as well as fee schedules may be accessed under
“documents on-line” at the following web link:
The Administrative Exception/Variance Request (AEVR) is required to show that the spirit, intent, and
minimum acceptable level of public health, welfare and safety are preserved as ordained by the UDC.
Through this process, the City is attempting to resolve issues administratively during platting, tree permit
applications and building permit reviews before variances to the Board of Adjustment or Planning
Commission become necessary. This same process may be used to request a variance to UDC related
items for Planning Commission decision. This process has been introduced to help expedite and evaluate
your requests in a consistent and timely manner throughout the Development Services Department and its
The AEVR process is not used for applications to variances for zoning regulations. For more information
and contacts please see the following website: A
Board of Adjustment application may be obtained using the following document:
The following procedures are to be followed to help expedite the review of your AEVR for a platting
issue, or tree permit and/or building permit issue.
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1. The AEVR is to be submitted to DSD using the attached application and the form letter with
supporting documentation provided in the recommended format. The AEVR will be logged-in with
copies routed to the appropriate staff for review/recommendations.
2. One AEVR is required for each item/code issue under consideration.
3. The supporting documentation for the AEVR is to be prepared on company letterhead, signed and
dated. See the example provided. The letter shall include the minimum information listed or the
application will be deemed incomplete and will result in delaying the review process.
4. The AEVR must be signed by the Owner, or the Owner’s representative.
The fee for Administrative Exceptions, Environmental Variances to Trees and Landscaping and the
fee for a Variance to Planning Commission that is submitted for review and consideration is located
on the DSD Fee Schedule that can be downloaded on-line at the web address above. (Currently
$350.00) The fee must be included with the variance request application and letter. For building
permits, the fee is assessed once per site for each discipline. For example, one fee may be assessed
for traffic related issues and another fee assessed for tree and landscape issues for the same site. A
variance to Planning Commission is assessed per issue going before the Commission.
5. The applicant can deliver or mail AEVR packages to:
Development & Business Service Center, 1901 S. Alamo, San Antonio, Texas 78204
Building Permits Plans and Permits Administrative staff
Trees and Landscaping Environmental Section Review staff
Platting Administrative Exceptions and Variances Land Entitlement Subdivision Staff
6. The AEVR will be routed to the appropriate staff for review. After staff review of the
Administrative Exception or the Environmental Variance, DSD will respond by approving your
request, approving your request with additional requirements, or denying your request. In all cases,
the ruling will be made in writing and the applicant will receive a copy of the ruling.
7. The estimated turnaround time for an Administrative Exceptions, or Platting Variance review and
action is fifteen (15) business days. For Variances to platting, the UDC allows five (5) working
days to review the submission for completeness. Variances to Planning Commission will be
scheduled for consideration the same commission date as the plat. Environmental Variances will be
reviewed as soon as possible, but will be reviewed before 30-days.
8. For plats, Variances filed pursuant to Certificate of Determination requests shall be subject to a
review time of up to 20 days in accordance with UDC Section 35-430(d) prior to scheduling the
variance for Planning Commission. In such cases where the variance is approved, the Certificate of
Determination shall be issued within 10 days. Additional fees may apply.
Your AEVR application and the final decision of the DSD Director or Planning Commission shall be
officially recorded in the permanent records of this department.
Should you be dissatisfied with the action/ruling taken on your Administrative Exception, or
Environmental Variance you have the right to appeal the ruling to Board of Adjustment or Planning
Commission in accordance with the provisions of the UDC Section 35-483. Additional fees may apply.
If you have any questions about this administrative exception/variance or about the procedures to
follow, please contact
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1. AEVR Application required to be submitted.
2. Required format for AEVR Letter to be submitted to DSD. You may request this letter as a Word
Document from Plans and Permits, Land Development staff, or download from the DSD website.
The administrative portion indicating “Approved, Approved with Comments, or Denied” must be
included in the letter.
This Information Bulletin is for informational purposes only.
Prepared by: Pablo Martinez, PE, Development Services Engineer
Reviewed by: Pablo Martinez, PE, Development Services Engineer
Authorized by: John Jacks, Assistant Director
1901 S. Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78204
Project Name:
A/P # /PPR # /Plat #
Code Issue:
Code Sections:
Submitted By:
Owners Agent * (Requires notarized Letter of Agent)
Zip Code:
Zip Code:
Additional Information Subdivision Plat Variances & Time Extensions
1. Time Extension Sidewalk Floodplain Permit Completeness Appeal
2. City Council District___________ Ferguson Map Grid ________ Zoning District_____________
3. San Antonio City Limits Yes No
4. Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone? Yes No
5. Previous/existing landfill? Yes No
6. Parkland Greenbelts or open space? Floodplain? Yes No
Administrative Exception / Variance Request Review
City of San Antonio
Development Services Department
1901 S. Alamo
San Antonio, TX 78204
Re: Project Name
A/P, Plat Number, or Project Number (if applicable)
UDC Code Section or Issue
Administrative Exception
Environmental Variance
Subdivision Platting Variance Time Extension
Dear Development Services,
At a minimum, provide the following information in your Administrative Exception
/ Variance Request letter:
Introduction: Identify the project and state that you are requesting consideration
for an administrative exception, environmental variance or platting variance.
Code Issue: Identify the specific Unified Development Code (UDC) section for
which the AEVR is proposed.
Discussion / Justification: Provide rationale and supporting information, such as
technical data, engineering calculations, results of actual field tests, requirements
or allowances in other standard engineering references, etc. that provide the basis
for the City to accept the request. Proposed design documents (e.g., architectural
or engineering plans, photos, etc.) and supporting information listed above should
be attached to the request as needed to clarify proposed request. Specifically,
o rationale as to why the administrative exception / variance will not be
contrary to the spirit and intent of the UDC and the specific regulations
from which an exception is requested;
o assertion that the applicant has taken all practicable measures to minimize
any adverse impacts on the public health, safety and public welfare;
o justification stating that under the circumstances, the public interest
underlying the proposed exception outweighs the public interest underlying
the particular regulation for which the exception/variance is granted;
o In addition, the following items must be addressed as required by the UDC
for Variances UDC Section 35-483(e), and must be placed as bullet points
in the request letter:
If the applicant complies strictly with the provisions of these regulations, he/she
can make no reasonable use of his/her property; and
The hardship relates to the applicant's land, rather than personal circumstances;
The hardship is unique, or nearly so, rather than one shared by many surrounding
properties; and
The hardship is not the result of the applicant's own actions; and
The granting of the exception/variance will not be injurious to other property and
will not prevent the orderly subdivision of other property in the area in accordance
with these regulations.
Conclusion: Provide a summary statement such as “In my/our professional
opinion, the proposed administrative exception / variance remains in harmony with
the spirit and intent of the UDC as it will not adversely affect the health, safety, or
welfare of the public”.
Signature and Title Block of Applicant Signature of Owner (if applicable)
For Office Use Only:
Date Received:
DSD Director Official Action:
Printed Name: