Demolition Permit Process

UPDATE: We are seeking community input on the proposed changes to the demolition permit process beginning August 18. We encourage the community to attend the public meeting or provide input online here at SpeakUp Austin from August 18 through September 2. This feedback will help finalize any changes to the staff recommendation for consideration by the City Council.

The Development Services Department has been asked by City Council to redesign the demolition permitting process to consider public safety, licensing requirements, and notification procedures. We need your input to make sure we understand how the process impacts you. Input questions have been developed to generate dialogue and help staff propose a new demolition permit process that considers community values.

At a minimum, the new demolition permitting process should ensure that:

  1. Appropriate reviews take place prior to demolition activities;
  2. Appropriate safety measures are in place prior to demolition activities; and
  3. Adequate and appropriate notice is given to interested parties.

UPDATE: We are seeking community input on the proposed changes to the demolition permit process beginning August 18. We encourage the community to attend the public meeting or provide input online here at SpeakUp Austin from August 18 through September 2. This feedback will help finalize any changes to the staff recommendation for consideration by the City Council.

The Development Services Department has been asked by City Council to redesign the demolition permitting process to consider public safety, licensing requirements, and notification procedures. We need your input to make sure we understand how the process impacts you. Input questions have been developed to generate dialogue and help staff propose a new demolition permit process that considers community values.

At a minimum, the new demolition permitting process should ensure that:

  1. Appropriate reviews take place prior to demolition activities;
  2. Appropriate safety measures are in place prior to demolition activities; and
  3. Adequate and appropriate notice is given to interested parties.
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    The Demolition Permits Audit Report published in August 2017 highlights concerns about demolition safety risks that are not being fully considered, such as asbestos or lead. Below is a summary of the federal and state safety regulations regarding demolitions. What role should the City of Austin play in reinforcing these requirements? 

    Federal Regulations

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) details the laws and regulations pertaining to asbestos and lead-based paint. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration section, work practices, sampling, removal, and worker protections are some of the topics highlighted. However, the federal law does not detail...

    The Demolition Permits Audit Report published in August 2017 highlights concerns about demolition safety risks that are not being fully considered, such as asbestos or lead. Below is a summary of the federal and state safety regulations regarding demolitions. What role should the City of Austin play in reinforcing these requirements? 

    Federal Regulations

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) details the laws and regulations pertaining to asbestos and lead-based paint. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration section, work practices, sampling, removal, and worker protections are some of the topics highlighted. However, the federal law does not detail the type of projects that must comply with asbestos or lead surveys. The EPA delegates enforcement to the state; it is each state’s responsibility to meet regulations and also to demonstrate compliance with EPA requirements. 

    Source: www.epa.gov/asbestos/asbestos-laws-and-regulations

    State Regulations

    Under the Texas Administrative Code established by the Texas Department of State Health Service, single-family dwellings (private residences and apartment buildings with no more than four dwelling units) are excluded from providing an asbestos survey before demolition or remodeling (§295.31). An asbestos survey is required for commercial properties.

    A person is prohibited from performing any asbestos-related activity unless that person has the appropriate valid license, registration, accreditation, or approved exemption (E. Prohibition)

    Source: Texas Department of State Health Services Asbestos Program, Texas Asbestos Health Protection Rules; Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 295, Subchapter C


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    As noted in the Demolition Permits Audit Report, the City of Austin does not require general contractors to be licensed. State licensing requirements apply to Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical, Asbestos abatement and other specialty trades. However, other municipalities in Texas do require licensing. For example, the City of San Antonio requires all City and State licensed contractors to be registered with Development Services before the issuance of any permit(s). What do you think the City of Austin should do to address concerns about the lack of licensing and oversight of demolition contractors?

    Source: www.sanantonio.gov/DSD/Contractor


    As noted in the Demolition Permits Audit Report, the City of Austin does not require general contractors to be licensed. State licensing requirements apply to Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical, Asbestos abatement and other specialty trades. However, other municipalities in Texas do require licensing. For example, the City of San Antonio requires all City and State licensed contractors to be registered with Development Services before the issuance of any permit(s). What do you think the City of Austin should do to address concerns about the lack of licensing and oversight of demolition contractors?

    Source: www.sanantonio.gov/DSD/Contractor


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    The City of Austin has notification requirements in place for different types of development related cases. Notices are typically mailed to property owners, City of Austin utility account holders, registered neighborhood associations, and other organizations whose boundaries include or are adjacent to the proposed site. What number of days do you think is a reasonable timeframe to be notified about a demolition? What number of feet is an appropriate boundary for demolition notifications? Please be specific.

    For more information, please visit: www.austintexas.gov/page/development-notifications

    The City of Austin has notification requirements in place for different types of development related cases. Notices are typically mailed to property owners, City of Austin utility account holders, registered neighborhood associations, and other organizations whose boundaries include or are adjacent to the proposed site. What number of days do you think is a reasonable timeframe to be notified about a demolition? What number of feet is an appropriate boundary for demolition notifications? Please be specific.

    For more information, please visit: www.austintexas.gov/page/development-notifications

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    Open-ended input question.

    Open-ended input question.

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