Commercial and Residential Plan Reviews

The following includes information on city regulations and requirements for application of building permits and plan review. The City is currently utilizing, with amendments, the 2021 International Building Code, 2021 International Residential Code, 2021 International Energy Conservation Code, 2021 International Mechanical Code, 2021 International Plumbing Code, 2021 International Fire Code, International Property Management Code, 2021 International Fuel Gas Code, and the latest editions of the National Electric Code (NFPA #70) and International Existing Building Code.

Applicants shall submit commercial/residential permit applications  with construction plans and associated documents, review status of permits and inspections, and schedule inspections online with the BUILDING WEB PORTAL.

Required Site Plans or Surveys

A Site Plan or Survey must be submitted with a permit application for the following:

  • Accessory Buildings
  • Decks
  • Driveway approaches
  • Driveway and other flat work
  • Fences
  • Gazebos
  • Greenhouses
  • New Construction
  • Sidewalks
  • Signs
  • Swimming Pools/Spas
When do I need a permit?

Unless the work or repair being completed is purely cosmetic work, you should always assume a permit is required. Cosmetic work includes but is not limited to painting, re-carpeting, tile work or changing out basic plumbing or electric fixtures.

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to demolish, construct, enlarge, alter, or repair a building or structure, to include electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing work, shall perform such work per 2021 International Codes and the city’s Code of Ordinances.  A permit shall be required for this work and a change in the occupancy of a building or structure.

The following list may not include every project requiring a permit, so please contact the Community Development Department for inquiries.

  • Structural (includes foundation repairs)
  • Roofing – new, reroof or repair.
  • Plumbing – including excavation and/or trenching of water, sewer, and or gas service systems, water heaters and water softener systems.
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Fire protection systems
  • Irrigation systems/Backflows
  • Swimming pools – above and in-ground type, and spas/Jacuzzi
  • Fences – new installation, replacement, or repair
  • Signs (including temporary signs/banners)
  • Flatwork or Paving
  • Accessory buildings or structures – i.e., storage sheds, greenhouses, gazebos, bath/pool houses, carports, decks, patios
  • Window installation/replacement
  • Right of Way – Any construction that will cut, break, damage a public street or sidewalk, or temporarily block a right of way.
Right of Way

A contractor that is required to cut, break, or damage a public street or sidewalk shall obtain a Right of Way Application.  If a contractor needs to temporarily close a public street or sidewalk, the contractor shall obtain a Right of Way permit.  The contractor shall adhere to the general requirements and procedures for excavation as outlined in the Utility Excavation Criteria Manual (UECM) Second Edition for the City of San Antonio.  Communication providers shall submit a Wireless and Transport Facilities Permit Package for any new infrastructure installed within the City of Balcones Heights.  Applications shall be submitted to  

Contractor Registration

Contractors must register with the city by completing a Contractor’s Registration Application with the following documents.

  • Certificate of Insurance listing the City of Balcones Heights as a certificate holder in the amount of $1,000,000
  • State Trade License, if applicable
  • Driver’s License
The contractor registration must be completed prior to issuance of any construction permits.  Contractors that do not possess a state trade license shall pay an annual registration fee.

Certificate of Occupancy

Certificates of Occupancy are required prior to the opening of a new business or if an existing business has a change in ownership, a name change, a change in use, or a change in location (including the expansion into an adjacent suite). The Certificate of Occupancy application and inspections aids in ensuring that city codes, including but not limited to, zoning use regulations, adequate parking, noise, building and fire codes, that State Sales and Use taxes are collected, and other applicable federal and state licenses and regulations are secured and followed. The application must be completed and signed by the business owner or manager. 

Required Documents

  1. A completed Certificate of Occupancy application, including all applicable fees.
  2. A Texas Sales and Use Tax Permit issued by the Texas Comptroller's office naming the City of Balcones Heights if the collection of sales tax is required for your business.
Upon receipt of the completed application, and payment, city staff will schedule the building inspector to conduct an inspection of the property. The fire inspector will contact you to schedule the fire inspection. If a food license is needed, the Health Inspector will conduct the final inspection.  Once all inspections have been approved, the Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.


The City of Balcones Heights utilizes a third-party inspector for construction and health inspections.  Fire Department personnel conduct all fire inspections.  Applicants shall request Construction and Fire inspections to the Community Development Department at or 210.957.3547.  Construction inspection requests are required before 11:30 A.M. for the next business day inspection.  Medical gas inspections require 48 hours notice.  Requests should include permit number, type of inspection, address, point of contact with phone number and any additional information such as gate codes. The city cannot schedule an inspection for a specific time, but we can request the inspector to contact you 30 minutes prior to arrival.

Permit Payments
Please call 210.957.3000 for payment arrangements.
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Permit Applications11 documents

  • Home Occupations Application
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  • Certificate of Occupancy Application
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  • Contractors Registration
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  • Fire Protection System Application
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  • Permit Application
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  • Storwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3)
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  • Temporary Sign Permit Application
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  • Utility Excavation Criteria Manual
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  • Wireless and Transport Facilities Permit Packet
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  • Work in Right-of-Way Application
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  • Temporary Vendor/Exhibitor Permit
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    Special Event Revised 2-2024