News and Events

Fire Drill Scheduled for Houston Permitting Center

As recommended by policy, City buildings must hold fire drills twice a year. The Houston Permitting Center (HPC) has scheduled its next fire drill on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 8:00 am. All customers and employees must evacuate the building during the drill and head to the nearest staging area. Do not use the elevators or central stairwell as a means of exiting the building.  

  • Staging Area A: From the Northwest Exit, turn left and proceed to the rear of HPC Parking Lot 1
  • Staging Area B: From the Northeast Exit (left of the Security Desk) or North Stairwell, proceed across HPC Parking Lot 1 to the wall of the I-10 HOV lane
  • Staging Area C: From the Southeast Exit (right of the Security Desk) or the Southeast Stairwell, go down the sidewalk towards Parking Lot W and stop at the picnic garden
  • Staging Area D: From the South Exit, turn right and proceed down the sidewalk to HPC Parking Lot 3

Map of Exit Points (click to enlarge):

HPC exit points map image

Those with limited mobility should proceed to the closest exit, take a seat in the nearby chairs and await the Fire Warden's instructions.

Map of Staging Areas (click to enlarge):

Map of Staging Area Image

For questions, please contact us at 832.394.9000 or via email [email protected].

 

Posted Date: 
May 14, 2018

Stormwater Information Form Now Available through the Office of the City Engineer

Effective Monday, April 23, 2018, the responsibility for stormwater capacity will transfer from the Utility Analysis section to the Office of the City Engineer. The new Stormwater Information Form will replace the Stormwater Letter of Availability Application form. The Utility Analysis Section will continue to process stormwater applications that have already been submitted to the Houston Permitting Center.

It is preferred that applicants submit the Stormwater Information Form with their public plan, prior to submitting their building plans. The form must be submitted with:

  • A recorded deed or title report in the owner's name
  • HCAD print out
  • A survey and/or recorded plat
  • Previous stormwater letter of availability (if applicable)
  • Copy of outside agency approval (if applicable)
  • Stormwater quality permit (if applicable)
  • Drainage study/hydraulic analysis (if applicable)

Should additional information be required, the plan reviewer will contact the applicant.

Please note that due to extenuating circumstances the online capacity reservation application through the iPermits portal has not yet been updated to reflect stormwater's relocation. Please only submit online applications for water and wastewater capacity.

For questions, please contact Stephen Rutledge at [email protected].

Posted Date: 
March 20, 2018

Sign Administration Plan Review to Go Paperless

Starting Monday, May 7, 2018, Sign Administration will transition to 100 percent electronic plan submittals. Going digital means no longer having to drive to downtown and wait in long lines for permits or plan review. The electronic process will allow you to submit plans anytime, anywhere, including nights and weekends.  

To ensure our customers are prepared for this all electronic process, we are hosting workshops dedicated to our Sign Administration customers only. These workshops are free and offer hands-on practice using the system. Register today at https://www.hpceservices.org/. In addition, step-by-step user guides are available on that page under the Resources section. 

We want to assure you that we are here to support you in this transition. For questions, please contact Sign Administration at 832.394.8890 or via email at [email protected]

Posted Date: 
April 06, 2018

Reduced Operating Hours for One-Stop Plan Review

In an effort to bring continuous improvement to One-Stop’s operational processes and to provide an enhanced level of customer service, the One-Stop team will undergo an intensive training curriculum that focuses on operational efficiencies. Starting Monday, April 23, 2018 through Friday, May 4, 2018, One-Stop will operate between 8 AM and noon. Staff will be in training from noon until 5 PM.

For questions, please contact Hugh Russell at hugh.[email protected].

Posted Date: 
March 27, 2018

Update on Temporary Satellite Offices for Harvey Recovery

We have re-aligned our service hours at our temporary satellite office at the Kashmere Multi-Service Center (4802 Lockwood Dr.) to coincide with other City of Houston Harvey Recovery services. The office will be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Due to reduced demand for services, we have closed the satellite office at Southwest Multi-Service Center (6400 High Star Dr.).

For additional Harvey recovery information and resources, please visit houstonrecovers.org.

Posted Date: 
March 27, 2018

Council Approves Ordinances for Residential Facilities

On Wednesday, March 21, 2018, City Council approved a package of ordinances to increase the safety and operator accountability for boarding homes, lodging facilities, correctional facilities and alternate housing facilities. Code Enforcement’s Occupancy Section will oversee the permitting of boarding homes and lodging facilities while the Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department will oversee the permitting of correctional and alternate housing facilities. The Occupancy Section will complete the annual inspections for all four facility types.

Operators of residential facilities will have 18 months to come into compliance with the new ordinances. Permitting requirements, application forms, and additional information can be found at houstonpermittingcenter.org/residentialfacilities.

For questions, please contact [email protected].

Posted Date: 
March 27, 2018

Amendments to Storm Water Ordinance

Houston Public Works (HPW) is responsible for storm water discharge into the municipal separate storm water sewer system (MS4) within the City. In order to comply with changes to the City's forthcoming MS4 permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, amendments to Chapter 47 of the Code of Ordinances, which includes the City's Storm Water Discharge Ordinance, were passed and adopted by City Council.

Of significant impact to customers are the revised definitions to Section 47-601. The acreage requirement for new development was reduced from 5 acres to 1 acre or larger for an undeveloped parcel of land. The acreage requirement for significant redevelopment was amended to an increase of 0.2 acre or more to the impervious cover on a developed parcel for land one acre or larger.

All projects submitted to the City of Houston on or after February 5, 2018 will be subject to the new definitions and will require a Storm Water Quality (SWQ) permit from HPW's Office of the City Engineer. 

To review all of the amendments to the storm water ordinance, please visit:
https://library.municode.com/tx/houston/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=COOR_CH47WASE.

For questions regarding the amendments or SWQ permit, please contact Kathlie S. Jeng-Bulloch at 832.394.9138.

Posted Date: 
February 01, 2018

Upcoming ProjectDox System Maintenance

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve our services, we will perform system maintenance on Friday, January 26, 2018, beginning at 8 pm until Saturday, January 27, at 8 pm. During this time, users will be unable to access the application, upload files, complete assigned tasks, view change marks or download approved plans. New plan review applications submitted via the iPermits system will not be processed until after system maintenance is completed.

Part of the system maintenance will include the following new features for our users:

  • Enhanced Browser Support -- The new release of Brava HTML5 viewer will improve the speed and fidelity of publishing files and improve support for overlay comparisons with Edge, Chrome and Safari browsers; Internet Explorer users will no longer need to use compatibility mode.
  • New Discussion Boards -- This feature improves upon the current Topic & Notes feature. The discussion board keeps track of all discussion feedback as project history, and the discussion leader has control over which project members can see and participate. In addition, the discussion board can also be used within a workflow task, such as Prescreen Review, to address outstanding questions with the applicant. 

To ensure the latest version opens in your browser, please refresh or delete your browser's cache.

We apologize for any inconvenience the outage causes, and appreciate your understanding as we work to improve the reliability of our services.

For questions regarding the system maintenance, please contact us at 832.394.9000 or via email at [email protected].

Posted Date: 
January 04, 2018

City Council Approves Contract for Permitting Center Website

New Web Portal to Increase Permitting Process Accessibility

HOUSTON - Houston City Council approved a contract at its Feb. 8 meeting for website development services that will transform the way residents, businesses and the building community navigate the City of Houston’s permitting process.

The new Houston Permitting Center website, estimated to launch in one year, will feature a wizard that automatically customizes permitting requirements based on answers to a series of questions provided by the customer. The dynamic decision engine powering the wizard will quickly exclude irrelevant permit categories, ensuring a personalized user experience.  The new website will also consolidate each department's permitting pages and repackage the information in a way that is functional to the customer based on needs – i.e. opening a business and remodeling a house. Other functions of the enhanced online experience will include comprehensive customer support, keyword search, simple online application forms and electronic signatures.

Following the implementation of improvements such as electronic plan review, online appointment scheduling and mobile queuing, the website redesign is the latest step in a continuous effort to streamline the City’s permitting process and improve customer service.

The $4.1 million contract with Woolpert, Inc. includes initial research, website design, content management system development, wizard configuration and system maintenance over a three-year period, with two optional one-year renewals.

“Providing the best customer service we can to help the community is part of our Mission, Vision and Values. This new tool will be a great resource to help our building partners better navigate the multi-departmental permitting process,” said Dale Rudick, Director of the Department of Public Works & Engineering, which manages the Houston Permitting Center.

Individuals with residential, business or construction permit questions are encouraged to email [email protected] or call 832-394-9000.

About the Houston Permitting Center
With a focus on customer service and the implementation of useful communication and information technologies, the Houston Permitting Center helps customers achieve their goals while complying with the City’s regulations. Located at 1002 Washington Ave., the Houston Permitting Center was established in 2011 as the first one-stop center of its kind for a major municipality in the United States. Ninety percent of all permits, licenses and registrations issued by the City—more than 600 types—are obtained at the Houston Permitting Center through 40 business units across seven departments: Administration & Regulatory Affairs, Houston Health Department, Houston Airport System, Houston Fire Department, Houston Police Department, Planning & Development Department, and the Department of Public Works & Engineering. For more information, visit houstonpermittingcenter.org or follow the Houston Permitting Center on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted Date: 
February 09, 2017

City of Houston Brings Mobile Permitting Center to Flooded Communities

Permitting assistance to residents impacted by the recent floods are now available through a Mobile Permitting Center that will be stationed in various locations around the city over the next eight weeks. 

A 41-foot-long mobile command center will serve as the Mobile Permitting Center and be staffed by representatives from the Floodplain Management Office and Building Code Enforcement Branch to answer questions and issue many types of permits required to repair or restore structures back to pre-flood condition.  This Mobile Permitting Center is one way the City of Houston Department of Public Works and Engineering through the Houston Permitting Center is serving city residents impacted by the recent flood. 

Locations of the Mobile Permitting Center will vary.  The latest information on the location of the mobile service will be posted on several websites, including houstonrecovers.org and houstonpermittingcenter.org, as well as on social media sites for the Houston Permitting Center (Twitter: @COHPermits and Facebook: facebook.com/COHPermits).  

The locations for the week of May 3 through May 6 are as follows: 

Tuesday, May 3 & Wednesday, May 4 – 10 AM to 7 PM:  Inwood Forest Country Club, 7603 Antoine Drive, Houston, Texas 77088

Thursday, May 5 & Friday, May 6 – 10 AM to 7 PM:  Meyerland Community Improvement Association, 4999 W. Bellfort, Houston, Texas 77035

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - MOBILE PERMITTING CENTER

What services are provided at the mobile permitting center?

The Floodplain Management Office services include:

  • Floodplain Development Permit for repairs from flood damage
  • Elevation grant applications (until the May 6 deadline)
  • General floodplain information

Building Code Enforcement services includes:

  • Minor repair permits
  • General building code enforcement information.

The mobile unit can only sell permits for repairing or restoring a structure back to its pre-flood condition. Plans that will increase the square footage of the home or constitute a remodel must be submitted through the traditional plan review process at the Houston Permitting Center, 1002 Washington Avenue, Houston.

How do residents check-in to receive services at the mobile permitting center?

A check-in station is located outside of the mobile center. During check-in, staff will perform an initial review to answer questions and ensure the information to be submitted is complete.  

Payments via credit/debit card (Visa, Discover and MasterCard only) and electronic check can be completed via the online iPermits system. Physical payments will not be accepted (i.e. cash, written checks).

 What should customers bring?

To receive a Floodplain Development Permit for repairs from flood damage, customers must bring their repair cost information, structure market valuation, and/or elevation certificate. For more details, visit https://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/notices/flood-damage-repair.html.

For building permits, customers may need Building Permit Application (Form 1263) and either a Residential Repair Spec List (Form 1059) or Commercial Repair Check List (Form 1112). For faster service, it is advised to download these forms and fill them out prior to visiting the mobile permitting center.  To download the forms, visit https://www.houstonpermittingcenter.org/code-enforcement/publications.html.  Blank forms will also be available at the mobile permitting center and assistance will be available.

Notary services will be available for forms that require a notarized signature.  A government issued ID is required to have a form notarized. 

For more information on flood recovery, visit HoustonRecovers.org. For questions, email [email protected] or call 832-394-9000. 

Posted Date: 
May 04, 2016

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