San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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March 14th, 2008
City opens permit center aimed at serving public better

by MELISSA MILLECAM

The city of San Marcos Permit Center will host an open house on Tuesday, March 18 from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the City Hall Complex, 630 E. Hopkins.

City officials will cut a ribbon and formally dedicate the Permit Center at 5 p.m. The public is invited to attend the open house and tour the building, located behind the Municipal Building.

“We are delighted to welcome the public to the Permit Center,” said Collette Jamison, Interim City Manager, “Our staff is committed to improving the efficiency of our permitting process and making sure that we are accessible to our citizens.”

The facility opened last summer to provide a single point of entry for permit applications, review and approval for citizens, developers, contractors and builders doing business with the City of San Marcos.

Staff members from Planning and Development, Environment and Engineering, and Building Inspections were relocated to the Permit Center. The facility has eight formal offices and a 20-seat conference room.

They handle post-entitlement permits including Site Preparation, Building, Mechanical, Electric, Plumbing, Sign, Fence, Demolition, and others. In the future, the Permit Center will be the intake point for even more applications for other City departments.

Senior Engineer Kathy Woodlee manages the Permit Center and coordinates a staff of 10 planners, inspectors, and engineering staff. She noted that in the past, trips to several offices in different buildings were necessary to apply for permits and pay fees.

“Now an applicant need only stop at one location to turn in permit materials and pay fees. In some cases, the permits can be issued immediately,” Woodlee said. “Other times, the applicant needs to return a few days later to pick up the permit, but numerous trips to various buildings and City departments are no longer necessary. This Open House gives us the opportunity to thank the development community for their patience during the process of transition to this new way of doing business.”

City staff members who are part of the permit review process make regular trips to the Permit Center to review submittals and confer on proposed developments. The success of the Permit Center is due in large part to this collaboration, said Woodlee.

The Permit Center assisted over 2,370 walk-in customers, and processed nearly 1,100 applications, including building permits worth over $53 million during the second half of 2007. “Because business and development in San Marcos remains strong, the Permit Center has been busy from the day of its opening,” Woodlee said.

Staff working at the Permit Center also includes David McMillan, Chief Building Official, Combination Building Inspectors Tommy Mills and Paul Moak, John Foreman, Senior Planning Technician, Permit Technicians Tommie Maywald and Rose Velazquez, Gib Watt, Assistant Fire Marshal, Michael Dabney, Engineering Inspector Supervisor, and Engineering Inspectors Dennis Hubbard and Doug Coole.

The Permit Center can be reached at 512-805-2630.

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