A SMART START TO DEVELOPMENT ASSESSMENT >> Commercial Plan Review >> Permitting >> Inspection >> Certificate of Occupancy
From the purchase of land, construction, renovation, or even signing a lease to move into an existing space, business owners should initiate an assessment consultation through the Development Assistance Center (DAC). Verify the following items during the assessment:
Theintended use (type of business) that is allowed under current zoning and land use regulations;
Plans for any construction, demolition, remodeling, build-out, renovation, etc. are in accordance with zoning, land use and site development standards; and
Determine if a site plan is needed or already on file, as all projects within the City’s jurisdiction are required to have a site plan. If the proposed changes to the site are considered to be minor then a site plan exemption or correction may apply.
By confirming these items first, business owners can protect their business and their investments by limiting delays, changes, or shut-downs.
Appointments for the DAC are scheduled during specific hours and are offered in the order in which they arrive. Details, hours, and location may be found on the DAC webpage.
Zoning, Zoning Changes, Variances, and Site Plan Exemptions
Zoning - The City of Austin’s Zoning Profile Tool can help you research zoning designations and information for a specific piece of land. You can use the list of Zoning Districts to understand the zoning label abbreviations and the Permitted Use Chart can be used to find out what uses are allowed in a given base zoning district. Note: In specific areas, zoning overlays may require additional sets of zoning requirements.
Request a Zoning Change - Information about the zoning process, applicable code, and submittal requirements can be obtained prior to submitting a zoning application. Please contact the Development Assistance Center (DAC) at (512) 978-4000 to set up a pre-application conference.
Variance - A variance may relax the requirements of a zoning district for a specific parcel or tract of land. Variances are often issued to avoid unnecessary hardships to a landowner. If one wishes to pursue a variance, they must submit the request to either a board or commission, depending on what the variance involves.
Site Plan Exemption - A minor change or addition to a lot which does not have a previously issued site plan may qualify for a site plan exemption if the proposed change is minor and will not have an impact on adjoining property owners. See the DAC for verification of whether a proposed change may be processed as a site plan exemption.