Plumbing permit fees in San Marcos to be waived temporarily

A permit is required for repairs with new pipes or fittings and can be requested by the owners or registered installers. (Warren Brown / Community Impact Newspaper)

San Marcos City Council unanimously voted on February 24 to waive the city’s permit fees for all residential and commercial plumbing repairs submitted by April 16.

The waiver only applies to repairs made as a result of the snow storm during the week of Presidents Day. However, it applies retrospectively and applies to permits granted or requested prior to the vote of the Council.

“I really believe this will be of great benefit to our residents who are facing something very unprecedented and very challenging repairs,” said Bert Lumbreras, City Manager of San Marcos.

The ordinance was originally due to expire on April 1, but Councilor Melissa Derrick requested to add an additional 15 days.

“I’ve heard from many voters, friends of mine, etc. that it takes more than 60 days to even get a plumber to your home,” Derrick told her councilors. “I just think 45 days is a little short with the damage that was done in San Marcos.”

Permits can be requested online either by the owner or a registered plumber. A permit application must be sent to the city within 24 hours of repairs being completed if new pipes or fittings are used. Visit the city’s website for more information.

However, according to Lumbreras, city officials have realistic expectations and do not expect every affected resident to submit permit applications.

“It’s safe to say that not everyone who repairs themselves will get a plumbing permit. I think employees understand that straight away,” he said. “For those people who correspond to our city and have an interest in reaching the city and making the necessary repairs, we would like to be able to grant this waiver.”

Inspections are also required once the repair work is complete. However, they can be done either in person or via video conference such as Skype as per city documents.

The city council intends to reconsider the exemption during its April 6th session to assess whether the April 16 deadline needs to be adjusted.

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